Social Networking and Judicial Ethics: Another Restriction on the Books

In Florida a recent Ethics opinion limits social networking site communication and interaction with judges and attorneys.

It seems that the law is starting to catch up with the possibilities of social media.  This latest development offers up some debate about whether or not it went to far.

In the age of enhancing and maintaining and even renewing friendships online do the ethical obligations of officers of the law preclude their ability to use social networking in a manner similar to the general population?

Perhaps, perhaps not but certainly the interactions will be subject to intense scrutiny if even the hint of favoritism or inappropriateness existed.  So while courtrooms work to ban jurors from electronic communication an ethics opinion relating to the interaction of judges and attorneys doesn’t seem out of line.  The rules and regulations will not be perfect in these early days but action does seem appropriate.

Constance Ard December 13, 2009

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