Saturday, January 16, 2010

For Judges on Facebook, Friendship Has Limits

For Judges on Facebook, Friendship Has Limits, N.Y. Times, Dec. 10, 2009.

Judges and lawyers in Florida can no longer be Facebook friends.

In a recent opinion, the state’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee decided it was time to set limits on judicial behavior online. When judges “friend” lawyers who may appear before them, the committee said, it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest, since it “reasonably conveys to others the impression that these lawyer ‘friends’ are in a special position to influence the judge.”

. . . A minority of the panel would have allowed Facebook friendship, which it characterized as more like “a contact or acquaintance” without conveying the notion of “feelings of affection or personal regard.”


Legal Aid said...

Just the creation of a conflict of interest must be avoided to prevent a cloud of doubt.

Wedge said...

I don't see anything wrong with this and actually think it is a great idea. I don't even believe in becoming Facebook friends with my co-workers so I definitely support this.