Blogs > The Law Blogger

The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
For more information email:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Judges Cannot "Friend" Lawyers Via Social Media Says Florida Supreme Court

A few of my Facebook friends are judges.  They've taken a low profile on the news feed.  Will Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission, formed in 1968 via constitutional amendment, seek to outlaw such social network connections like the State of Florida?

In Florida, the Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee issued a 11/17/2009 decision, holding that judges may not connect with attorneys on Facebook, or similar social networking media.  The Committee's decision is based on a Florida's judicial canon prohibiting the appearance that a lawyer, or anyone else, is in a special position to influence the judge.

Floridian judges, however, remain free to post comments to their non-lawyer "friends", and can develop "fan pages" to help with their reelection campaigns.  Only the attorney-judge connection is now taboo in Florida.
The Ethics Advisory Committee stated that, "judges cannot isolate themselves entirely from the real world and cannot be expected to avoid all friendships outside of their judicial responsibilities, some restrictions upon a judge’s conduct are inherent in the office."

Ethics are catching-up slowly with attorneys and judges in the web 2.0 world.  Some states, like Louisiana, New York, and now Florida, have taken a restrictive view of lawyer's and judge's permissible activities on such sites.  

Linked-In, Twitter, and Facebook remain available to our judges.  You can expect Michigan's never shy Judicial Tenure Commission to address the situation as soon as the right case rolls around.  Shouldn't be too long... Stay tuned.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole judicial system needs to be revamped. Let's get real.... Anytime any profession is allowed to police itself, there is disaster. How many attorneys turn in their buddies to the attorney grievance committee? How many attorney's vouch for their clients when their client's file grievances about the opposing attorney. Quite frankly, I appreciate all of those jokes about attorneys. For instance...... What do you call a bus filled with attorneys going off the side of a cliff? Answer:A good start. Congratulations. Attorney's here have earned their reputation for being unethical. And what do some attorneys become? Judges. The only way to correct the system is if judges are jailed and fined.

January 18, 2010 at 3:28 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home