In the increasingly wired world in which we live, it comes as no shock that 72 percent of all adult Americans have a presence on at least one social networking site. But would you—and should you—be surprised if you received a Facebook friend request from a judge or if you learned that an opposing counsel was Facebook friends with the judge? Should judges enjoy the benefits of social media, or is it more important to avoid any relationship that might compromise the appearance of impartiality or erode public confidence in the courts? Judges, lawyers, and judicial ethics authorities throughout the country have wrestled with these questions. This article will provide not only an overview of how Texas and other states have addressed these issues but also an examination of the fleeting nature of “friendship” in the digital age and the type of online miscues that judges have made.
First, let’s remember that judges are human, too.
To read the entire article by John G. Browning, go to the Texas Bar Journal.