Florida Judges May Not Be “Friends” With Lawyers

The Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has issued an opinion on judges’ use of social-networking sites.  In short, the opinion advises judges of the following:

Judges may have a personal page on Facebook or other social-networking sites and may post comments and other materials on their own pages, provided the material does not otherwise violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

A judge may not be “friends” with any lawyer who may appear before him.

The opinion recognizes that being a Facebook friend does not mean that there is a friendship in the traditional sense.  But, by identifying the lawyer as a “friend,” the judge risks conveying that the lawyer is in a position to influence the judge.  Thus creating or potentially creating, the appearance of impropriety.

[via N.Y.T.]

See also:

What’s a “Friend,” Really?

Ethical Implications of “Friend-ing” a Witness on Facebook

Searching MySpace and Facebook for Job Applicants and . . . Judges?

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