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.