According to an ABA opinion, judges may friend lawyers and witnesses on Facebook. The ABA Journal reports:
Judges who participate in social networking sites must heed the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, cautions Formal Opinion 462 (PDF). That means the judges should avoid contacts that would undermine their independence, integrity, or impartiality, or that would create an appearance of impropriety.
The Feb. 21 opinion by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility acknowledges that “judicious use” of electronic social media—referred to as “ESM”—can be a valuable tool for public outreach. “When used with proper care, judges’ use of ESM does not necessarily compromise their duties under the Model Code any more than use of traditional and less public forms of social connection such as U.S. Mail, telephone, email or texting,” according to the opinion.
I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all Mississippi state and federal judges to be my friend. The opposing side is sure to cave in all my cases when they see I’m Facebook friends with the judge.
Incidentally, despite this blog, I’m no social network king.
I have zero Facebook friends. I’m not even sure if there is a Facebook page with my name on it. There may be, since I had to set up an account to set up my law firm Facebook page. I set that up about two years ago and haven’t returned since.
Regardless, my seventeen year old daughter assures me that Facebook is no longer cool. So maybe I’m an early non-Facebook using trend setter.