Thursday, March 18, 2010
Pitfalls of Social Networking for Judges is an excellent March 16, 2010 New York Law Journal article by Mark Strutin (registration required). The article highlights issues that Judges and attorneys may face if they engage in social networking. Obviously, a judge may be interacting with a party and not even know it. That may create an appearance that something is inappropriate. Attorneys, like other employees, may be embarrassed by what they write. As the article explains:
Transitions from one form of communication to another never occur neatly. They frequently wend their way through society by fits and starts, embraced by a few at first, then by masses of people until they are commonplace.
But as technology cuts a swath through established practices and institutions in this piecemeal fashion, we have to be cognizant of the perils to our professional lives and the judicial process. A social networking site cannot sanitize conduct that transgresses ethical boundaries when done in person or in print.
The article cites several ethic opinions. Law review commentary on this important topic is needed.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein