Ethical Exits: When Lawyers and Judges Must Sever Ties on Social Media

A different kind of paper by Kelly Lynn Anders but is a must read. It might just be applying to lawyers but soon would apply to other professions as well. It is also US based but am sure needs to be applied in other geographies as well.

The paper talks about this need to have a code of conduct for lawyers/judges engaging in social networks:

This article addresses the very recent trend of requiring lawyers and judges to sever ties on social media, the professional implications of doing so, relevant rules governing judicial and attorney conduct, and a discussion of “best practices” for lawyers and judges to follow when social media connections must be broken. Recent opinions from states that have issued social media directives in this area will also be discussed, along with a brief overview of three of the most commonly used social media sites at the time of the publication of this article – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 

Through this discussion and analysis, one theme will continue to resurface – the increasingly pressing need for guidance and clarity in the MRPC and MRJC so that expectations involving social media connections will be clear, uniform, and much easier to manage for lawyers, judges, and anyone with whom they may communicate, either professionally or personally. Such clear-cut guidance would also decrease the need for severing ties that should not have been formed in the first place, thereby also serving to contribute to the preservation of solid and favorable reputations of all jurists and counselors in an increasingly virtual world.

Social networks pose conflict of interest, partisanship, influence issues for legal profession. Hence it poses problems for lawyers who join the various social networks.

There are suggestions as well on how can ties be severed on the social networks etc…

The impact of these online social networks on society in general has only begun..



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