This is an interesting addendum to the ABA session ““Friend” Is Now a Verb: Judicial Ethics and the New Social Media“. In the Financial Post‘s Legal Post section from August 2nd, Mitch Kowalski notes Oklahoma’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel released an opinion on judges and social media in that state on July 6, 2011. The Oklahoma State Courts Network (OSCN.net) has the full Judicial Ethics Opinion 2011-3.
From the opinion:
¶1 Questions: 1. May a Judge hold an internet social account, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin without violating the Code of Judicial Conduct?
¶2 2. May a Judge who owns an internet based social media account add court staff, law enforcement officers, social workers, attorneys and others who may appear in his or her court as “friends” on the account?
¶3 Answers: Question 1 – Yes, with restrictions.
¶4 Question 2 – No.
The opinion goes on to explain this position, and concludes:
¶10 To those who would argue that this position is too restrictive of the rights and privileges of the Judge, we echo the Kentucky opinion JE 119, wherein it is stated “A Judge must accept restrictions on the Judge’s conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly.”