We previously mentioned the infamous? Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion 2009-20 which prohibits a judge from “friending” lawyers who appear before the court. That’s so 2009.
The next logical question for judicial social networking policies has arrived: does this apply to the JA?
Yes, at least in part. A judicial assistant can friend lawyers who appear before the court. However, the limitations may devour the rule here. The JA cannot post anything which makes “reference to the judge or the judge’s office…” and the posts must be “outside of the judicial assistant’s responsibilities and independent of the judge…” Given the frequency that people use Facebook at work (including listing where they work in their profile) and the amount of time we all spend at the office, those prohibitions seem fairly high.
JEAC Opinion 2010-04 goes on to note that any lawyer who attempts ex parte communication with the JA via social networking sites should have their head examined and should be de-friended and reported to the judge.