Florida Says Judges Can't Even Be Facebook Friends With Lawyers

from the lead-a-solitary-life,-please dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about a lawsuit in North Carolina, where the judge friended one of the lawyers, and read and exchanged messages about the case with the lawyer on Facebook. That, obviously, seemed a bit extreme — but what about just the plain old act of “friending” between a judge and a lawyer. Down in Florida, they’ve decided that’s simply not allowed at all:

Whether a judge may add lawyers who may appear before the judge as “friends” on a social networking site, and permit such lawyers to add the judge as their “friend.”


That doesn’t leave much room for ambiguity, does it? But, as Venkat Balasubramani notes, this is somewhat ridiculous. Judges and lawyers often have social relationships beyond the court, and pretending those don’t exist just on Facebook seems pretty artificial.

My question to the advisory committee is whether this means that it’s now inappropriate for a judge to have lunch with a lawyer friend, or engage in email banter with lawyer friends? Is attending the same party now off limits? I assume these actions would still be viewed as appropriate, given that lawyers and judges interact socially (and publicly) all the time. What’s so special about Facebook friendship?

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Florida Says Judges Can't Even Be Facebook Friends With Lawyers”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Mike C. (profile) says:

Forget parties and social functions. What about...

…trade related functions.

Conferences, seminars, education and training of any kind, trade shows. I guess those should be off limits too since a judge and lawyer may run into each other.

Oh wait, new thought…travel. Imagine the consequences if a judge and lawyer were booked on the same airplane and sat next to each other. The HORROR!


. says:


I think that Judges should not be allowed to judge anything that a lawyer friend is presenting.

It opens the door to corruption, bias and other things that are undesirable.

But making friends, I don’t see a problem with that. They should be free to befriend anyone they like, just not work with them in opposite sides on the same case(I was going to say room then I remembered that one can stream anything these days) or be approached by his friend that is a partner on of the guy who he is defending or accusing someone.

Now how do you do that?

People lie Judges and lawyers(specially lawyers) too.

The Cenobyte (profile) says:

I say no.....

I say ‘no they shouldn’t be allowed to spend time together outside of work’. Why not, these people honestly have done their best to twist the legal system and screw the public for decades now. They have made the legal system so complicated that no one can defend themselves and they make it so expensive to get professional help that the inocent end up in jail because they can’t afford someone to really defend them.

I hate lawyers, they force the letter of the law down our throat whiel ingoring the spirit. If people in families treated each other the way the legal system treats non-lawyers there would ge a lot fewer families. Maybe if we make Lawyers and Judges into Social Pariah we can drive them out of existance.

Danny (profile) says:

Country Club Set

My question to the advisory committee is whether this means that it’s now inappropriate for a judge to have lunch with a lawyer friend, or engage in email banter with lawyer friends? Is attending the same party now off limits?
The better analogy is whether judges can be members of the same country club as lawyers who might appear before them.

It would be very interesting to see the Florida advisory committee rule against this.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...