American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 53, Issue 4 (2017)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


For many lawyers and judges, the use of social media can pose as many risks as rewards. With electronic communication methods sometimes surpassing the use of more traditional methods, legal professionals have little choice but to engage in some of the more popular social-media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Certainly, countless other communication methods exist and will continue to be developed; however, like the aforementioned trio, social media will likely always continue to share several key traits, each of which will continue to pose challenges for ethical communication among legal professionals. First, it is public—so public, in fact, that access spans the globe. Second, it is immediate. When comments are posted, they appear in “real time” and for all to see. Finally, it is permanent. Even after deleting comments, photos, and hyperlinks, there’s no guarantee that they will not be copied before they have been deleted, thereby leading to the possibility (no matter how slim) that anything posted online can take on a life of its own.