Warning to Attorneys: Be Careful What You Post Online

With nearly everyone involved in some sort of social networking, it seems nothing is sacred anymore. Privacy? What’s that? Blog or tweet first and pay later. Well, the judicial system is not having it. Lawyers who blog, tweet, or otherwise publicize their critical opinions about judges, clients, or anything work-related had better be prepared for some reprimands.

An attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was displeased with a particular judge, calling her an “evil, unfair witch” on his blog. The Florida bar then took him to task, reprimanding him and fining him $1,200. In Illinois, an assistant public defender was fired as a result of her blog posts criticizing judges and clients. Her posts often revealed confidential information about the cases, though she did attempt to disguise basic details. She faces disciplinary actions by the state.

Another attorney requested a trial delay, noting that there had been a death in the family and she needed to attend a funeral. The judge granted the delay but then visited the lawyer’s Facebook page. On it the lawyer briefly mentioned the funeral but focused instead on parties and other leisure activities. When the lawyer requested another delay, it was denied. Needless to say, the lawyer removed the judge from her Facebook friends.

So just beware of what you put out there into cyberspace. You may not think anyone is looking, but you just never know.