Judges and social media

In a new code of judicial conduct effective December 1, 2015, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has included a comment 6 to Rule 3.1 that provides:

The same Rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct that govern a judicial officer’s ability to socialize and communicate in person, on paper, or over the telephone also apply to the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook.

This is the first code to include an express reference to social media.  Thus, a new section has been added to the document “Social media and judicial ethics,” kept up-dated on-line on the web-site of the Center for Judicial Ethics.  The sections are:  citations to judicial ethics advisory opinions on social media, code of conduct provisions referencing social media, judicial discipline cases involving social media, judicial campaigns and social media, and judicial disqualification cases involving social media.

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