Social Media continues to get attorneys and judges in trouble. We have blogged in the past that you need to think before you Tweet, Post, or Blog. Once posted on the internet you will never get it back. In response to the arrest of a black man for the murder of a white San Antonio Police officer Texas Judge James Oakley posted on Facebook “Time for a Tree and a Rope.”
This comment drew a backlash from many who felt that it referred to lynching. The judge took down the post and apologized. He denied that it had anything to do with race or lynching. His explanation was that it was in reference to the Pace Picante Salsa Ads of the 1980s that ended with the threat to a chef that tried to substitute New York salsa for Texas salsa.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct did not buy his explanation and reprimanded the judged along with an order of addition racial sensitivity training with a mentoring judge.
Particularly for judges and attorneys there is nothing private nor can you have an expectation of privacy when you post on social media. Any social media posts about clients or potential cases that you may be involved in can get you in trouble. Flippant comments that are best kept unsaid are certainly not appropriate for social media.
To read the entire decision
Click Judicial Conduct Reprimand