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Dozens of Judges Are Getting LinkedIn, Blogger Notes

Posted Aug 20, 2009 12:50 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Dozens of judges have posted profiles on the professional networking site LinkedIn, including six federal appeals judges.

Blogger Robert Ambrogi found the judges through his own search, and wrote about them on Legal Blog Watch. Among the federal appeals judges with public profiles are Richard Clifton of the 9th Circuit, Deborah Cook of the 6th Circuit, Jennifer Elrod of the 5th Circuit and Edith Jones of the 5th Circuit. Two others kept their profiles private.

Ambrogi also found two federal district judges, two bankruptcy judges and one U.S. magistrate judge, as well as 16 state appeals judges and several more state trial judges. The judge with the most connections was Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley, who had 419 connections.

Ambrogi considers whether there are ethical pitfalls for judges who post online profiles. Online comments could draw fire, he notes. He also wonders whether the identity of connections could pose a problem.

“Could a judge's connections on LinkedIn or Facebook create the potential for conflicts of interest?” Ambrogi writes. “Should litigants routinely vet a judge's social-networking profile in advance of a trial? Should judges be required to make public disclosures of the individuals and groups they connect to online?” He also wonders if it is appropriate for judges to list that they are open to "career opportunities" and "business deals."

Also see: ABAJournal.com: Facebooking Judge Catches Lawyer in Lie, Sees Ethical Breaches #ABAChicago

Number of federal appeals judges corrected on Aug. 26.

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