Legal Ethics

Should a judge recuse due to Facebook friendship with prosecutor? Florida supremes asked to decide

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A Florida appeals court wants guidance on an ethics issue: Should judges recuse from cases when they are Facebook friends with the prosecutor?

The 4th District Court of Appeal said on Wednesday that the matter is of great importance, and the Florida Supreme Court should decide the issue, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The appeals court removed Judge Andrew Siegel of Broward County from a case in September because he was Facebook friends with the prosecutor. Its decision (PDF) cited a judicial ethics opinion that judges should not friend lawyers who appear before them. According to the appeals court, the ethics opinion recognized that friending could undermine confidence in a judge’s neutrality.

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