Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Texas Judge Keeps An Eye On Counsel - On Facebook

From Texas Lawyer, via Carole Elefant, the saga of Texas judge and social media aficionado, Susan Criss, continues:

Criss recalls that recently a lawyer told her she needed a continuance because of a death in her family. The judge previously had given the lawyer a weeklong continuance, but at a subsequent hearing the lawyer's senior partner, who appeared on her behalf, told Criss his colleague actually needed a month-long postponement, Criss says. "I knew from her bragging on a Facebook account that she had been partying that same week," Criss says. The judge says she told the senior partner at the hearing about her Facebook discovery and denied his request.

Another time, Criss says, she told the lawyers in her courtroom for a weeklong trial that she intended to go to a bench-bar conference and would miss a day of court. "Then that evening, I was on Facebook. I saw another lawyer post about the bench-bar conference. The lawyer who had been in my courtroom then wrote, 'Judge Criss is coming to speak at your conference Friday. Be nice to her so she will be in a good mood when I come back.' I wrote, 'I will be in a good mood when I come back.'" The lawyer who first posted about the conference then wrote to the friend, "Ha, ha you forgot Facebook was public," Criss adds.

We first wrote about Judge Criss a few weeks ago. See: Texas Judge Uses Facebook, Explores Social Media Ethics for Judiciary, Lawyers

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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