Facebook Friend Gets Judge Disqualified From Hearing Case
By: M. Dye
Posted on : September 9, 2012  Views : 1626
On September 5, 2012, The Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Pierre Domville vs. State of Florida. The Court\'s ruling is quite simple. Judges are prohibited from being \"friends\" on social networking web-sites with attorneys that appear before them. This court case came out of the criminal courts in Broward County, Florida. In a pending criminal case, the trial court Judge was \"friends\" with the prosecutor on Facebook. The criminal defense lawyer made a motion to disqualify the Judge which the Judge denied as legally insufficient. When the motion to recuse was denied, the criminal defense attorney filed a writ of prohibition with the 4th District Court of Appeal requesting the appellate court to require the Judge to recuse himself.The 4th District Court of Appeal agreed with the criminal defense attorney and ordered the Judge to recuse himself from the matter. However, the appellate court went further than just recusing this judge under these facts and circumstances. The 4th District Court of Appeal issued a blanket prohibition that essentially forbids all judges, civil and criminal, from being friends on a social networking site with any attorney who appears in front of that judge. Broward County Criminal Defense AttorneyMichael Dye stated \"The 4th District Court of Appeal goes on to state that the main reason for this ban is the appearance of impropriety that being \'friends\' with a attorney might give. The court states that it makes it look as if that attorney is in a special position to sway the judge\'s rulings because the judge wouldn\'t want to rule against a friend. It makes sense. To those of us who work in the legal system, it might not seem like a really big deal, but we must be more concerned with the public\'s perception of the legal system.\"
Michael Dye is a criminal defense lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For further information, please call (954)745-5848 or visit criminal defense attorney