A Philadelphia municipal court judge’s decision in a criminal case was recently overturned because the judge and the defendant were Facebook ‘‘friends.’’

Does a judge’s participation in internet-based social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn create an appearance of impropriety? In this article, Shareholder John S. Summers and Associate Maureen P. Smith discuss whether a particular judge’s use of a social network creates an ethical issue should not be addressed with per se bans, as some state ethics opinions have advised, but rather should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

This article was originally published in Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week.

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