A North Carolina judge was issued a public reprimand for using Facebook to chat with a lawyer about a pending case and researching the Web site of one of the parties in the case.
As reported by The (Lexington) Dispatch, Iredell County District Judge B. Carlton Terry Jr. got in hot water with judicial officials for his computer use during a custody case he was hearing. The judge reportedly discussed the case with one of the attorneys, although he then disclosed the communications to the opposing counsel. He also looked up the plaintiff’s business Web site and made note of a poem posted there.
The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission reprimanded Terry for engaging in ex parte communications and for independently investigating the case. The ABA Journal provides a link to the official reprimand.
By Peter Vieth