Judge’s Response to Facebook Message Showed No Bias, According to Appeals Court


A judge in Texas appears to have handled an ethics dilemma on Facebook in textbook fashion. The judge was presiding over a criminal case involving defendant William Scott Youkers, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for assaulting his girlfriend. Youkers moved for a new trial on the ground that the judge’s Facebook friendship with the girlfriend’s father created both actual and apparent bias. According to Youkers, the judge failed to disclose a private Facebook message he received from the father that – ironically – had sought leniency for Youkers.

This article discusses why the court rejected Youkers' application and how the judge's conduct serves as a great example of how judges - and lawyers - can extricate themselves from thorny ethical dilemmas on social media.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Nicole Hyland, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.