Technology and Ethics

Technology and Ethics: Strategies for the Digital Age

Suggested Reading

“A Legal Battle: Online Attitude vs. Rules of the Bar” (New York Times, 9/12/09)

As blogs and social networking websites become more popular, many legal professionals have used them to convey ideas and opinions that are traditionally unacceptable in the legal field. This article provides specific examples of attorneys and judges who have fallen into this “inevitable” trap.


“Too Much Information: Blogging Lawyers Face Ethical and Legal Problems” (ABA Journal, 9/14/09)

A Texas lawyer gets involved in a defamation lawsuit after anonymously blogging about another lawyer. Other examples of legal professionals falling victim to the internet are cited as well.


“Facebooking Judge Catches Lawyer in Lie, Sees Ethical Breaches” (ABA Journal, 7/31/09)

A Texas judge has learned that the openness of social networking websites has resulted in many legal professionals revealing private information that they wish had remained private.


“When Lawyers Spy Through Facebook: the Ethics of ‘Regional Network’ Changes” (, 7/8/09)

Is changing one’s “regional network” on Facebook in order to investigate a case or person a form of deceit? A Twitter conversation reveals that the answer is not so simple.


In the Matter of: KRISTINE ANN PESHEK (Filed 8/25/09)

Here is a case of an Illinois attorney that lost her job over blog postings.


“Legal Ethics of Facebook, Twitter & Cloud Computing” (ABA Journal, 8/2/09)

This article explores legal ethics vis-à-vis “cloud computing” services, such as Flickr and Google Docs. It also shines light on the complicated user agreements of these sites.


“What Boundaries Have You Set for Your Own Facebook or Twitter Use?” (ABA Journal, 5/20/09)

This short piece looks at the potential for law firms to set boundaries and/or standards for what they or their employees post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking websites.


“Working in the Cloud” (ABA Journal, 8/1/09)

This article explores in-depth the pros and cons of “cloud computing” and “software as a service” (SaaS) - in particular for their potential use in the legal field. Specifically, it points to costs, security, accessibility, and more.


“Rash of Video Footage Incriminates Lawmakers, Police” (Yahoo! News, 6/16/2010)

This article highlights several where low-quality video footage shot by members of the public has incriminated public officials.


“Professor Suspended After Joke About Killing Students on Facebook” (ABC News, 3/3/2010)

This article tells a story involving Gloria Gadsden, a sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, who said she was suspended last week after updating her Facebook status with complaints about work that alluded to violence. In January, she wrote: "Does anyone know where I can find a very discrete hitman? Yes, it's been that kind of day…" Then in February: "had a good day today. DIDN'T want to kill even one student. :-). Now Friday was a different story."


“How Facebook Can Get You Fired” (Now Public, 4/25/2007)

This short article gives a few examples, warnings, and tips regarding the use of social networking while being in the workforce.


“Facebook Entry Gets Office Worker Fired” (CNET News, 2/26/2009)

A worker is fired after posting on her Facebook status that her job was boring.  Her company’s website said, “We follow a zero tolerance social accountability standard.”


“Trial Judges Impose Penalties for Social Media in the Courtroom” (Citizen Media Law Project, 3/3/2010)

This article discusses state and federal courts continue to struggle with the use of social media in courtrooms and courthouses.


“Cell Phones, Laptops in Courtrooms Worry Judges” (The Orlando Sentinel, 2/6/2010)

Judges across the country are wrestling with ways to cope with instant communication — cell phones that can transmit pictures from court, Twitter and Facebook updates, blog posts and even Google searches.  This article highlights some of the problems as well as the efforts deal with them in the courtrooms.


“New York Judge Jails Entire Courtroom over Ringing Cellphone” (Now Public, 11/28/2007)

A judge who jailed 46 people who were in his courtroom when a cellphone call interrupted proceedings was removed from the bench by a state commission.


“How to Hide From Friends You Don’t Like” (New York Times,  8/13/2010)

This article tells Facebook users how to keep your updates and posts private from those you don’t wish to see them.


“Judge Removes Juror After Guilty Facebook Post” (cnet News, 8/31/2010)

A judge removed a juror from a trial in suburban Detroit after the young woman wrote on Facebook that the defendant was guilty when the trial was yet to be over.


“6 Things You Should Never Reveal on Facebook” (Yahoo! Finance, 9/14/2010)