New ethics guidance for judges covers gifts and social media

The State Bar of Michigan’s Judicial Ethics Committee recently issued guidance for sitting judges regarding gifts from attorneys and their conduct on social media.

The newest opinion from the committee, JI-146, says that a “judge, judge’s family member, or staff member may accept gifts that are considered ‘ordinary social hospitality’ but should not accept any other gifts from persons who may appear before the judge.”

The full opinion is available online at www.michbar.org/opinions/ethics/numbered_opinions/JI-146.

Additionally, the committee also recently published a page of answers to frequently asked questions about judges’ use of social media. The page covers guidance for sitting judges on how they can take part in social media while also following the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct.

To read the FAQs about judges and social media, visit www.michbar.org/opinions/ethics/judicialsocialmediafaqs.

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