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Practical Applications of Ethics Codes: Defriending Mr. King – Court Management and The Social Network 1 of 28.

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Presentation on theme: "Practical Applications of Ethics Codes: Defriending Mr. King – Court Management and The Social Network 1 of 28."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practical Applications of Ethics Codes: Defriending Mr. King – Court Management and The Social Network 1 of 28

2 Objectives Become familiar with ethics codesBecome familiar with ethics codes Understand why ethics codes are important to us as court professionalsUnderstand why ethics codes are important to us as court professionals Determine how ethics apply to court management in the burgeoning world of the social networkDetermine how ethics apply to court management in the burgeoning world of the social network 2 of 28

3 Are Ethics Important? A fair and independent court system is essential to the administration of justice in a democratic society.A fair and independent court system is essential to the administration of justice in a democratic society. Court professionals strive to:Court professionals strive to: o inspire public confidence and trust in our courts; and o convey impartiality, equality, fairness and integrity. 3 of 28

4 Scenario: Defriending Mr. King 4 of 28

5 5 of 28

6 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 1.2: Avoiding Impropriety A court professional shall avoid activities that would impugn the dignity of the court. 6 of 28

7 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 1.4: Respect for Others A court professional shall treat litigants, co-workers and all others interacting with the court with dignity, respect and courtesy. 7 of 28

8 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 2.3: Misconduct of Others A court professional shall report to the appropriate authority the behavior of any court professional who violates this code. 8 of 28

9 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 2.7: Discretion A court professional shall be respectful of litigants, the public, applicants and employees’ personal lives; disregard information that legally cannot or should not otherwise be considered; use good judgment in weighing the credibility of Internet data; and be cautious about verifying identities. 9 of 28

10 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 2.7: Discretion (Continued) A court professional shall treat personal or sensitive information with the same discretion that one would wish others to have if one were involved in a similar case. 10 of 28

11 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 2.8: Proper Use of Public Resources A court professional shall use the resources, property and funds under one’s official control judiciously and solely in accordance with prescribed procedures. A court professional shall use the resources, property and funds under one’s official control judiciously and solely in accordance with prescribed procedures. 11 of 28

12 Defriending Mr. King Codes NACM Model Code of Conduct for Court Professionals Canon 2.8: Outside Business A court professional shall avoid outside activities... that reflect negatively upon the judicial branch and on one’s own professionalism. 12 of 28

13 Defriending Mr. King Codes American Judicature Society Model Code for Nonjudicial Court Employees Section Six (C): Court Managers Court managers shall diligently discharge their administrative responsibilities, maintain professional competence in judicial administration and facilitate the performance of other court employees. 13 of 28

14 Defriending Mr. King Codes American Judicature Society Model Code for Nonjudicial Court Employees Section Six (D): Court Managers Court managers shall take action regarding any unethical conduct of which they may become aware, initiating appropriate disciplinary measures against an employee for any such conduct and reporting to appropriate authorities evidence of any unethical conduct by judges or lawyers. 14 of 28

15 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Are disparaging remarks about one’s job on the social network truly an ethical question? Response #1 “Absolutely not! Employees have blown off steam about their jobs and their bosses since the time they built the pyramids! Posting Facebook comments is no different from complaining about your boss at the local pub.” 15 of 28

16 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Are disparaging remarks about one’s job on the social network an ethical question? Response #2 “Facebook is not a local pub. An employee posts a comment on Facebook and it can go out to hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions. There is no comparison and people need to be very careful about what they post on any social networking site.” 16 of 28

17 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Are disparaging remarks about one’s job on the social network an ethical question? Response #3 “Posting disparaging Facebook comments clearly violates NACM Canon 2.8 prohibiting activities that reflect negatively on the judicial branch. No question that Cathy Korn was unethical.” 17 of 28

18 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Should courts have the right to peruse social networking sites looking at employee comments? Response #1 “No. First and foremost, the social network is social. People can exchange ideas and chit chat there. Having one’s boss trolling the Internet, looking for electronic detritus, is both patronizing and predatory.” 18 of 28

19 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Should courts have the right to peruse social networking sites looking at employee comments? Response #2 “Administration has both a right and a duty to know what is on the social network about the court. The comments are in the public realm. The court must keep abreast of comments made and if those comments come from its own employee it needs to know that too.” 19 of 28

20 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Is it necessary for a court to have a social network policy? Response #1 “The social network is a new arena. Courts need to lay out how they intend to use it and what they expect from their employees. Courts need to tell employees that they plan on looking at employees’ Facebook pages and give those employees fair warning.” 20 of 28

21 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Is it necessary for a court to have a social network policy? Response #2 “NACM’s existing code covers everything a social networking policy needs to cover. The social network is nothing more than a different way of sharing ideas and information. What one says is important; how one shares it with others is not so important.” 21 of 28

22 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Should courts be allowed to define what employees can and cannot have on their social networking sites? Response #1 “Yes. If a court has the right to peruse the social network reviewing employee entries, it certainly has the right to tell employees what is inappropriate and unprofessional.” 22 of 28

23 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Should courts be allowed to define what employees can and cannot have on their social networking sites? Response #2 “No. Courts should not be looking on the social network for employee comments and they certainly should not be telling employees what they can and cannot have on the social network.” 23 of 28

24 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Should courts be allowed to define what employees can and cannot have on their social networking sites? Response #3 “There is a practical issue here. How long will it take for shrewd employees to start using fake monikers on the social network? These employees could quickly start posting disparaging comments under their digital identity.” 24 of 28

25 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions What can the court learn from this situation? Response #1 “A good court policy on the social network should be developed sooner rather than later. Even if such a policy fosters staff debate, at least they will know what a court’s intentions will be toward the social network.” 25 of 28

26 Defriending Mr. King Discussion Questions Determine what your own answers are to the questions asked here. 26 of 28

27 Why Do This? It’s the integrity of the Judicial BranchIt’s the integrity of the Judicial Branch It’s more than just personnel rulesIt’s more than just personnel rules It’s not just right & wrong answersIt’s not just right & wrong answers It’s your job to make the code relevantIt’s your job to make the code relevant 27 of 28

28 Learn More and Join the Conversation Log onto the NACM Website Ethics Page: Or the NACM Ethics Hotline: 28 of 28


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