I recently posted about my needing to learn to tweet. I fully intend to do so over the winter break at Ole Miss. However, more important than simply learning what to tweet is knowing what and when to tweet! Consider this from ABAJournal.com:
A research lawyer for a Kansas appeals court has been suspended pending an investigation into her critical tweets about the state’s former anti-abortion attorney general during a supreme court ethics hearing.
The lawyer, Sarah Peterson Herr, posted tweets calling former Attorney General Phill Kline a “naughty, naughty boy” and criticizing his facial expression, report the Associated Press, the Topeka Capital-Journal and WND. “Why is Phil Klein [sic] smiling?” she wrote. “There is nothing to smile about, douchebag.”
Herr predicted Kline would be disbarred for seven years as a result of charges claiming he or his subordinates misled others during an investigation of abortion providers. WND describes Herr’s tweets as “snarky” and “self-satisfied.”
True this is about a lawyer, not a paralegal, but paralegals are often in the same position and the same seemingly irresistible temptation. There was a time when yielding to such temptations was limited in scope, at least, to those time when one was off-guard, perhaps having had a cocktail too many at a social gathering, so the damage was also limited to a degree. But with today’s social media there is almost literally no end to the ripples that are set in place when one drops a pebble – or in this case a number of rocks – into the water. This is just one of the many perils of social media. (Leading me to create the new “Social Media” category.)
As many of you may have noticed though there is an even larger issue here as illustrated by one of the comments on the original ABAJournal.com post:
Herr should have keep her thoughts to herself at the least until after the matter was concluded. The fact that her remarks became public is not what makes her conduct wrong.