Ah, the “selfie.” People take them everywhere now, at sporting events, at landmarks, and even at funerals. But sometimes a selfie goes too far. A lawyer in Wisconsin found the legal limit of the selfie after a judge ordered him to take it off his Facebook page. The selfie in question was one the lawyer snapped of himself and his client inside the courtroom immediately after the jury acquitted his client on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide. The lawyer took it off his Facebook page and apologized, but by that time it had already been shared across the internet. The judge who ordered the lawyer take the selfie down was concerned about the emotional, privacy, and ethical issues in play. From the article:
“I was concerned if the victim’s family had seen (the taking of the photo), or if jurors had been included in the frame,” McAdams said.
“To me it’s undignified,” said McAdams, 53. “But I know that a younger generation sees that social media stuff differently.”
Many courts have specific rules against photography or video recording in courtrooms that were drafted before the age of smartphones, Instagram, and Periscope. The vast majority of American courts are supposed to be open to public view. But does that mean lawyers should be taking selfies inside the courtroom or Periscoping their closing arguments? If you’ve taken a courtroom selfie let us know by posting it in the comments, along with the presiding judge’s contact information.
Featured image: “Old Man using a smartphone on neutral background” from Shutterstock.