Facebook Photos Taken in Court Put Lawyers in Hot Seat

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 01, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What are we in, high school?

Seriously, when grown lawyers start posting unflattering Facebook photos and snarky comments about people in court -- really? Yet that's exactly what happened when some New York lawyers posted this:

"Bra tops n butt cheeks! Somebody come look at this!!" the caption read above a photo of a young woman in family court.

Um, can you say, "disciplinary hearing"?

Woman on Woman

It's bad enough when sophomoric frat boys make sexist comments. But in this case, it was women lawyers who decided their sexually provocative posts were funny. Another comment, targeting a shorts-clad woman in a photo from behind, said:

"From the back! I took it for you!" That drew the appreciative response, "Good work!!!"

The ABA Journal reported the incident, but spared the posters' names. The New York Times held nothing back. The newspaper said three lawyers were under disciplinary review. For the employees of the Administration for Children's Services and the Legal Aid Society, it was a really bad day in court.

"Humanely and Decently"

"I'm appalled as a commissioner of A.C.S. because to me it's completely inconsistent with our agency culture and expectations and our expectation that we treat every family humanely and decently," said David Hansell, commissioner for the city's child welfare agency.

It was bad all the way around, as two lawyers have reportedly been removed from supervisory roles and another received "appropriate action." Four were involved, but only three were named in disciplinary charges.

It's never a good idea to shame people online, people. And when you are a lawyer, bad Facebook posts can come back to haunt you -- if not personally, then professionally through discovery.

But posting body-shaming photos of people in courtrooms? And taking them in family court?! That's not just wrong, that's illegal!

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