Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert blog which will discuss recent media articles about a Kansas appeals court research lawyer who was fired for tweeting that an ex-AG was a “naughty naughty boy” and “douchebag” during Bar disciplinary hearing.
According to the media reports, Sarah Peterson Herr, a research lawyer for a Kansas appeals court was fired on November 19, 2012 after posting derogatory tweets about former Kansas attorney general Phill Kline during a Bar disciplinary hearing which was held on November 15, 2012. The lawyer apparently posted tweets calling the former attorney general a “naughty, naughty boy” and criticizing his facial expression. One of the tweets said: “Why is Phil Klein [sic] smiling? There is nothing to smile about, douchebag.” The lawyer also tweeted a prediction that Kline would be disbarred for seven years as a result of Bar charges that he or his subordinates misled others during an investigation of abortion providers.
The tweets have now been removed and the lawyer sent the Associated Press an apology which stated: “I didn’t stop to think that in addition to communicating with a few of my friends on Twitter I was also communicating with the public at large, which was not appropriate for someone who works for the court system. I apologize that because the comments were made on Twitter—and thus public—that they were perceived as a reflection on the Kansas courts.”
Also according to media reports, five of the seven justices of the Kansas Supreme Court previously recused themselves from the Kline disciplinary matter because some of the alleged misconduct occurred either in the justices’ presence or in proceedings filed with the court and the case is being heard by the two remaining justices and five lower court judges.
Bottom line: Looks like 21st Century technology snared another lawyer. Please don’t do this…
… and be careful out there!
Disclaimer: this e-mail does not contain any legal advice and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.
Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.
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