Joining a Twitterverse filled with rock stars, actors, politicians and athletes, one Bay Area judge has decided to break ranks with most of his black-robed peers who are worried about the ethical and practical trap doors of social media.
Adding an @ to his resume at a time when the law and social media are colliding more than ever, Paul Grewal, a U.S. magistrate judge in San Jose, rang in the New Year by becoming the region's first federal judge -- and one of few in the country -- to start a public Twitter account. For the past few weeks, "iampaulgrewal" has debuted on Twitter, where he's closing in on 300 followers.
"Would you want a traffic court judge who's never driven a car?" he explained on his Twitter profile. "Why should magistrate judges be any different when it comes to tech?"
In dabbling so publicly in social media, the 43-year-old Grewal, who has had a hand in such major cases as the Apple v. Samsung smartphone feud, is unlike most state and federal judges who tend to be far more comfortable writing thick legal opinions than 140-character tweets -- and who also prefer to remain outside the instantaneous spotlight of a public platform such as Twitter.
In some instances, judges do not want to risk the ethical fallout from a wayward tweet about a case or issue, or expose so much about themselves to the public it rises to a security threat.
Read the whole story at Inside Bay Area News