It is important for court administrators and officers to develop relationships with agencies providing their chosen technologies (e.g., remote alcohol monitoring devices, ignition interlock, electronic monitoring or reporting equipment, and alcohol or drug testing mechanisms). They need to be aware of what supervision technologies are available, the benefits/barriers to their use in the particular jurisdiction, and training required to use the technology and analyze the reports.
When a judge considers the use of technology as a means of linking stakeholders and facilitating open and balanced communications, there are ethical considerations. It is important to remember that communication by e-mail provided through court or government agencies is considered to be public record in many jurisdictions.
A judge who considers using electronic social and professional media should also be aware that at least one state has ruled that communication by a judge of the list of the judge’s connections to others, who the judge has approved, violates Canon 2B of the Code of Judicial Conduct (see Florida Opinion 2012-12). Participating in e-forms may also involve ethical issues concerning the appearance of giving legal advice and/or engaging in ex parte communications (see Florida Opinion 2001-02).