Instant Messaging Results in Instant Resignation of a New Mexico Judge

Long a classroom distraction for teenagers and college students, the allure of chatting online instead of focusing on the task at hand has infiltrated the judicial bench in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Judge Eugenio Mathis admitted to engaging in “excessive and improper” instant messaging with his wife, a court employee.  Mathis has resigned and acknowledged in his resignation agreement that he violated the Court’s computer and Internet use policies by making disparaging comments about other judges, referring to parties appearing before him in a domestic violence case as “chigando,” or acting crazy, and making “judicial statements about pending cases.”

Judges have long had access to computers while presiding over their courtrooms, and Instant Messaging technology is nothing new. This case serves as a reminder that as the use of technology becomes ever more commonplace in the legal profession, the ethical considerations that surround that technology do not diminish.

Read more about this case here

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