March 11, 2004
Digest: A judge may write a letter of reference on behalf of an attorney seeking admission to the bar of another state on motion, which state requires such a letter from a judge.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(C); Opinions 88-166 (Vol. III); 91-14 (Vol. VII).
The inquiring town judge informs the Committee that a local attorney is seeking admission to the bar of another state on motion and that a letter of reference from a judge is required. The judge seeks the Committee’s advice.
The Committee has previously advised that a judge may submit an affidavit of good character in connection with an application for admission to the bar of the State of New York, and that such an affidavit would not violate section100.2(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. Opinions 88-166 (Vol. III); 91-14 (Vol. VII). The fact that in this instance, the admission is to the bar of another state does not require a different result. Moreover, such a letter may be sent on court stationery provided that the words “Personal and Unofficial” are prominently displayed. The contents of the letter should be based on the judge’s personal knowledge of the individual.