November 10, 2009
This responds to your inquiry (09-198) asking whether your spouse may write a letter to a Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division to support reinstatement of a disbarred attorney. While a judge should not voluntarily provide a character reference to support readmitting a disbarred attorney, there is no ethical prohibition barring a judge’s spouse from providing such a letter. However, the letter of recommendation should make no reference to your judicial position nor implicate you in any way.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 98-142; 95-138; and 94-60 which generally address the issue of permissible activity of a judge’s spouse.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)