March 17, 2009
Dear Justice :
This responds to your inquiry (09-38) in which you ask whether there is any ethical prohibition to providing a copy of the court calendar in advance to the District Attorney’s Office with notations summarizing the driving record for each defendant scheduled to appear.
The Committee has previously determined that providing information which assists only the prosecutor is inconsistent with a judge’s responsibilities to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety (see 22 NYCRR 100.1; 100.2). Therefore, you should only share information in that fashion if you share it with both sides. If this is impractical because most defendants in traffic cases are self-represented, then we suggest that judges not adopt this procedure.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 07-115 and Joint Opinion 07-185/08-68/08-77, which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court