February 8, 1991
The Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, at its meeting of January 24, 1991, considered your inquiry (91-14) dated January 14, 1991, as to whether judges may serve as character witnesses for candidates to the New York State bar.
In Opinion 88-166, a copy of which is enclosed, this Committee found that serving as a character reference for a candidate for admission to the bar is not the same as impermissably testifying as a character witness. Thus, judges may submit affidavits of good character for applicants to the New York State bar, provided that the recommendation reflects the judge's opinion of the applicant's character.
Very truly yours,
Samuel J. Silverman