October 28, 1993
Digest: A Criminal Court judge may recommend a private practicing attorney, specializing in criminal defense work, to a friend, as long as the judge makes clear that it is not an official recommendation. The judge may not preside over the matter
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(c)
A Criminal Court judge asks whether or not it is permissible to recommend private counsel, specializing in criminal law, to a friend whose neighbor has been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. The request for the recommendation was made to the judge as a friend, rather than in the judge's official capacity.
It is the opinion of this Committee that there is no ethical bar to a judge recommending an attorney to a friend or acquaintance, as long as the judge does not sit in the case, and the judge makes it clear that it is not an official recommendation.