March 10, 1994
Digest: A judge may write a letter of recommendation for an attorney who has appeared before the judge regularly as assistant district attorney, which letter expresses the judge’s opinion of the attorney’s performance.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.2(c)
An attorney who had appeared before the inquiring judge regularly as an assistant district attorney is leaving the prosecutor’s office and is entering private practice. The judge has been asked by the attorney to write a letter of recommendation. The letter prepared by the judge speaks of the attorney’s performance and dedication and concludes that “Her performance speaks well of her”. The judge asks whether such a letter is appropriate.
It is the opinion of the Committee that it is not improper for the judge to write the proposed letter. The letter is confined to the judge’s personal knowledge of the professional performance of the attorney and, as written, does not “lend the prestige of his or her office to advance th private interests of others nor. . . convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him or her.” 22 NYCRR §100.2(c) .