Opinion: 98-88
September 10, 1998
Digest:    A judge should not write a letter in support of a former client's bail application.

Rule:      22 NYCRR 100.2(C);
               Opinions 89-73 (Vol. III),
               89-04 (Vol.III); 88-63 (Vol. II).


            An individual whom a judge represented prior to ascending the bench has asked the judge to write a letter on his behalf in support of a bail application, which, if granted, would enable the former client to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

            Section 100.2(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states that "A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness." A judge's voluntary character reference on behalf of a criminal defendant would violate this provision and would create an appearance of impropriety. Accordingly, the judge should not write a character reference letter on behalf of the judge's former client in support of the bail application See, Opinions 88-63 (Vol. II); 89-04 and 89-73 (Vol. III).