Opinion 09-198

November 10, 2009


Dear Justice:

         This responds to your inquiry (09-198) asking whether your spouse may write a letter to a Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division to support reinstatement of a disbarred attorney. While a judge should not voluntarily provide a character reference to support readmitting a disbarred attorney, there is no ethical prohibition barring a judge’s spouse from providing such a letter. However, the letter of recommendation should make no reference to your judicial position nor implicate you in any way.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 98-142; 95-138; and 94-60 which generally address the issue of permissible activity of a judge’s spouse.


Very truly yours,




George D. Marlow

Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)

Committee Chair