November 10, 2009
This responds to your inquiry (09-202) asking whether, if subpoenaed, it is ethically permissible for you to testify as a character witness in a criminal case pending in another state.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from testifying voluntarily as a character witness (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[C]). However, a judge should comply with a validly issued subpoena. Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 08-158; 99-115; and 88-155, which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)