February 7, 2020
This responds to your inquiry (19-118) asking if you may send an employment reference letter on behalf of a longtime friend to a prospective employer that does not appear before you.
We have said a judge may write an employment reference letter on behalf of a job applicant if it reflects the judge’s appraisal of the abilities of the applicant (see Opinion 88-10). We also advised a judge may use his/her judicial stationery for such letter, if the words “Personal and Unofficial” are noted clearly on the stationery (see Opinion 17-134).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 17-134 and 88-10 for your review, which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice
Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice