Opinion 77-10

April 21, 1977

Re: Canon 2B

Dear Judge:

This is in reply to your inquiry whether the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits your writing a letter to the U.S. Army JAG corps to advise them as to the character and qualifications of an attorney in your circuit. As we understand it, the Corps requires at least three letters from disinterested judges in the community regarding the reputation and professional standing of the subject attorney who is applying to the Corps.

Under the above outlined circumstances, it is the unanimous opinion of the Committee that there is no impropriety in your providing the requested character reference. Canon 2B prohibitions do not apply in this circumstance. See our earlier opinions 75-6, 75-8, 75-10, 75-18, 75-22 and 75-30. As stated in our opinion 75-6, Canon 2 prohibitions apply to investigatory or adjudicatory proceedings either of an administrative, civil, or criminal nature where a person's legal rights, duties, privileges or immunities are ultimately determined.

We appreciate your inquiry and trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Sincerely yours,

Tyrie A. Boyer, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges


Participating members: Judges Carlisle, Haverfield, Hewitt, Marger, Murphee, O'Connell,Sample
and Stephenson. Judge Boyer as Chairman.