State of Georgia

Open Meeting Minutes

September 20, 2019

This meeting of the Investigative Panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission of the State of Georgia was held at the State Bar Center in Atlanta. Mr. Pope Langdale chaired the meeting and Ms. Phyllis Motes served as Recording Secretary.

Commission Members Present:

Mr. Richard Hyde
Mr. Pope Langdale
Mr. Bob Barr
Judge Stacey Hydrick
Judge Verda Colvin
Mr. Warren Selby

Others Present:

Mr. Ben Easterlin – Director
Mr. Will Lasker – Staff Attorney
Ms. Phyllis Motes – Case Manager
Lance Alford – Investigator


Upon motion and second, the Minutes of the August 23, 2019 Meeting were approved.


Chairman Langdale called the meeting to order and determined that
a quorum was present.

Chairman Langdale began by summarizing the September 19, 2019 meeting with Justices Nahmias and Boggs to discuss potential changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Judicial Qualifications Commission Rules. The Investigative Panel was represented by Chairman Langdale, Judge Hydrick and Mr. Bob Barr. The Hearing Panel was represented by Judge McBurney and Ms. Jamala McFadden. The Director and Mr. Will Lasker also were in attendance at the meeting. Chairman Langdale relayed Judge McBurney’s comment that the staff should ensure that sufficient
facts are included in consent agreements submitted to the Hearing Panel. This will allow the Hearing Panel to make more informed decisions regarding approval of those agreements. Judge McBurney also suggested that the Investigative Panel, the Hearing Panel and the Supreme Court develop a more open line of communication regarding Code and Rules issues.

Chairman Langdale then discussed the number of applications received for the open Director position. Discussion followed and suggestions were made for avenues to attract additional qualified candidates for the position. Chairman Langdale commented that the sub-committee would narrow the applicants to a short list of three to four candidates by October 10. Interviews of those finalists for the position will then be conducted by all Investigative Panel Members at the October 18 meeting.

Mr. Easterlin began the Director’s Report by presenting the speaking schedule for the remainder of the year, the date and time of each event, and the Investigative Panel member who is responsible for each presentation. Mr. Easterlin reminded the Investigative Panel
that there is currently an open slot for the December 13, 2019 event at Emory.

Next, Mr. Easterlin conducted a discussion regarding the Judicial Qualifications Commission’s meeting schedule for the remainder of the year. It was determined that a November 15 meeting will be added to the schedule. The date of the December meeting and the possibility of meeting in Macon in December will be revisited at the next meeting.

There being no new business or old business to discuss, the Panel then went into its closed meeting.

These minutes were approved by the Judicial Qualifications Commission on October 18, 2019.