State of Georgia

Open Meeting Minutes
Atlanta, GA

November 15, 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. Pope Langdale
Mr. Richard Hyde
Judge Stacey Hydrick
Judge Verda Colvin
Mr. James Balli
Mr. Bob Barr
Mr. Warren Selby

Others Present:

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


Upon motion and second, the Minutes of the October 18, 2019 meeting were approved.

Director’s Reports:

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

Chairman Langdale began the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking Mr. Easterlin for his dedication to serving the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Other members expressed their thanks to Mr. Easterlin and his willingness to go the extra mile to meet wi.th new members to acquaint them with how the Judicial Qualifications Commission operates.

Mr. Easterlin graciously thanked the Investigative Panel for their kind comments and added that Mr. Boring will do a great job.

Chairman Langdale thanked Mr. Easterlin for his comments and then introduced Mr. Boring as the new incoming Director. Chairman Langdale added that Mr. Boring will begin his tenure officially on December 2, 2019.

Chairman Langdale then spoke briefly about the recent National College on Judicial Conduct and Ethics that several Panel members and Justice Boggs attended in Chicago in late October. He said that it was very enlightening, and he was particularly impressed with the echnology which was utilized. Mr. Hyde added that the attendees were also given statistical graphics which will be useful for speaking engagements.

Chairman Langdale then reported that he recently reached out to the Dean of the University of Georgia Law School regarding the possibility of acquiring law students to research and update the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission’s legal opinions. The Dean agreed that this project would be beneficial to the law students and that the school would give the students course credit for their participation. This idea will be discussed further among the Investigative Panel and Hearing Panel members.

Chairman Langdale then discussed the location of the December meeting. He pointed out that because there would be judges in attendance at the meeting, he felt it would be more convenient for the judges if we met in Atlanta. A discussion followed among the Panel, and it was decided that the December meeting would be held at the State Bar Center in Atlanta. Chairman Langdale then turned the meeting over to the Director for his report.

Mr. Easterlin began the Director’s Report by directing the Panel’s attention to the Financial Report. Mr. Easterlin stated that the Judicial Qualifications Commission was currently on budget at a little over 32% on the yearly budget.

Chairman Langdale asked if there was any new business. Mr. Hyde replied that he would like to discuss the fact that Judicial Qualifications Commission is not listed in the Court’s Retention Schedule and that it should be. Mr. Hyde proposed that the Judicial Qualifications Commission keep all hard copy complaints for 20 years and that digital records be retained indefinitely. He cited the fact that the records may possibly be helpful in the future for judicial placements. A copy of the Court’s Retention Schedule was given to Mr. Boring for his review.

There being no old business for discussion, Judge Hydrick moved to close the open meeting and go into the closed meeting. Judge Colvin second the motion and it was unanimously approved.

These minutes were approved by the Judicial Qualifications Commission on December 6, 2019.