State of Georgia

Open Meeting Minutes
Atlanta, GA

Friday, April 16, 2021

This regularly scheduled meeting of the Investigative Panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission of the State of Georgia was held at Taylor English Duma LLP in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Pope Langdale chaired the meeting and Ms. Kristen Bertsch served as Recording Secretary.

Investigative Panel Members Present:

Mr. Pope Langdale
Judge Stacey Hydrick
Mr. Bob Barr
Judge Verda Colvin
Mr. James Balli
Mr. Dane Kirby

JQC Staff Members Present:

Mr. Chuck Boring, Director
Ms. Courtney Veal, Deputy Director
Mr. Lance Alford, Chief Investigator
Ms. Kristen Bertsch, Executive Administrator
Ms. Kacey Baine, Legal Intern
Ms. Yosra Khalifa, Legal Intern

Chairman’s Comments:

Chairman Langdale called the meeting to order and determined that a quorum was present. Judge Hydrick’s motion to adopt the open meeting minutes from the regular March 19, 2021 and non-regular April 1, 2021 Investigative Panel meetings passed unanimously.

Chairman Langdale reminded the Panel that his term as Chairman will expire in June of 2021. Mr. Barr informed the Panel that he is interested in taking over as Chairman. Judge Hydrick expressed her interest in remaining ViceChair. Chairman Langdale advised that any other Investigative Panel members should let he or Director Boring know if they are interested in either position. A vote on Chairman and Vice-Chair will take place at the May 21, 2021 Investigative Panel meeting.

Director’s Reports:

Director Boring updated the Panel about the Statewide Judicial Emergency. Director Boring explained that jury trials are taking place in several jurisdictions across the State of Georgia and seem to be running smoothly.

Director Boring informed the Panel that the legislature has given the JQC the budget increase which was requested for Fiscal Year 2022. The increase was based upon a request for additional staff positions which will begin in Fiscal Year 2022.

Director Boring updated the Panel about upcoming JQC trainings and presentations. Deputy Director Veal and Judge Colvin will be presenting to Probate Court Judges in May 2021 and Judge Hydrick will be presenting to State Court Judges in May as well.

Director Boring updated the Panel about the JQC’s Formal Advisory Opinion Project. The University of Georgia law students have completed their review of all current Formal Advisory Opinions and made recommendations accordingly. The Hearing Panel will now review their recommendations to decide which Opinions need to be withdrawn, amended, or replaced.

Director Boring apprised the Panel that the JQC has hired a full-time investigator. His name is John Gosart, and he comes from the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, with a background in finance. He will start on May 1st. Director Boring notified the Panel that Investigator Alford will remain an investigator on a contract basis with the JQC.

There being no further old or new business for discussion, the Open Meeting was adjourned at 9:30am.

These minutes were approved by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Pope Langdale, Chairman

Charles P. Boring, Director