On October 22, 2004, the Mercer Law Review and the Mercer Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism co-sponsored a Symposium on recent developments related to the election of judges. The Symposium was the Fifth Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism, the latest in a series of programs funded by a consent order and judgment that settled allegations of litigation misconduct involving the du Pont Corporation several years ago. That order awarded $2.5 million to each of the four ABA-accredited law schools in Georgia to establish professorial chairs devoted to ethics and professionalism, and it also granted each law school $250,000 to endow the symposium series. The -symposia rotate among the four law schools. Mercer's Walter F. George School of Law held the first of these symposia in 2001 and, after programs sponsored by Emory University, the University of Georgia, and Georgia State University, Mercer's turn to host the symposium came around again. The Symposium was held in cooperation with the Court Futures Committee of the State Bar of Georgia, chaired by Ben Studdard, Chief Judge of the State Court of Henry County, Georgia. In 2003 the Court Futures Committee began a comprehensive study of judicial selection in Georgia for the purpose of making recommendations for any needed changes. Its work was ongoing when the Symposium was held, and many members of the Committee attended and participated in the discussions.
Patrick Emery Longan, Judicial Professionalism in a New Era of Judicial Selection, 56 Mercer L. Rev. 913 (2005).