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Gov. Kemp Appoints New Chair of State Elections Board


Andrew Isenhour

Press Release


Today, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that William S. Duffey, Jr. has been appointed as the new Chair of the State Elections Board.


"Judge Duffey has been involved in complex litigation for decades, both as a lawyer and a judge," said Governor Kemp. "Through his vast experience, he has established himself as a man of integrity who will uphold the highest ethical standards in his application of the laws of our state and nation. I am confident Judge Duffey will be a great asset to our state and help ensure our elections are secure, accessible, and fair."


"I have dedicated my career to serving others to seek fair and just results in legal matters," said Judge Duffey "Our democracy is founded on citizens participating in the process to elect those who govern them. I am committed to working with my colleagues on the State Elections Board to perform our duty to protect the integrity of the election process because every Georgia voter is entitled to know their vote is secure and that it counts."


William S. Duffey, Jr. retired in 2018 from active service as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia. From 2001 to 2004, before assuming the federal bench, Judge Duffey served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. As United States Attorney, he was responsible for prosecution of federal crimes, for civil actions filed by and against the United States government, and he led the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Taskforce.


Before his appointment as United States Attorney, Judge Duffey was a partner at King & Spalding in Atlanta. He was elected as a partner in 1987. From 1994 to 1995, Judge Duffey left private practice to serve as Deputy Independent Counsel in charge of the Arkansas phase of the Whitewater investigation. He rejoined King & Spalding as a partner following government service. At King & Spalding, Judge Duffey’s practice included complex civil and criminal litigation, focusing on trade secret, corporate espionage, and fraud matters. He also had a substantial internal corporate investigations practice, including the investigation of EF Hutton’s plea of guilty to mail and wire fraud arising from its banking practices, responsibility for the grounding of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the Florida Attorney General’s investigation into Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph’s retail sales practices.


An honors graduate of Drake University in 1973, Judge Duffey received his J.D., cum laude in 1977 from the University of South Carolina Law School.


Judge Duffey served in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps from 1978-1981 as a Circuit Trial Counsel, and as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate to the United States Logistics Group in Ankara, Turkey.


Judge Duffey has served in a variety of assignments that focused on ethics and integrity. In 2019, he served as a member of the City of Atlanta Task Force on the Promotion of Public Trust. In 2016, Judge Duffey represented the United Department of State at a conference on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican. From 2008 to 2015, Judge Duffey represented the United States judiciary on nine trips to Ukraine to make presentations to Ukrainian judges and government officials on the requirement of ethical conduct as the foundation of an independent judiciary in a democracy. At King & Spalding, Judge Duffey’s practice included ethics counseling, including state and local elected officials' compliance with state ethics requirements. While on the court, Judge Duffey served as President of the Eleven Circuit Judges Association, served on the Eleventh Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions Committee, and was a member of the Georgia Supreme Court’s Commission on Civil Justice.


A frequent presenter at legal conferences and seminars on professionalism, in 2022, Judge Duffey’s book "The Significant Lawyer: The Pursuit of Purpose and Professionalism" was published. His published works also include:

  • William S. Duffey, Jr. and Richard A. Schneider, A Life in the Law: Advice for Young Lawyers, ABA Publications (2009) (author and editor)

  • "Corporate Fraud and Accountability: A Primer on Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002," South Carolina Law Review (2002)

  • "Competitive Information Collection: Avoiding Legal Land Mines," Competitive Intelligence Review, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Judge Duffey has been active in the community, including as former Chair of the Atlanta Track Club Board of Directors, founder of the Center for Young Adult Addition and Recovery at Kennesaw State University and past Chair of its Board of Directors, and as a member of the Atlanta Foundation Grants Committee.

Judge Duffey is married to Betsy Byars Duffey, an author of children’s and adult books. They live in Atlanta and Clarkesville, Georgia.

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