Justice Charles Jones (“Charlie”) Bethel was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia on September 4, 2018 by Governor Nathan Deal. He previously served on the Georgia Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court.
Justice Bethel was born in Athens and raised in Dalton, a place he and his family still call home. He is a 1994 graduate of Dalton High School and earned both his business (BBA 1998) and law (JD 2001) degrees from the University of Georgia. At the University, he was a member of the Arch Society, as well as several other clubs and societies, including UGA Blue Key. Justice Bethel was recognized as the top student in the Management Department during his junior year of undergraduate studies. While in Law School, he was an active participant in the Moot Court program where he earned ‘Best Oral Advocate’ honors at the regional level of the National Team competition.
Following his formal education, Justice Bethel served as a law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for Justice Charles A. Pannell, Jr before returning home to Northwest Georgia. He practiced law in Dalton with Minor Bell & Neal (now “The Minor Firm”) and spent over a decade in the flooring industry in executive and legal capacities working for J&J Industries.
Responding to a call for public service, Justice Bethel was twice elected to serve as an Alderman for the City of Dalton. Thereafter, he was elected four times to serve in the Georgia State Senate. During his service in the Senate, he served as the Chair of both the Insurance & Labor Committee and the Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee. Additionally, he served as an Administration Floor Leader, a Deputy Whip, and as Co-Chair of the Joint High School Athletics Overview Committee. Justice Bethel also served on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Judiciary Non-civil, Retirement, Government Oversight, and Special Judiciary committees during his service in the Senate. In the legislature, he carried legislation on a broad array of topics. Among the high points of his legislative service, Justice Bethel counts his successful carriage of comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation and autism insurance reform (commonly referred to as “Ava’s Law”) legislation.
Justice Bethel is the recipient of several honors and recognitions associated with his public service. The list includes multiple citations as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine as well as previous inclusion in their 40 Under 40. The University of Georgia Alumni Association has also recognized Justice Bethel as a 40 Under 40 honoree.
Justice Bethel and his wife, Lynsey, have three children; Henry, Jeb, and Joanna. Lynsey earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Georgia. The Bethel family attends the First Baptist Church of Dalton. Charlie is active in the community having served in various leadership positions with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, United Way, and the Dalton Rotary Club among others. Justice Bethel has served as a volunteer coach for many seasons in various youth sports for the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department. He and Lynsey are members of the 2013 class of Leadership Georgia (widely recognized as the “Best Class Ever”).