Saturday, March 7, 2009

J. RANDOLPH EVANS - A Paradigm of Ethics


Randy Evans

J. RANDOLPH EVANS
A Paradigm of Ethics

Randy Evans always knows the right thing to do. He was raised that way. This native of Dublin is a mixture of two of Laurens County's oldest families, the Thigpens from the east side of the river and the Evans family from the west side. In a world when all too many lawyers are looked upon with distrust of their true motives, J. Randolph Evans is regarded by his peers as one of the best attorneys in the nation. His clients have included several of the nation's most prominent politicians and erudite corporations, but his roots to Laurens County still run deep.

Randy Evans was born in Dublin, Georgia on September 24, 1958. His father James C. Evans is a son of Elton Evans and Martha Hilliard Evans of Dexter. His mother Betty Evans is a daughter of Malcolm Thigpen and Marie Clements Thigpen of Rockledge. Randy grew up in Warner Robins, where in 1976 he graduated from Northside High School. Randy and his brother Greg spent most of their summers on their grandparents' farms.

"I decided to become an attorney before I started school and never wavered," Evans recalled. Randy was awarded a scholarship on the debating team at West Georgia College, which he entered in 1976. Evans was elected Judiciary Chairman of the Student Government Association and in 1979 was chosen by his fellow students to serve as President of the association. Randy was a member of the debate team, one of the top three teams in the nation. A Summa Cum Laude graduate, Evans majored in Political Science and minored in Mathematics and Speech.

While at West Georgia, he met a professor who would shape and mold his life forever. Law and politics are often inseparable. Evans met Newt Gingrich and volunteered on his campaign staff in 1976 and again in 1978, when Gingrich was first elected to Congress. During the summer of 1979, Randy lived in the basement of Gingrich's Virginia home while he interned for the freshman congressman.

In 1980, Randy Evans began his study of the law at the University of Georgia. While in law school, he was a member of the Editorial and Managing Boards of the Georgia Law Review. His Moot Court team was one of the top four in the nation. In 1983, Randy was awarded a Juris Doctor Degree Magna Cum Laude along with citations of honor from the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers.

Randy was asked by the firm of Boundurant, Miller, Hishon & Stephenson to join the firm as an associate. Inspired by the wave of conservatism and old-fashioned values espoused by Ronald Reagan, Randy entered the world of politics and was elected chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party in 1985. Later that same year, Evans was asked to join Arnall, Golden and Gregory, one of Atlanta's most prestigious firms, in their legal malpractice section.

Before the age of thirty, Evans assisted Newt Gingrich by taking an integral role in drafting the ethics complaint against the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Jim Wright, which eventually led to his resignation and Gingrich's rise to the speakership. In 1991, Randy was elevated to partner and was appointed chairman of the Professional Liability Group of the firm. Now recognized nationwide as an expert on professional liability insurance, Evans is the author of Practical Guide to Legal Malpractice Prevention. In 1996, Randy Evans was chosen by his colleagues to head the bar's second largest section, the Torts and Insurance section.

When Speaker Newt Gingrich found himself on the hot seat in 1996 after an ethics complaint was filed against him, he called upon Randy to defend him in the Congress. Evans became the speaker's personal attorney representing him in his divorce, in book deals and in contracts as a news analyst for Fox television news.

As his star began to rise, Gingrich's successor as speaker, Dennis Hastert, retained Randy to act as his outside counsel in 1999. That same year, Evans was appointed by Georgia Chief Justice Norman Fletcher as a Special Master for the State of Georgia for a five-year term which ended in 2004. With Speakers Gingrich and Hastert on his client list, Evans became the logical choice to represent the Republican party in Georgia. His stock in the law firm was also on the rise. In 2001, he was named co-chairman of the Litigation Department at Arnall, Golden and Gregory.

One of the busiest attorneys in the nation, Randy Evans was named in 2001 to head the business companies owned by former speaker Gingrich. In 2002, he began to represent J.C. Watts, the former and always popular congressman from Oklahoma. After one year, Watts named Evans to head his business interests as well. That same year he accepted employment as the outside counsel of house majority whip Roy Blunt.

When the Republican party took over control of Georgia politics in 2002, Evans became more active in state politics, serving on the Georgia State Board of Elections and as general counsel for the Georgia Republican party. Evans continued to represent his clients in book deals, negotiating Speaker, by Dennis Hastert and National Party No More for Zell Miller. Though most of his known clients are well-known Republicans, Evans also represents many members of Congress and the Senate from both sides of the aisle.

In 2003, Evans became chairman of the Financial Services practice group at McKenna, Long and Aldridge in Atlanta. He continues to try cases as well as author of hundreds of law articles as well as being a coveted speaker at seminars and legal programs. He finds that by writing and lecturing on legal issues, he is forced to keep up with the rapid changes in the law. In his spare time, Evans is a member of the Roswell Baptist Church, the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Historical Society. His wife Linda is a former Wall Street lawyer. He has a twenty-year-old son, Jake. His hobbies include chess and collecting lapel pins. He also enjoys following his beloved Georgia Bulldogs. He once told a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "I bleed red and black."

The editors of Best Lawyers in America have cited Randy in the practice areas of Commercial and Legal Malpractice in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He has been recognized as one of Georgia's Super Lawyers by Atlanta Magazine. James Magazine has named him one of the most influential persons in the state in the last two years.

Like all good lawyers Evans describes himself as a solution-driven lawyer. As it relates to a main area of expertise, Randy Evans defines discipline as "doing that which you don't want to do when you most don't want to do it."

To learn more about Randy Evans go to: www.mckennalong.com/people-774.html

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