Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Gary Baker Remarks

To the Holland family from the Holland Inn family, we send you our love, our care, and we undergird you with our prayers and our thoughts. So many times you have reached out to us, and now we in turn reach out to you in this time of loss.

As has been recounted by so many, one of Justice Holland’s greatest passions was the American Inns of Court. This was such a natural fit for him since he not only espoused but also exemplified the objectives of the Inns of Court, which include the promotion of professionalism, civility and legal excellence.

Nine years ago during a chance meeting, Justice Holland mentioned to me that he thought that an Inn of Court could be of benefit to our practice area of workers’ compensation. It proved to be one of the most consequential meetings of my professional life.

I had no idea at the time what an Inn of Court was or what it did. But I knew that if he was recommending it, it had to be something worth checking into. In forming our then-nascent organization, it was a strong priority for us that it be named for someone who best personified each of the Inn’s virtues. 

We knew there could be no more obvious or honorable choice than Justice Holland and in November of 2013, we proudly were chartered as the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court.

On November 13, 2013 the Delaware Bar launched the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court as the state’s seventh chapter. 

Ilona would often tell me “It means so much to Randy that you all named the Inn for him”. But in point of fact we were the truest beneficiaries, as he left an indelible imprint on each one of us who knew him and shared with him in that venture. His example and presence challenged us, inspired us and pushed us forward. Our Inn felt like much more than just a legal enterprise; there was a true kinship of partnership and purpose.

In 2019, past and present members of the Executive Committee, their families, and Ilona and Justice Holland met in Rehoboth Beach for the second annual Funland excursion.

From that time forward, Justice Holland was our backbone, our inspiration and our mentor, tirelessly giving in his trademark fashion. There was an occasion when he had just returned from a trip to Taiwan. After the long flight, rather than simply returning home, he instead traveled directly from the airport to attend one of our meetings. And even as recently as a month before his unexpected passing, he was a participant in our orientation welcoming new members. We will deeply miss his company and his counsel. But the impact of his contributions remain, as they are limitless and timeless.

Gary Baker presents Justice Holland with a book containing all the congratulations letters received in conjunction with the Holland Inn’s inauguration. Letters were received from Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, Stevens, O’Connor, Souter, V.P. Biden, the Delaware Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for Delaware, each of the then-Justices of the Delaware Supreme Court – CJ Steele, JJ Berger, Ridgely and Jacobs and the Superior and Chancery Courts.

If there was any one attribute that most succinctly detailed the qualities of Randy Holland it would be that he cared. He cared about the Delaware legal community, about the community at large, about the Inns of Court, and most especially about his family. And he put that caring into practice.

The words of the prophet Micah perfectly sum up the life and legacy of this great man: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Randy Holland left deep and lasting footprints in every way that one could and did so while walking comfortably in humble shoes. And oh how we loved him for it.

April 30, 2022

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a copy of “Supreme Cuisine: A Collection of Our Most Appealing Recipes”. The Randy J. Holland Inn of Court completed this community cookbook for its 2016/2017 public service project The Inn sold over 500 cookbooks in 2 weeks and donated funds to create a Delaware chapter of Kids Chance America, a national program for the benefit of children of workers catastrophically injured or killed as a result of workplace accidents.

H. Garrett Baker is a Founder of the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court. He served as the Inn’s Vice-President from 2013-16 and President from 2017-18. Currently, he is the Inn’s Judicial Liaison.

He is also a director in the Workers’ Compensation Department of Elzufon, Austin & Mondell. Gary was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1990, followed by the Delaware bar in 1992. His next bar admissions were to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit in 1993 and in 1994 to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gary graduated from Evangel College (B.S., summa cum laude, 1986), Southern Illinois University (J.D., cum laude, 1990) and the University of Delaware (M.A. 1998).

He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi fraternity. Gary also served as Judicial Intern for the Honorable Carol Los Mansmann, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in 1989, and the Honorable Joseph T. Walsh, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Delaware in 1992.

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