Simmie Knox and Randy Holland: A relationship woven at a woolen mill in Milford, Delaware
In 1959, my dad was 12 year old. My grandfather was the cafeteria manager at a woolen mill in Milford, DE. A young man named Simmie Knox worked there and offered to paint portraits as a way to earn money and practice his art. My grandfather took him up on it, and for my entire childhood a portrait of my dad as a 12 year old, along with another of his brother, hung proudly on the walls of my grandparents’ house on NW 2nd street in Milford.
In high school, my dad and my uncle also worked at the same textile factory. It was tough work at a woolen mill in the summer. I grew up hearing stories of the dust from the wool swirling in the heat, allergies, humidity, and heavy machinery. The experience was so impactful, that Dad kept his commercial truck endorsement active on his driver’s license his entire life.
Simmie went on to the Tyler School of Art and began painting portraits professionally. Over the years, his portfolio placed him among the top of his craft. He’s painted Hank Aaron, Mohammad Ali, Oprah, the Clintons, Thurgood Marshall, David Dinkins… the list is incredible.
Almost 50 years after the first portrait of my dad, Mr. Knox painted a second portrait – this time for dad’s appointment to the Delaware Supreme Court.
In this portrait, dad asked to include his wedding ring, his Lincoln’s Inn tie, his book on the Delaware constitution, and a family photo. I wore the same tie when I have his eulogy.
As one of only a half-dozen black students at the school, Knox recalled feeling isolated in the dining hall, ignored by white students.
“Every now and then, some brave soul followed the courage of conviction,” he says.
While attending school and working at a textile factory in Milford, Del., he painted an 11-year-old Randy Holland at the request of Holland’s father, who worked with Knox at the factory. Nearly a half-century later, Holland returned the favor by asking Knox to paint his portrait when he was appointed to the Delaware Supreme Court.
USA Today: “Artist Simmie Knox captures spirit of trailblazers”
When Justice Ginsburg died, dad wrote an article for the Delaware State Bar Association which brought the three of them together:
I knew that Justice Ginsburg had her portrait painted by the renowned-Randy J. Holland
artist, Simmie Knox. I wrote to her that he was also going to paint my
portrait. I told her that he was a longtime family friend who had previously painted my portrait when I was a teenager and he was a college
student with no training. She was happy to hear my story about Simmie.
She wrote that she appreciated his talent in portraying her, after a recent
illness, “as I hoped I would be after my health and strength were restored.”
After my dad died, I found two letters from Justice Ginsburg to my dad about Mr. Knox’s work.
What an amazing shared connection. Two men from humble beginnings, who met at a woolen mill in Milford, followed their hearts, never quit, and fulfilled their dreams.Categories: Biography, Childhood, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Letters, Lincoln’s Inn, US Supreme CourtTags: Childhood, delaware, Family, Letters, Lincoln’s Inn, milford, painting, Portrait, randy, randy j. holland, ruth ginsburg, simmie, simmie knox
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.
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.
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.
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
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.Categories: Celebration of LifeTags: bust, delaware law, eulogy, gary baker, ginsburg, inn of court, skee ball, supreme cuisine
Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: William C. Koch, Jr. Remarks
Good afternoon. I’m Bill Koch from Tennessee, and I am here speaking on behalf of many of Randy’s colleagues in the American Inns of Court and on the state judiciaries all over this country that were affected by his wisdom and his friendship.
Randy Holland is my friend. I choose to use the present tense today because he is and will always be my friend.
I knew him as a catalyst, a collaborator, a constitutional scholar, a wise counselor, a cheerleader, and a droll comedian. Randy will continue to be present to each of us in our individual and shared memories of this kind and good and gentle man. As T.S. Eliot explained in Burnt Norton:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
My comments this afternoon will have a dual focus – first on Randy’s transformative leadership of the American Inns of Court where our paths first crossed and then on our friendship that grew out of that first meeting.
Randy joined the American Inns of Court movement in 1990 when he helped found the Terry-Carey American Inn of Court here in Delaware. In two short years, he became the first state supreme court justice to serve as a trustee of the organization.
Early on, his fellow trustees decided to test Randy’s mettle with a daunting assignment. Chief Justice Warren Burger, the moving force behind the American Inns of Court, decided that lawyers who advertised should be barred from membership in the organization. The trustees had little appetite for this idea and dispatched their most junior member – Randy – to inform the Chief Justice that they did not favor his suggestion. Like Daniel in the lion’s den, Randy was victorious and, in the process, strengthened Chief Justice Burger’s commitment to the American Inns of Court.
Randy became the fifth President of the American Inns of Court in 2000 and served until 2004. During his tenure, he visited local Inns in forty states. He encouraged the formation of new Inns, particularly ones affiliated with a law school. He also strengthened the Inns’ working relationships with other national legal organizations, including the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Randy convinced the Conference of Chief Justices to adopt a resolution urging all state supreme courts to promote the creation of American Inns of Court in their state. He also encouraged his friends on the federal and state benches to support and actively participate in a local Inn of Court. At the end of Randy’s term, the American Inns of Court was the fastest growing national legal organization in the United States.
Randy’s commitment to the Inns of Court in Delaware never wavered. He helped establish five of Delaware’s six active Inns and continued to provide support and encouragement whenever called upon. The capstone of his efforts was laid in 2013 when the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers Compensation American Inn of Court received its charter. It should come as no surprise that Delaware leads the country in the percentage of the members of the bench and bar who are also members of an American Inn of Court.
Randy’s work on behalf of the American Inns of Court had an international dimension as well. During his presidency, the American Inns of Court and the Irish Honorable Society of the King’s Inns signed a Declaration of Friendship. The organization also forged stronger ties with the four English Inns of Court, the British Bar Council, and Combar, the organization of the English and Welch Bar for commercial barristers.
This “good boy from Milford” (as Judge Latchum called him) did not undertake any of these tasks for fame, honors, or glory. Yet, others saw his good work and praised it. He is one of only two persons to receive both of the Inns’ most prestigious national awards – the A. Sherman Christensen Award for distinguished and exceptional leadership of the American Inns of Court movement and the Lewis F. Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics. Randy was also elected an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in London, a distinction rarely bestowed on Americans.
This same Randy Holland who took the American Inns of Court to new heights and who had the ear of leaders of the bench and bar both in the United States and England also made time for me. We first met in the fall of 1999 at the Celebration of Excellence in Washington. Randy was the organization’s newly elected president; I was the new kid on the block.
In short order, we became good friends, and our wives became like sisters. It was in this setting that I came to experience Randy’s warmth and whimsy. In addition to his judicial robe, I discovered that Randy once had a red plaid suit, as well as Snoopy and Easter Bunny costumes in his closet. He liked funny hats, particularly on other people. A denizen of the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, he was a Skee Ball wizard who sharpened his skill with his own Skee Ball machine in his basement.
I also learned that Randy enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays, particularly the lesser known holidays. April Fools Day was one of his favorites.
On occasion, he celebrated that day internationally. Not even chief justices could evade Randy on April Fools day.
Another favorite holiday was Flag Day. After deciding that Flag Day was best celebrated by shopping, Randy faithfully emailed my wife each and every year to remind her to go shopping. For example, in 2017 he wrote:
Only a few hours to shop on Flag Day. You should also know that today is President Trump’s birthday. So this could be a double shopping day in the future.
Best always, Randy.
With Randy’s encouragement, Ilona and Debby became shopping juggernauts. In this sense, Randy was a retail enabler – particularly when it came to jewelry or arts and crafts. While I am the richer for Randy’s friendship, I must say I am the poorer for some of his emails to Debby.
The Hollands and the Kochs also traveled together in the United States and England. Whether it was Las Vegas – yes Randy wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion – or Broadway, London, Chester, Nashville, or Rehoboth Beach, Debby and I treasure our adventures with Randy and Ilona.
Randy, Don Lemons, Mike McConnell, and I started a book club during the COVID pandemic. Our early choices were weighty, non-fiction tomes, but our tastes changed as the pandemic slouched along.
Randy’s last suggestion was Ryan Holiday’s, The Daily Stoic. On March 15th, the day that Randy died, the selected reading in The Daily Stoic was taken from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It contained a passage saying that “the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses.” I cannot help but think that this was Randy reminding us that each day is a gift and this is why it is called the “present.”
Ilona, Ethan, Jennifer, Rori, Chloe, and Jim you are most fortunate to have shared your lives with this wonderful, caring soul mate, father, grandfather, and brother. His love for each of you knows no boundaries.
Now he has joined the blessed company of saints. In your thoughts and conversations, recount the stories of his humility, his kindness, his legal brilliance, his acts of courage and conviction, and the influence he has had on you, his community, and the law. He will be there when you tell the stories. We too will tell our stories about him.
In a 2005 article, Randy wrote that “satisfaction is… the knowledge that others depended on your judgment, your loyalty, and your abilities, and that at the end of the day, that you had, in fact, helped.” Randy, we did and still do depend on your judgment, loyalty, and abilities. Your good works and good deeds have added to the sum of humanity. Well done, my friend, well done indeed.
This April 30, 2022.
With respect, William C. Koch, Jr.
William C. Koch Jr. (born September 12, 1947) is a former justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment to the court in 2007, he served 23 years on the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He retired from the court on July 15, 2014, and accepted the position of dean at Nashville School of Law.
Like Randy, Koch received his LL.M. in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law. Koch has taught Constitutional Law at the Nashville School of Law since 1997.
Koch served as the American Inns of Court president from 2018-2020. He is also the president of the Harry Phillips American Inns of Court.Categories: Celebration of LifeTags: american bar association, american board of trial advocates, american inns of court, april fools, british bar council, burnt norton, combar, conference of chief justices, don lemons, easter bunny, english inn, euology, flag day, inns of court, judge latchum, kings inn, marcus aurelius, mike mcconnell, milford, Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers Compensation American Inn of Court, skee ball, snoopy, stoicism, t.s. eliot, terry-carry inn of court, the daily stoic, warren burger
Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Jim Holland Remarks
Thank you all for coming today to help celebrate Randy’s life. Your presence honors him and his life’s work.
You have already heard today about Randy’s many accomplishments, along with his unwavering personal integrity, his passionate devotion to his family, and the quiet strength that came from his innate humility. In every aspect of his life, he demonstrated his profound faith in people’s goodness and his conviction that the legal system sustains the social fabric that unites and protects us all.
Randy’s achievements place him among the most accomplished members of his profession. Impressive as those achievements certainly are, however, for Randy they were never an end in themselves, but a means to achieving his deeply held, life-long values. I speak here today as his brother, one who knew him long before he became Justice Holland, and I hope to provide some insight into the origins of the person that he became – the seeds that came to fruition in everything that he did.
Randy and I lost our mother at an early age – Randy was 4 and I was 2. She was a nurse, who committed her too-short life to caring for others. Her loss affected both of us in indelible ways, and I see Randy’s devotion to family and relationships as a mission to honor our mother by supporting and serving others.
A few years later, our family moved to Milford, where we both grew up. It is particularly fitting that Randy was able to devote his life to service in the state that became our new home, and remained his home for the rest of his life. Delaware became part of him. Although I have lived across continents and oceans for most of my adult life, Randy was an anchor that brought me back as often as I could. Visiting Randy and Ilona, and revisiting familiar and meaningful places from our childhoods, renewed and sustained our connection. Randy and Ilona created a sense of home through their grace and generosity.
One of my vivid early memories comes from the first days of our time in Milford. We moved in the middle of my kindergarten year. As we were adjusting to our new circumstances, I learned that there was no public kindergarten, and that I would have to enter 1st grade without the benefit of the second half of my kindergarten year. Discovering that other children were attending private kindergarten, which I did not, I became frightened and anxious that I would fall behind the others. When I expressed this fear, magnified by my five-year-old perspective, Randy immediately reassured me with the words, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you know how to read.” So, from his lofty status as a 2nd grader, he took it upon himself to be my teacher and to allay my fears. Randy played no small part in my love of reading and literature, which became my life’s work. I learned not only to read, but I learned what it means to be loved and cared for – something that never changed over the course of our lives as brothers.
In much the same way, Randy paved my way through school during our time growing up in Milford. Trailing behind him by two years in a small school, I was often greeted with recognition, and “You must be Randy’s brother” by teachers and coaches. This familiarity always worked in my favor, given the impression that Randy left on everyone. It also set a standard to emulate, and I strove to meet the expectations that Randy had established. Rather than experiencing these expectations as a burden, I found them to be both comforting and inspiring, for which I remain immensely grateful. Once, though, after I arrived at the larger world of Swarthmore, also following in his footsteps, he met someone who had previously met me. We shared a laugh at the fact that, for the first time in his life, someone said to him, “You must be Jim’s brother.”
Education was a primary focus in our household. Not himself the beneficiary of a formal education, our father encouraged both of us to do well in school. For him, education was a path blocked by his early life circumstances, and he wanted to make sure we both benefited from the opportunities presented by education. His model of reading and self-education had a profound effect. It was a lesson that stuck, and while I am the one who pursued a career in education, I have always regarded Randy as a teacher at heart. Although practicing law required partisanship and advocacy, Randy was perhaps the least adversarial person I have ever known. I have no doubt that he was a great advocate for his clients, but I feel that serving as a supreme court justice allowed Randy to flourish by freeing him from a narrow goal of advocacy and shifting to the broader goal of justice and fairness for all. The people, especially those at risk, became his greatest client. As their advocate, he always sought to make sure that no one was at a disadvantage in the legal system, whether by age, financial situation, or other circumstances. In every situation, Randy always sought to listen, to understand, and to communicate, never to dominate. He built relationships of trust and respect, the essence of every good teacher. There is a saying in mountain climbing that the measure of a good leader is not how high you climb, but how many people you bring with you. That’s the kind of leader and teacher Randy was. Like me, others learned from Randy, whether in the courtroom, at the conference table, or in a law school classroom. And what they learned far transcended the details of any case or argument.
Randy admired Thomas More, a man of character and integrity. In the play A Man for All Seasons, More discusses his principled opposition to Henry VIII with his pragmatic friend, the Duke of Norfolk. When Norfolk questions the risk More takes by honoring his principles, More responds:
“What matters is that I believe it, or rather, no … not that I believe it, but that I believe it.”
For More, belief is not a less-than-certain claim to knowledge, easily compromised in the face of convenience. Instead, believing constitutes character. To sacrifice belief is to surrender the core of one’s being. Randy, too, believed that compromising a belief was a loss of self, something that he never would or could permit. There are many other wonderful moments in this play that illustrate the principles and beliefs that More and Randy shared, about integrity, about the law, about self-respect, and about humility, regardless of status or station. Both Randy and More were men for all seasons.
When Randy and Ilona built their current house in Rehoboth, to replace an old, familiar, but aging one, he asked me to suggest a name for it, something that would capture the meaning and significance of the place that meant so much to them. I knew that it was both a haven and a fulfillment of their dreams. The image that immediately came to mind was from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, where he speaks of “the still point of the turning world.” For me, this image captures a sense of refuge amid the chaos of everyday life, a place that nourishes the spirit. Yet it is not only the house that is a “still point.” Randy himself is a “still point of the turning world” – unchanged by circumstances and unchanging as a steady beacon of his good faith, kind heart, and generous spirit.
In preparing to speak today, I was reminded of our father’s funeral many years ago. At that service, I tried to convey the complexity of parent/child relationships by saying that I am who I am both because of and in spite of my father. He was a powerful influence for good, but also one from whom I, like most children, felt the need to separate, if I were to be my own person. My relationship with Randy, also immensely powerful, lacked any need for separation. He supported me in everything that I did, without hesitation or judgment. His support enabled me to become my own person. Without question, I owe the parts of myself that I value most to the lifelong support I received from Randy. I will miss him more than I can say.
I want to conclude with another key aspect of our shared childhood. Some of you may remember Boys Town, the orphanage founded by Father Flanagan early in the 20th century. In the annual appeals for support that arrived at our house, there was always a card. In the picture on the card, one boy is carrying another, smaller boy, on his back, and the caption read, “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother.”
These cards were always displayed prominently in the house, and our father, as well as Father Flanagan, reminded us frequently that helping is never a burden. It’s an acknowledgement of shared responsibility and shared humanity. It’s an image that I will never forget, and it’s an image that Randy lived as one of his core beliefs. It’s particularly poignant for me, as the younger brother, the one being carried. I was blessed by being Randy’s brother by birth. Throughout his life, however, Randy embodied the belief that every person, regardless of gender, was his brother.Categories: Celebration of Life, Family, Thomas MoreTags: boystown, brother, eulogy, james holland, randy, randy j. holland, thomasmore
Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life – Rori Holland
Ethan Introduction to Rori
The arrival of Rori, our first child, lit a spark in my dad’s soul. You can see it in every photo of the two of them… his eyes sparkling. From day one, Rori and my Dad made each other laugh with pure joy and an electric connection of mutual adoration.
Unbeknownst to me, for about a year Rori thought her grandfather was a judge… on American Idol… She might be the only person who was let down when she learned my dad’s true profession..
As she’s grown up. Rori has been blessed with my dad’s penchant for stoicism, and his even keel. I’ve never met a more Teflon teen. She never lashes out nor raises her voice. She is impossible to embarrass. She lets me hug her in public, and she says “I love you dad” in front of her friends.
Rori and my dad adored each other. I’d like to introduce you our 14 year old… my oak tree…and my buddy… Rori Holland
Rori Holland Remarks
The man you all know as Justice Randy Holland – to me – was just Grandy.
Everyone today has talked so highly of my grandfather. I know he would be so grateful to see how many people came who love and care about him.
After hearing such amazing things Grandy did professionally, I wanted to share a few of my favorite memories I have of him outside of the office.
For as long as I can remember, he never wanted anyone to be cold. He always jumped at the chance to buy anyone a jacket and offered socks anytime we stepped onto the cold tile covering the porch floor.
He also LOVED snoopy. The landings between each flight of stairs in Grandy and Anyuka’s house, without fail, always had Snoopys. The mantel even had rotating Snoopys for every occasion.
Everything Grandy did, he did to make other people happy, he went to great lengths to put smiles on other people’s faces.
The first memory I wanted to share and probably one of my favorite memories with Grandy was on my Anyuka’s, that’s what we call my grandmother, on her birthday a few years ago. Went down to the basement to decorate her annual ice cream cake. When we got to the basement me and Chloe watched with wide eyes as Grandy pulled out the ice cream cake that he had lovingly stored in the fridge, not the freezer. As we wrote on the cake with icing tubes, our red letters started to slide off the cake onto the table. We continued to carry the melting cake up the steps, leaving drips behind. He never once mentioned anything about the melted cake, until we got all the way up the stairs. He just wanted Anyuka to have a good birthday. Even though in the process, we lost a cake and a pair of slippers, we laughed so much and even tried to eat the cake off the table.
The second memory I wanted to share was when we were in Hawaii. We were swimming at the beach when Grandy said “I think I lost some cash…” this simple phrase turned into everyone in the water around us searching for bills. People cried out from all around us, “I found a twenty!” “I found a ten!” Anytime we were with my Grandy, there was never a dull moment, you could always count on him turning even the simplest outing into an adventure full of laughs.
Lastly, I wanted to share our conjoined love of music. My whole family has always been connected by our love for music. I will forever cherish the days in the car when we would sing songs together. every time we went to New York, without fail we would sing New York New York the whole way. Our whole family went to a Taylor Swift concert and her song ‘Welcome to New York’ was without doubt one of our favorites.
Grandy always made me feel like he was without question, on my side… Even when he disagreed with me. The world could learn a lot from him, and from what I heard today, it sounds like many of you already have.Categories: Celebration of Life, Family, Rori Holland
Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life – Chloe Holland
I’d like you to meet my dad’s 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe.
She was truly one of his best friends. They were more than two peas in a pod. They were soul mates.
Intensive care units have age restrictions, and for three weeks, little buddy could not visit my dad.
There came a bittersweet moment, when the rules suddenly lifted away…
On the last day of my dad’s life, Chloe got her chance to visit
She went to the window of his hospital room and wrote a message using the dry erase marker. She would look at her note, study it, rewrite it.
That afternoon she quietly walked to her grandfather’s bedside She held his hand and with tears streaming down her face yet with a steady strong voice…she leaned in and recited her note from memory.
“You will always be in my heart. I love you more than words can say. I will think of you every day. I am so proud to be your granddaughter. You will always be my Grandy. I am so happy I could be a part of your life.”
My dad died that evening.
Three days later we were on our way to York, Pennsylvania for a dance competition.
Chloe’s solo, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler was one my dad’s favorite songs. Chloe dedicated her performance to him, and she swept the awards that weekend.
We were going to have a singer perform the song live during this part of the ceremony, but we decided to use these next two minutes to reflect quietly on the beauty of a child’s love, to honor the bond that Chloe had with my dad, and to remember the ways that my dad was the wind beneath all our wings.Categories: Celebration of Life, Chloe Holland, FamilyTags: chloe, dance, euology, photos, wind beneath my wings
Trees Donation from the Miller family
Thank you to the Miller family for planting trees in Randy Holland’s memory.
Randy J. Holland: A Celebration of Life
Saturday April 30, 2022 2:00 PM
Delaware State University Education and Humanities Theater
Justice Holland’s motto was “Your life is your message.” His message was a love of his family, warmth and kindness toward others, and a life spent in service. Please join us in celebrating his message that reached all of us.
Below are links to each speaker/performance from the celebration of life service. Each has a video and an annotated transcript with photos and links, when possible:
- Piano selections played by Nancy N. Holland
- The Reverend Earle N. Baker
- Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr.
- Governor John C. Carney, Jr.
- Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, First President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court
- Justice Holland’s Law Clerks:
- William C. Koch, Jr.
- E. Norman Veasey
- Justice Holland’s Law Clerks
- Kris Pritchett
- Justice Holland’s Law Clerks
- Gayle P. Lafferty
- H. Garrett Baker
- Rina Marks
- Professor Chen-En Ko
- Justice Holland’s Law Clerks
- William B. Chandler, III
- Justice Holland’s Law Clerks
- “Here I Am, Lord” sung by Jenness E. Parker with piano accompaniment by Nancy N. Holland
- James C. Holland
- Chloe Holland
- Rori Holland
- Ethan B. Holland
- Ilona E. Holland
- “Sweet Caroline” sung by Doug James
To read more about Justice Holland’s life, please visit Justice Randy J. Holland’s obituary.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Randy J. Holland Memorial Fund for History and Civics Education
Forward to the collection of Justice Randy J. Holland’s speeches in Taiwan
Foreword by the President of Judicial Yuan, Prof. Hsu Tzong-Li
As a maritime country, active domestic and overseas trade has always been a source of Taiwan’s vitality. A legal system that can draw basic game rules for business conduct and a judicial system that can implement the rule of law and effectively resolve private disputes are key conditions for economic and trade activities to flourish. Therefore, whether the judiciary can effectively respond to the needs of commercial activities can be said to have a bearing on the fitness and competitiveness of Taiwan’s economic and trade environment. Considering that commercial disputes are often highly complex and technical, and paying attention to the efficiency and predictability of dispute resolution, in the Meeting of Judicial Reform held in 2017, there were strong voice which believes that we should take advantage to assign commercial dispute to a court of special responsibility, and therefore Judicial Yuan since then has been required to promote the establishment of commercial court.
In fact, long before the Meeting of Judicial Reform in 2017, Judicial Yuan realized the needs of a professional commercial court. In 2015, a working team “Commercial Court Promotion Group” was set up to carry out the planning of various institutional designs. Members and staff in this team not only visited the United States, Japan, the Netherlands and Denmark, but also formed a sketch of adopting the legal systems of different countries and compared their advantages and disadvantages. This team also steadily consulted the academic and practical/business circles to establish policy guidelines in terms of several policy issues, including whether the Commercial Court should be classified as a high court level jurisdiction, should it deal with major civil business events only, and whether it will merge with the intellectual property courts, etc. Based on this, Judicial Yuan initiated a specific draft study in February 2018. After several meetings, discussions with further institutional planning and opinions were collected. In this year (June 2019), the drafts of “Commercial Court Procedure Rule” and “Intellectual Property and Commercial Court Organization Law” were passed by Judicial Yuan, and currently are in the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.
In the process of referring to and comparing the legal systems of various countries, the institutional experience of the Delaware State Court has undoubtedly had the most far-reaching impact on the appearance of the current draft of the “”Commercial Court Procedure Rule”, while the Delaware Supreme Court Retired Justice Randy J. Holland is a key figure who provides important guidance. Justice Holland has long studied corporate law and corporate governance. Likewise, Delaware has a reputation as “the corporate capital of the world”. It has a well-established legal system and its corporation law is widely regarded as a great reference for many countries. As early as 1986, Justice Holland was the youngest judge in the history of the Supreme Court of the state, and served for more than 30 years and enjoyed the longest term among all colleagues. In the past ten years, Justice Holland has always maintained communication with the judicial system of this country, so that we can use his profound business law and practical experience to understand the operation of Delaware’s commercial justice system. As of the commercial law issues and the various problems encountered, Justice Holland has provided valuable advice, both on academic and practical grounds constantly.
In terms of interactions over the past few years, after the establishment of the Commercial Court Promotion Group in 2015, Judicial Yuan sent personnel to Delaware to study the state’s oldest commercial court, the Chancery Court, and the commercial proceedings of the Superior Court. In the process, Justice Holland has always accompanied our delegation. Last year, Justice Holland also took the opportunity to come to Taiwan to deliver a keynote speech and visited Judicial Yuan to exchange views with me and the colleagues responsible for drafting business court legislation. This year, Justice Holland also accompanied Judicial Yuan’s delegation to the Superior Court of Delaware, so that we can better grasp the operation of Delaware’s commercial courts, which brought immediate results to the drafting process. As result, the current draft of the “Commercial Court Procedure Rule” incorporates many of the institutional characteristics of Delaware‘s commercial court, such as pre-trial mediation, e-filing system, expert witnesses and lawyer mandatory representation. In the words of the draft articles, it seems as if you can see the warm and wise figure of this old Taiwanese friend.
It can be expected that there will be many institutional and operational challenges in the future waiting for the commercial court mechanism. For example, disputes concerning the scope of jurisdiction and the implementation of expert witness systems in the draft are still subject to debate in Congress. Even if the legislation is passed, it is necessary to gradually put the professional manpower and software and hardware requirements to implement the commercial court system in a dynamic and volatile economic and trade environment, so that commercial courts can truly have the high professionalism and efficiency to adjudicate complex business cases. Fortunately, Justice Holland’s speech on the subject of commercial law in Taiwan for nearly a decade has now been assembled. In the content of this book, Justice Holland’s analysis of the key issues of the company law system not only helps the country to grasp the latest developments in this field from a broader and more in-depth perspective, but it is also the first-hand knowledge in the operation of the Delaware business law. These are the earnest advice to Taiwan from the wisdom of diagnosing of Taiwan’s legal system by Justice Holland.
For these reasons, I solemnly recommend it to all who care about Taiwan’s commercial law. Especially for those who care about commercial court issues, you can read these lectures carefully. I believe that by standing on the shoulder of this intellectual giant, we must be able to observe and have a deeper inspiration when thinking about the institutional prospects of Taiwan’s commercial law.
Randy J. Holland
January 27, 1947 – March 15, 2022
Randy J. Holland grew up in Milford, Delaware. He graduated from Milford High School, where he was the captain of the football and baseball teams and president of the honor society. While in Milford, he met his high school sweetheart, wife, and love of his life, Ilona Holland. June 24, 2022 would have marked their 50th wedding anniversary.
Randy’s top priority was creating a loving home full of joy. He was devoted to his family without fail. He loved nothing more than his wife Ilona, his son Ethan, his daughter-in-law Jennifer, and his granddaughters Aurora (Rori) and Chloe. He cherished his brother, James C. Holland, sister-in-law Nancy, niece Lily and nephews Stephen Holland and Walker Szucs. He was a beloved father figure to his brother-in-law, David Szucs. His love of his family was reflected in everything he did.
Out of humble beginnings, Randy decided at an early age to always do the right thing, never to cut corners, and to have faith in others. He treated everyone equally, patiently, and with respect. Throughout his life, Randy used the power he had on behalf of those who were powerless.
Randy received an academic scholarship to Swarthmore College, where he majored in economics and excelled in sports. He received a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he graduated cum laude and was awarded the Henry C. Loughlin prize for legal ethics. Randy earned a Master of Laws degree in the judicial process from the University of Virginia. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the Delaware Law School of Widener University and Swarthmore College.
Randy was admitted to the Delaware bar on December 12, 1972. He practiced law in Georgetown, Delaware in Sussex County. For six years, he was a named partner in his own law firm. In 1981, he became a partner in Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, where his practice was divided between litigation and transactions.
While in private practice, Randy was involved in many professional and community activities. He served on the Board of Bar Examiners, the Delaware Bar Foundation, and was Chair of the Judicial Nominating Commission. He served as a Trustee of the Methodist Peninsula Conference, and was President of the Administrative Board and Lay Leader of Avenue United Methodist Church. He was a founding director of both the Milford Senior Center and the Sussex County Arts Council.
Randy was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Michael N. Castle. When he took his oath of office on December 12, 1986, at age 39, he became the youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court. He was reappointed to a second twelve-year term by Governor Thomas R. Carper and unanimously confirmed. In 2009, he became the longest serving justice in the history of Delaware. He was appointed to an unprecedented third term by Governor Jack A. Markell.
Throughout his thirty-year tenure on the bench, Justice Holland authored more than 700 reported opinions and several thousand case dispositive orders. Several of his opinions were cited with approval by the United States Supreme Court, and many of his opinions reside in law school casebooks.
Justice Holland was widely recognized as a state constitutional law expert. He published two books on the Delaware Constitution: he co-edited Delaware Constitution of 1897, The First One Hundred Years and authored The Delaware Constitution: A Reference Guide. In 2009, he co-authored a law school casebook from the perspective of all fifty states entitled State Constitutional Law, The Modern Experience. The third edition was published in 2019. With Justice Holland’s encouragement, the Conference of Chief Justices passed a unanimous resolution recommending that all law schools offer courses on state constitutions.
Justice Holland was the first state supreme court justice to serve as a Trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation, an organization founded by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger to promote ethics, civility, professionalism, and legal ethics. Justice Holland went on to serve as the American Inns of Court national Vice President and then President (2000-2004). In recognition of this service, he received the A. Sherman Christensen Award at a ceremony in the United States Supreme Court. During the presentation, it was said that “Justice Holland is largely responsible for the current health and structure of the American Inns of Court. He raised the international stature of the Inns through his tireless efforts to build lasting relationships with the English and Irish Inns of Court.” The Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court is named in his honor.
Justice Holland was a longtime leader in matters involving legal ethics and professionalism. For many years, he was a member and then chair of the American Judicature Society’s National Center for Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. He also chaired the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Joint Committee on Lawyer Regulation. He served on the ABA Standing Committee for Lawyer Competence and Client Protection, as well as the ABA Judicial Division Committee on Ethics and Professionalism. For more than two decades, he chaired the Delaware Judges’ Code of Conduct Revision Committee and was instrumental in establishing the Delaware Judges’ Ethics Advisory Committee. Justice Holland chaired a program on professionalism at the Qatar International Rule of Law Forum. With Justice Holland’s encouragement, Taiwan adopted the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. He received the American Inns of Court’s Lewis Powell Jr. National Award for Professionalism. He also received the AJS national Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts both appointed Justice Holland as the only state judge member of the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.
Justice Holland was one of only three Americans named as an honorary Master of the Bench of Lincoln’s Inn in London. Upon a member’s death, the Inn rings the chapel bell – the same bell from the John Donne poem, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. On Monday, March 21, 2022 at 12:30 PM the bell was rung for Justice Holland.
Justice Holland was active internationally. He was the only state judge on a nine-person Anglo-American Exchange that included United States Supreme Court Justices Breyer and Scalia. For over a decade, he worked with the Chief Justice of Taiwan in training its judiciary about handling complex corporate and commercial litigation. For more than twelve years, he gave the keynote address to the Taiwan Corporate Governance Association (TCGA). He was elected as the first Distinguished Fellow of the TCGA Directors’ Academy. Justice Holland edited a Chinese-language casebook on Delaware Corporation Law published only in Taiwan. In 2019, a book of his speeches in Taiwan on corporate law was published in Chinese.
Justice Holland spoke about corporate matters around the world in Canada, China, Qatar, Spain, Australia, England, Austria, South Africa, India, Italy, Israel, France, Japan, Colombia, Curacao and Brazil. He was an honorary member of COMBAR, the commercial bar association in England. He gave the prestigious COMBAR lecture in London, which presented a comparative analysis of the attorney-client privilege. Justice Holland presented a keynote address during an international gathering of judges and lawyers in London on Terrorism and the Rule of Law. Following his retirement, he was designated as the initial United States member of the Arbitration Panel established by the new Astana International Finance Centre in Kazakhstan.
Justice Holland was very involved in the adjudication and administration of matters affecting children. For more than twenty-five years, he acted as the liaison to the Delaware Court Improvement Project, a federally funded program for neglected children placed in foster care. The project developed best practices for achieving permanency by either reuniting children with their parents or placing them in an adoptive home. Justice Holland co-chaired the National Judicial Advisory Committee to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. He was the author of the opinion in Dalton v. Clanton, which became the seminal decision on the Delaware child support formula that was recommended as a national model. Thereafter, Justice Holland taught other state supreme court justices about child support issues at the National Judicial College. In 1992, Justice Holland was named Judge of the Year by the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
Justice Holland was committed to equal access to the judicial system. He co-chaired the Delaware Supreme Court Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and was appointed to the ABA Presidential Commission on Fair and Impartial State Courts. As a member of the Delaware Bar Foundation, Justice Holland was a leader in seeking to provide adequate funding for indigent litigants. He was an elected trustee of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, Inc.
Justice Holland endeavored to promote public confidence in the administration of justice. Under his leadership, the iCivics program in Delaware made great strides. iCivics is a national web-based education project designed to teach students civics which was initiated by former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to ensure that students receive the information and tools they need for effective civic participation, and that civics teachers are provided better materials and support. For many years, Justice Holland was involved with Law Day in Delaware, a program that arranges for judges and lawyers to speak in Delaware schools.
Justice Holland was an adjunct professor at several law schools: the Delaware Law School of Widener University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington in St. Louis, and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to state constitutional law, he taught courses on corporate governance and appellate practice. He co-authored a law school casebook: Appellate Practice and Procedure. Justice Holland was honored as a distinguished adjunct professor of law by the Delaware Law School of Widener University. The University of Iowa College of Law’s annual award for the best corporate law paper is named for Justice Holland.
Justice Holland had a keen interest in legal history. He was the editor of Delaware Supreme Court History, co-editor of the Delaware Supreme Court Golden Anniversary and honorary chair of the book entitled The Delaware Bar in the Twentieth Century. Justice Holland co-authored Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution, published as part of the 400-year commemoration of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. The foreword was written by the Chief Justice of the United States and the Chief Justice of England. Justice Holland also wrote Delaware’s Destiny Determined by Lewes, which recounts how Lewes became the ‘First Town in the First State’. Justice Holland edited Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor, which was published by the Library of Congress and Thomson-Reuters for the eight-hundred year anniversary of that historic document. The foreword was written by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who inscribed Justice Holland’s copy with “friendship, admiration, and respect.”
After 30 years on the bench, Justice Holland retired in 2017 as the longest serving Delaware Supreme Court Justice.
Upon his retirement, the Delaware Supreme Court created the Randy J. Holland Family Law Endowment Fund “to honor Justice Holland’s legacy and to give meaning to his deeply held belief that access to justice must not be dependent on ability to pay.” The fund established a fellowship that will place, in perpetuity, an attorney at one of Delaware’s three civil legal aid clinics for two years at a time. It was completely endowed within a few months by generous donations in Justice Holland’s honor of more than $2.3 million.
All nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court signed a copy of Justice Holland’s Middle Temple Lawyers book, which was presented to him as a retirement gift. The Delaware Workers’ Inn of Court presented him with a marble bust of his likeness, which is on loan to the Delaware Law School of Widener University. Thomson-Reuters presented Justice Holland with nine bound volumes containing his 700 reported opinions. Governor Carney awarded him the “Order of The First State,” which is the State of Delaware’s highest honor conferred for meritorious service. Justice Holland was presented with separate tributes signed by all members of the Delaware Senate and House of Representatives. In addition, Delaware’s United States Senators and Representatives united in a joint tribute placed in the Congressional Record.
In May 2017, Justice Holland joined the Wilmington, Delaware office of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati as Senior Of Counsel. The Delaware Law School of Widener University appointed him its Distinguished Jurist in Residence. Justice Holland was elected a Door Tenant by 3 Hare Court, a Barristers’ Chambers in London – the first retired American jurist to receive that honor from any Barristers’ Chambers.
In 2020, Justice Holland was co-counsel for Delaware Governor John C. Carney, Jr. in a successful case recognizing merit-based selection of Delaware state court judges, heard before the United States Supreme Court and decided unanimously.
Justice Holland’s motto was “Your life is your message.” His message was a love of his family, warmth and kindness toward others, and a life spent in service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Randy J. Holland Memorial Fund for History and Civics Education.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday April 30, 2022 at 2:00 PM at the Delaware State University Education and Humanities Theater – more information and maps are here.Categories: Biography