• Paula Ryan Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    Memories of Justice Holland and wonderful and numerous because he’s been such an important part of my life for nearly 30 years. But at the same time, it feels like I don’t have enough memories, far too few, to demonstrate his significance to me and to so many others. He’s been a part of every personal and professional milestone, achievement and moment in my life and career since I met him.

    And yet it is our relatively insignificant interactions that I will miss most. Our many meals and lunches together. Him driving to pick me up, to take me to work when there was a foot of snow on the ground. when I was his law clerk. My complete inability to say no to him whenever he asked me to do anything like join a committee or a board or some other organization. Our dramatic productions for the Inns of Court, which were all him, as I’m sure you can guess.

    Sending him an email to tell him he left something on the roof of his car, which I could see from the third floor window of Family Court. Justice Holland had a way of making you feel valued like you had something worth contributing. Even though he was a brilliant and accomplished jurist, teacher and writer, renowned and respected nationally and internationally.

    He was always humble, unassuming and down to earth, and he always had time to talk, if you needed his advice, which I needed a lot. I would not be where I am today without his influence., gentle guidance, humor and encouragement. Quite simply, he’s the best person I’ve ever known. Over the years, he was my boss, my mentor, the standard by which I measured most of my personal and professional decisions and choices.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

  • Jackie Mette Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    My name is Jackie Paradee Metta. I was honored to be the fifth Judicial law clerk to Justice Randy J. Holland from 1990 to ’91. During that year, Justice Holland wrote the Claudio and Maymi opinion on behalf of an en banc court explaining the significance of Delaware’s constitutional provision on jury trials as distinguished from its federal counterpart, that trial by jury shall be as heretofore.

    Justice Holland demonstrated a commitment to excellence in the scholarly opinion that would be a hallmark of his opinions to come and the many books that he wrote on constitutional history. He taught the importance of diligence, thoroughness and thoughtful analysis. He exemplified, but never preached a strong work ethic and mutual regard for people. I will miss his friendship and his mentorship. Thank you.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

  • Andrea Sharp Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    My name is Andrea Sharp. I was Justice Holland’s law clerk from August 1988 to ’89. My life was impacted by Justice Holland in many ways, but primarily through his kindness.

    Before remote work was a concept, or Zoom was an option, he allowed me to work remotely, since I lived upstate. He was very willing and patient to deal with the inconveniences of that arrangement. And but for his kindness, I would not have been able to work for him or have that invaluable year of work experience.

    I have one special memory that I can share. The Hollands were friends with a very elderly couple, The Carpenters, and Mrs. Carpenter wanted to come to Wilmington for the day, so Justice Holland offered to drive her up on the day that he worked out of the Wilmington offices and made sure that she had everything she needed for her day in the city.

    Justice Holland was a busy man, but he was never too busy to be kind. First Corinthians 13:1 says, “Love is patient and kind” and Justice Holland embodied that scripture well. Dr. Holland and Ethan, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

  • Linda Martin Gilchrist Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    Hi, I’m Linda Martin Gilchrist. And it was my honor to serve as Justice Holland’s law clerk during the 1999 to 2000 term.

    I will always remember Justice Holland for his thoughtfulness in helping me, the California native, in feeling comfortable and welcome in Delaware from taking the time to introduce me to several members of the bench and bar to inviting me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his wonderful family. I will always be grateful to him for being such an amazing mentor and friend.

    He was truly an extraordinary person, brilliant, kind and caring, and he will truly be missed.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

  • Jennifer Harding Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    Hi, I’m Jennifer Harding. Justice Holland’s law clerk from 1998 to 1999. I’m sure I echo the comments of my fellow law clerks in the ability to adequately express the profound impact Justice Holland had on my life.

    As the daughter of a schoolteacher and an army colonel crushed with student loan debt, scared and wholly unprepared for a law career on any level, Justice Holland didn’t just teach me about the law and lawyering.

    He showed me through his own humble background and lessons and work ethic, compassion, professionalism, among many other things.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

  • Michael McGinniss Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    Hi, I’m Michael McGinniss, and I clerked from 1993 to 1994.

    I have had the privilege of knowing Justice Holland since I was a very young boy growing up in Milford, and he was my first and greatest role model for what it means to be a lawyer. He positively and irreplaceably impacted my path throughout life by his gracious mentorship, his example of unfailing kindness and integrity, and his generous support and encouragement at each stage of my legal career.

    He provided me with the opportunity to serve the public in my role as a lawyer disciplinary counsel for the court for 12 years, before I began my journey in North Dakota 12 years ago as a law professor teaching ethics and professional responsibility and mentoring our future lawyers and judges. I have now served for several years as the Dean of the School of Law.

    I will forever cherish the beautiful letter from Justice Holland to the law school that he wrote to be read at the ceremony. None of these opportunities to serve and lead in the legal profession would have been possible without Justice Holland and what he did and meant to me. He inspired me throughout my life, and I’ve always wanted to make him proud of me, and I always will.

    From my full, sorrowful and ever grateful heart. Thank you, Justice Holland and requiem en pace.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

    Michael S. McGinniss is Professor of Law and J. Philip Johnson Faculty Fellow at the University of North Dakota School of Law, where he joined the faculty in 2010 and served as the Dean from 2019 to 2022.

  • Brittany Guisini Remarks: Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life

    My name is Brittany Guisini. My life has been impacted by Justice Holland in so many ways. He showed me the meaning of integrity and the importance of being humble. It always amazed me that no matter how busy he was, he always made time for his family. I will never forget him, and will carry his lessons with me forever.

    Note: The law clerk remarks were limited in time due to the number of clerks.

    Brittany M. Giusini-Tsoflias is an associate in Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department and represents clients in corporate and commercial litigation. She litigates a variety of matters, including those concerning fiduciary duties, mergers and acquisitions, corporate control disputes, and breach-of-contract claims. She clerked for Justice Holland from2013-2015.

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Governor John C. Carney, Jr. Remarks

    Good afternoon, Ilona to you and the family, Reverend Baker, all distinguished members of our judiciary, friends of Randy Holland.

    I’m certainly honored to be here today to pay tribute on behalf of the people of our great state to one of the state’s finest jurists and greatest thinkers. I must say, in light of that, I feel a little intimidated, as I mentioned to you on the phone Ilona, to speak in front of such distinguished lawyers and jurists, but I’ll do my best on behalf of the folks in our state.

    We all know of Justice Holland’s role as premier legal historian. He was a dedicated chronicler of the founding documents and those who built the original architecture of our state. We also know that he loved to share his knowledge with others. Put together, everyone in this room could probably form the Justice Holland Law Library, with all the copies of his books he sent to us over the years.

    Shortly after I was sworn in as lieutenant governor over 20 years ago now, my first time as an elected official, Justice Holland sent me a copy of the reference guide he wrote to the Delaware State Constitution. The book had recently been published, but somehow I thought it was Randy’s way of telling me that if I had taken this oath to uphold the state constitution, I better know and understand what it says.

    As lieutenant governor, I never really had a reason to consult the book. But now, as governor, it sits on the side of my desk. I think Randy would be happy to know that his book has more than just academic value. It’s actually been useful for this governor.

    Randy was one of the smartest people I think I’ve ever met. Though Ilona tells me that Randy would say, humble always, that he’s not even the smartest person in his family. That his brother is way smarter.

    Recently, I saw Randy speak at the 50th anniversary of the Family Court. Many of you were there. I always found it fascinating to watch him speak. It felt like you could actually hear his mind thinking as he spoke. Each word is carefully chosen to deliver the message with the precision of an expert jurist.

    Randy and I shared an interest in Delaware history, and especially in John Dickinson and his role as a Founding Father. And a few years ago, we took a field trip together to the Dickinson Plantation. It was great. It was a fascinating visit as Randy shared with us his knowledge of the colonial period.

    I feel lucky to have spent that time with him, and I will miss those opportunities in the future. I know many of us today are feeling as I do, like we didn’t have enough time with Randy. It certainly feels like he had so much left to teach us all.

    None could be feeling that more deeply than Randy’s wife and high school sweetheart, Ilona and his son Ethan, and the rest of the family. Ilona what a special, beautiful thing to have shared a half century of love and joy with the kind of soul as Randy. The hearts of so many Delawareans are with you and the family.

    Two years ago, Justice Holland represented our state before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was, of course, defending Delaware’s constitution, the provisions that ensure we have a politically balanced judiciary. And I know from speaking to Ilona that Randy considered this a highlight of his career, a career with a long list of highlights. For me, having Randy Justice Holland in our corner was an honor. It also meant we won a unanimous decision.

    In losing Randy we have lost both a gem and a giant. In a bench and bar full of talented writers and thinkers. Justice Randy Holland was in a class of his own. He combined a remarkable intellect with a nobility of spirit that made him the leading light of Delaware’s renowned legal community. He was the jewel in the crown of our judiciary.

    And while there is no replacing Randy’s gentle smile or generous warmth, we’re blessed that so much of his wisdom is committed to writing and is now part of our state’s rich history he so diligently studied.

    When Justice Holland retired, I presented him with Delaware’s highest honor. The Order of the First State. The order was presented to, and I quote, “bear witness to Justice Holland’s outstanding efforts, knowledge, integrity, prudence, and ability, as displayed by the evidence of his accomplishments and for his consistent dedication to serving his community and his state.” Close quote.

    As President Biden would say on an occasion like this, “There will come a day when the thought of Randy will bring a smile to our face rather than a tear to our eyes.” I know I will take comfort and joy in being reminded of Randy and his legacy each time I open one of his books, and I will smile with a renewed commitment to our state and a gratitude for the incredible contributions made to her by Justice Randy Holland.

    May God bless Ilona and the Holland family. May Randy rest in peace.

    Governor John Carney took office as Delaware’s 74th Governor in January 2017 and began his second term Governor on January 19, 2021. Prior to becoming governor, Carney served three terms as Delaware’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Carney also served two terms as Delaware’s Lieutenant Governor. Under Governor Tom Carper, Carney served as Delaware’s Secretary of Finance and Deputy Chief of Staff. Before that, he was Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County, and on the staff of then-Senator Joe Biden. He attended St. Mark’s High School and led the school’s football team to its first state championship in 1973. After graduating high school, Governor Carney attended Dartmouth College, where he continued his football career and earned All-Ivy League and Most Valuable Player honors. When John returned to Delaware, he coached Freshmen Football on the staff of UD Head Coach Tubby Raymond while earning a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Delaware.

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Reverend Earle N. Baker Remarks

    Good afternoon, Salaam and peace be with all of you. I know you’re going to hear these next few words often. Thank you. Thank you for coming today. To honor Justice Randy J. Holland and to show solidarity and support to his dear family. I am honored to be here because I had the good fortune of being his pastor in Milford and in Lewes. Would you pray with me?

    Almighty God, Lord of Creation, look upon your people gathered here with love and kindness. Meet us in our places of need, sorrow and brokenness. Give comfort to the sorrowful, strength to the weary, and hope to the disconsolate. We thank you for your servant, Justice Randy J. Holland, and cherish every fond memory we have of him.

    Lord, keep them vivid in our hearts and minds and inspire us by the example of Randy’s well-lived life as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, colleague, professor and associate justice. In the warmth of your holy presence, comfort all who grieve this day, especially his dear wife and family.

    We thank you, Lord, for Randy’s remarkable life of service and for the quality of his character, the depth of his intellect and his laudable service to the people of Delaware and all humankind. May we, who celebrate his exemplary legacy, recommit ourselves to all things noble, true and just that we might usher in a more just world, and grant most gracious Lord that we may hear the call that Randy heard.

    “He has shown you O mortal what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?” May we respond as Randy did, with purpose and action, to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. These things we pray with thankful hearts in your holy name. Amen.

    Rev. Earle Baker was a pastor on Delmarva for 40 years. Prior to retiring, he served at  Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes, DE.
    Learn more: https://www.capegazette.com/article/rev-earle-baker-set-retire-after-40-years-delmarva/200369

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, First President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court Remarks

    Good afternoon. I’m speaking to you from the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four English Inns of Court.

    Jen, Ethan, Randy, and Ilona Holland in the great hall of Lincoln’s Inn

    Lincoln’s Inn was Randy’s Inn. He had the great distinction of having been elected as an honorary bencher of this Inn, and he was held here in very great affection. Only two other United States judges had that honor, Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So you see, Randy was in good company and Randy was good company. The memories that we have of him, memories which you will be sharing today, serve only to underscore the grief that we feel at the loss of that company.

    Lincoln’s Inn and the other Inns of Court date back well over 500 years. Their membership was and is made up of judges, barristers and law students. We dine together in our great halls in fellowship and friendship that endures when we find ourselves pitched against each other as adversaries in the courts.

    Chief Justice Warren Burger was so impressed by our Inns of Court that he established the American Inns of Court to promote the same qualities of legal excellence, civility, professionalism, and ethics.

    For my money, there was no one who better personified those qualities than Randy Holland. He didn’t need to join an Inn of Court to acquire them. They were innate elements of his personality.

    He was not a showy man but modest and a little understated. It took a while to appreciate his learning, his wisdom, and his quiet humor. It’s no surprise that he should have been made a trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation and that at the turn of the century he should have become its president.

    It was my good fortune and that of Christylle, my wife, that this office brought Randy and Ilona to London and that we developed a close friendship. This has given us great joy together on both sides of the Atlantic. In this, we were not alone. The bells of Lincoln’s Inn that tolled for Randy expressed the grief of many friends that he had made in London and also, I know in Ireland.

    Randy added to my library two books that I especially prize, each with a foreword by your Chief Justice John Roberts. He coauthored one, an account of the members of my Inn, Middle Temple, who played key roles in the American Revolution. He edited the other on Magna Carta with contributions from his friends Lord Igor Judge, who was then our Lord Chief Justice, and Dame Mary Arden who went on to become a justice of our Supreme Court.

    Randy and I shared a platform at the International Forum on the Rule of Law in Qatar. More recently, we were appointed to the panel of international arbitrators set up to support the rule of law in Kazakhstan. I had hoped that we might find ourselves there together, but it was not to be. It has been a privilege to share with you memories of an outstanding lawyer, but more significantly, a wonderful friend.

    The Right Honourable Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, PC, KC was the last Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and the first Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales to be head of the English judiciary when that function was transferred from the Lord Chancellor in April 2006. Before his chief justiceship, he was Master of the Rolls from 2000 to 2005. Queen Elizabeth II elevated him as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter in 2011.

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