Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hail to the Chief Judge

The Mississippi Supreme Court issued the following statement.

COA Chief Judge Donna Barnes and MSSC Chief Justice Mike Randolph
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael K. Randolph became leader of the Mississippi Judiciary on Friday, Feb. 1 in Jackson.

In his first day as Chief Justice, Randolph swore in Justice T. Kenneth Griffis as the newest member of the Supreme Court, gave the oath of Presiding Justice to Justice Leslie D. King and appointed and swore in Judge Donna M. Barnes as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Chief Judge Barnes, the longest currently serving member of the Court of Appeals, is the first woman to lead the intermediate appellate court.

Chief Justice Randolph is the 36th Chief Justice in the 201-year history of the Mississippi Supreme Court. He became Chief Justice after the retirement of former Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. on Jan. 31. Chief Justice Randolph is the longest currently serving member of the Supreme Court, having been appointed to the Court by Gov. Haley Barbour on April 23, 2004.

Barbour, who spoke at Chief Judge Barnes’ investiture on Friday, noted that two of his early judicial appointments now lead the state’s two appellate courts. “It is kind of unusual to be standing up here as the Governor who appointed both the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.”

Feb. 1 marked a military anniversary for Chief Justice Randolph. As he was preparing for the day ahead, “I started reflecting on my own personal history and realized it was Feb. 1 in a year that I’m not going to tell you all that I volunteered to join the United States Army and go to Vietnam.”

He saw combat at age 19, and was decorated for heroism in Vietnam. He served as an air traffic controller with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One. He was honorably discharged in 1967. During law school, he received an appointment as a Reserve officer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a graduate of the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was honorably discharged in 1975.

He graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., with a B.S. degree in business administration in 1972. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1974, where he served as president of the Law School Student Body.

Justice Randolph began practicing law in 1975, first in Biloxi with the firm of Ross, King and Randolph. Subsequently he practiced with the firm of Bryan, Nelson, Allen and Schroeder in Pascagoula, Biloxi and Gulfport. He opened a Hattiesburg office for Bryan, Nelson, Allen and Schroeder in 1976, where he later formed the firm of Bryan Nelson Randolph, PA., serving as President and CEO until his appointment to the Supreme Court.


Anonymous said...

In Re: MS Legal Scholarship:

Butler Snow is seen as a real legal powerhouse and Mike Randolph is not only on the state's Supreme Court, he is now Chief Justice.

Well, there is yet another thing in which we are dead-assed last. And before anyone points out Alabama and Roy Moore, Randolph could be Roy's dumber brother.

Anonymous said...

He is a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bill Waller Jr. will now run for Governor?

Anonymous said...

9:09. Pray (literally) that he will, as our top 2 now are horrible. HORRIBLE. He would win it......hands down. But, I don't blame him if he is tired of suffering fools, as all balanced political leaders here in the Sip have to do.

Anonymous said...

7PM again.

"Maybe Bill Waller Jr. will now run for Governor?"

I know Waller has his fans, both from his time on the Court and as a potential candidate for other offices, but I'd just say that Ginsburg (whose legal mind I respect but with whom I do not often agree - paint me more in the Scalia camp and note well that Scalia and RBG were great friends) has managed to do her job, at her age and while being carved upon, so as to hold what she sees as a line on the makeup of the SCOTUS. So what the hell does this have to do with Waller?

Waller isn't exactly Posner, Scalia, or RGB, but in broad terms he was a competent Mississippi jurist and Justice. If he did resign to seek other office, thereby paving the way for Randolph and what that entails, he would drop several notches in my estimation. Whatever his reasons for resigning, if he saw Randolph as a suitable Justice, much less successor Chief, again, he drops. That said, I am certain whatever his reason(s), he doesn't give a shit about my estimation or opinion of him, but there you are.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know, 8:27, why you think Randolph is a "complete idiot". That comment, alone, is not worth the time to read it.

Muck Chackrae said...

I thought maybe this was the 'Zoo Management' thread and will only say this: Any court that allows/has as a member a Harley-Riding, speed demon, mountain-climbing, drunken ego-maniac as a member (now or earlier) can't be viewed as a seriously competent legal body. Hopefully I never have to interact with either of these people or the courts they represent, unless I bump into them looking for oysters and liver-pate' at Fresh Market.

Anonymous said...

What do Justice Randolph and Butler Snow have to do with each other?

Anonymous said...

For a reasonably public example of Randolph's lack of legal acumen/acuity and gravitas, look no further than the Willie Manning debacle. I make no comment about Manning's guilt or innocence is crimes charged or uncharged, but good grief, in the midst of the mess, Randolph doesn't have the common sense, and certainly not the legal acumen or gravitas, to leave his completely unrelated commentary out of a death penalty case.

For those who wish to find more examples, simply pick any 5 opinions on which he is listed as author and you'll understand why those with disdain for his ability (and character) have it.

Anonymous said...

Why should any of us bow and hail any elected or appointed judge?? Most if not all are prima donnas any way. Show them the necessary decorum and respect when they're in the court room and on the bench. Other than that, they piss between two feet just like the rest of us. Outside the court house they're nothing more than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does he look like Jed Clampett in that picture?

Anonymous said...

It ain't jess you.

Anonymous said...

I watch Waller push for a ruling that was clearly against the law.He was ruling what he wanted and not the law.

Anonymous said...

Or watch an oral argument with him on the panel. You can actually see a man struggling to think.

Anonymous said...

He’s not an idiot, he’s a puppet. The end result is the same.

Anonymous said...

February 3, 2019 at 7:40 PM wrote:
"He’s not an idiot, he’s a puppet. The end result is the same.'

Please explain for whom and how he is a puppet, and why you believe he isn't an idiot (I've heard litigators from both sides and even transactional attorneys use that very word to describe him numerous times).

Anonymous said...

Please cite the situation where you believe Waller "pushed for a ruling that was against the law".

Please provide a link we can watch where the man "is obviously struggling". Not every jurist sits up straight and grins like a clown, making snap judgments and comments, like Jeff Weill. Some pause and think (but you call it struggling).

Merry Pason said...

The comments on threads like this serve primarily to remind us just how many malcontent-lawyers there are out there. I'm no lawyer, much less a malcontent one; but, this proves there must be hundreds in the Metro.

Anonymous said...

Justice Randolph has more integrity; legal abilities; and common sense than most Attorneys I have worked with and against. It is so obvious that the people claiming he is an idiot have never met him professionally or personally. These type comments keep qualified people from entering politics. But, to each his own, you are entitled to your opinions, whether they be educated ones or just made up.

Anonymous said...

February 4, 2019 at 2:11 PM offered for the consideration of JJ readers the excerpted quotes, below, each followed by observations also offered up for your consideration:

"Justice Randolph has more integrity; legal abilities; and common sense than most Attorneys I have worked with and against."

Is that his, er, "gavel" in your mouth or are you just happy to see him?

"It is so obvious that the people claiming he is an idiot have never met him professionally or personally."

Alrighty, then, please elaborate on Mike's "integrity; legal abilities;
and common sense..." Hell, elaborate on just ONE of the three.

"These type comments keep qualified people from entering politics."

And you don't see a problem with conflating the chief justice of a
state's supreme court and "entering politics?" Well, shoot, THERE'S yer
problem ritechair!

Anonymous said...

To 9:33 -

What makes you think they get it between their feet?

Anonymous said...

These comments are simply astonishing. Randolph was an excellent litigator, is a workahaolic in the extreme, and has been an outstanding Justice. His opinions are the most researched and thorough you will find. I don’t know any lawyers on either side of the V. that don’t respect him and believe that they’ll get a fair shake from him. We are lucky to have someone so capable as him enter public service (with a monster pay cut). We’re fortunate to have him as Chief Justice, would have been lucky to have him run for Governor but for his possible age concerns. Now cue up the his d*** or gavel or in my mouth comments from commenters that have no clue or factual basis from which to make their comments.

Again, what does Randolph have to do with Butler Snow?

Anonymous said...

Elected judges are concerned about the one thing that all politicians worry about above all else: re-election.

One Old Lawyer said...

We may not have the best and brightest persons on our Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, but we have competent, honest Justices/Judges who deserve the thanks of the public for being willing to undertake this public service for salaries far less than they could earn in private practice. I have won some cases and have lost others, including some I am convinced were not correctly decided. However, as one who has appeared before those courts for many, many years, I cannot agree with characterizations of the Justices\Judges as idiots, incompetents, puppets, or dishonest.

Anonymous said...

@5:11, that may be true for some that simply weren’t financially successful in the private sector, but Justice Randolph could have retired a very wealthy man 20 years ago. He may be an extreme outlier, but he is there in the spirit of public service and because the man truly loves and is fascinated by the law.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I pointed out specific examples re: Mike's writing in the Willie Manning mess, as well as a starting point for additional objective information, yet those praising him to the heavens have offered nothing but hyperbolic commentary. Those who think he walks on water should support their hyperbole by citing one or more example(s) in his attributed opinions or other writings.

As to his retiring 20 years ago as "a very wealthy man," either we have very different views as to "very wealthy" or he had wealth from sources other than income from legal work. I know numerous people who earn more in a year than the total of his entire supreme court salary and before his tenure on the court, he was, at best, a smallish fish in a small pond. From a casual observation, his expenditures do not align with his apparent and readily-explainable financial resources, which is another reason to view him with reticence.

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