Randall Evans, Jr., 1969-1976
Randall Evans, Jr. was born May 3, 1906, in Thomson, Georgia into a large, poor, but hard-working family. He attended McDuffie County Schools and there attained good marks and the position of captain on the track team. After graduation, he could not afford to go to college. Instead, he started the study of law at Maynard Law School in Macon, Georgia under the tutelage of Lige Maynard. He earned his L.L.B. degree after seventy days as Maynard's apprentice, graduating in 1924. Thereafter, Randall Evans, Jr., passed the bar exam at age 18. He practiced as an associate under Lige Maynard in 1925. After a year of practice with Maynard, Evans decided that he would rather return to his home town of Thomson, Georgia, and did so in 1926. There, he started a law practice with his brother Jack Evans, which joint practice lasted roughly a year. In 1927, Randall Evans, Jr. started his individual law practice in Thomson, Georgia. His practice consisted of general practice which gradually grew into a well-renowned personal injury tort litigation practice. In 1929, at age 23, he became the youngest elected state representative to ever sit in the Georgia General Assembly. While serving in the legislature, he served simultaneously as City Attorney for Thomson and County Attorney for McDuffie County. On Christmas Day, 1930, he married the love of his life, the beautiful Tullyne Moye of Wrightsville, Georgia.
His reputation spread from near to far as a steadfast defender of "the little man," the underdog, who was injured, hurt, and helpless, and one who worked tirelessly to vindicate his client's rights. His time was divided between public service and private practice for his clients. Not only did he serve in both the Georgia State Senate and the House of Representatives, he also became the youngest Speaker of the House of Representatives when the honor came to him at age 35. He even ran for governor of the State of Georgia before returning to his beloved clients back home. He was at home in a Courthouse, having tried cases in almost every county in this fine state. When in time of trial, Randall Evans, Jr. considered it a battle to the death for his client. He believed totally in his client's causes, and he gave unselfishly of himself in representing them. His deep feelings and emotional involvement in a case were passed through to the jury when arguing to them by his great fervor and zest in presenting his case. And usually, justice was on the side of Randall Evans, Jr., as the juries returned verdicts in his clients' favor. He would return home to his great and faithful lifelong companion, Tullyne, and he would smile into her beautiful face and say "you can't win 'em all, but we won this one."
His fifty-seven year legal career was marked for a change in 1969. It was then that Governor Lester Maddox approached Evans with an offer to appoint him to the Georgia Court of Appeals. Randall Evans, Jr., exhibiting frank sincerity and brashness, quickly informed Governor Maddox that he did not vote for him. That did not mean anything to Governor Maddox, who only sought to appoint a man of high wisdom to the jurists then sitting on the Court of Appeals. Thus, Evans ascended the bench. He served in that capacity with fairness and a continuous legal analytical approach that will always benefit those who study his opinions. In 1975, he was bestowed a unique honor by being awarded "Most Outstanding Appellate Judge in the Nation" by the Association of Trial Lawyers at their meeting in Ontario, Canada.
A year later, Judge Randall Evans, Jr. stepped down from the bench into a well-deserved retirement. He left the capitol for his home of Thomson, Georgia. Evans soon found that his retirement was to be short-lived, for lawyers throughout the State of Georgia were constantly calling him, seeking his learned and sage advice. He constantly counseled attorneys who were in the midst of trial as to how to pursue strategies that would best help their clients' cases get to the jury. A young lawyer once told Randall Evans, Jr. of a remark the young lawyer made to the opposing counsel when on trial. That is, the young lawyer looking across the way at the three opposing counsel, who were older, more experienced, and very sure of their case, told them "I have something that you do not have. I have a secret weapon." The other, older lawyers looked at him curiously and asked, "What is it that you have, what is your secret weapon?" The young lawyer replied, slowly, quietly, but yet very proudly, "I have Randall Evans, Jr.'s phone number in my pocket."
On November 30, 1986, Randall Evans, Jr. passed away. With his passing, Georgia lost one of the finest men of this state. He was an orator, author, statesman, scholar, lawyer, judge, advocate, and a friend. However, Georgia's loss was Heaven's gain.
182 Georgia Appeals Reports, pages XXXI-LX