Governor’s Remarks
Michael K. Randolph Appointed to the Supreme Court
April 23, 2004
9:30 a.m.

I’m pleased to announce I am appointing Michael K. Randolph of Hattiesburg to the Mississippi Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of former Chief Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman.

Thank you to Chief Justice Smith, who was gracious to return to Jackson from the Judicial Conference currently taking place on the Coast, in order to swear in Justice Randolph.

Mike Randolph was one of several outstanding attorneys who were considered for the position. Each was screened by my Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee. Mike Randolph and two others received the highest scores, and all three were found very well qualified in terms of ability, integrity, experience and deportment. I want to thank Ed Brunini, who chairs the committee, and the ten members from the Southern Supreme Court District who vetted the group.

Mike Randolph has practiced law, first on the Coast and then in Hattiesburg since 1975 the year after he graduated from Ole Miss Law School. Until yesterday he was the Chairman and CEO of his firm, Bryan, Nelson, Randolph. He’s married, and Kathy is with us today as are their three children. Mike is a Deacon and Sunday School teacher in Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.

Prior to law school, Mike served with distinction in the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was decorated for heroism. He subsequently served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

As a candidate I said I had three criteria for judicial appointments; the ability to understand and interpret the law; not only integrity but a reputation for integrity; and no agenda but instead a commitment to fairness.

Mike Randolph is an extremely bright attorney, who has enjoyed tremendous success in private practice. He is one of the state’s premier litigators, primarily on the defense side in civil litigation, but he has had some major cases representing plaintiffs as well. Those who have opposed Mike Randolph in court and judges before whom he has practiced tell me he is prepared, and he fights for his clients; but his ethics are above reproach, and his word is always his bond. Even a couple of lawyers who don’t like him have told me that!

The Mississippi Supreme Court is critical to preventing, indeed ending lawsuit abuse in our state. This court has made progress in returning our civil justice system to balance, equity and rationality. More must be done, and I will continue to work for that with the Legislature.

Mike Randolph will be a positive addition to this court. As head of his firm he is like other small business people, who are struggling with skyrocketing health insurance rates, and he also knows what it means to make a payroll.

He has strong religious values like so many Mississippians, and those values are evident in his life and his worldview.

As I said when Chief Justice Smith was recently sworn in, I oppose the efforts of the Left to banish religion and religious people for the public square. Mike Randolph’s religious convictions will serve him well as a Supreme Court Justice.

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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741

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