||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (April 2012)|
September 24, 1958 |
|Alma mater||West Georgia College, B.A. (1980), University of Georgia. J.D. (1983)|
James Randolph "Randy" Evans (born Sep. 24, 1958) is an American lawyer and Republican from Georgia who specializes in government ethics. Evans is a partner at Dentons. He has served as a longtime advisor to the Republican Party of Georgia.
Early life and education
Randy Evans was born in Dublin, Georgia on September 24, 1958. Evans grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia, where he graduated from Northside High School in 1976. He was awarded a debate scholarship to West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia. Evans was elected in 1979 as President of the West Georgia College Student Government Association. Evans graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude, in 1980. While a student at West Georgia, Evans volunteered for Newt Gingrich's 1976 losing and 1978 winning campaigns. In 1979, Evans lived in the basement of Gingrich’s Virginia home while he interned for the freshman congressman. Evans graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia in 1983, Magna Cum Laude.
Evans began his legal career at Bondurant, Miller, Hishon & Stephenson, a law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1985, Evans joined Arnall, Golden and Gregory, where he worked for 18 years. In 2003, Evans started working at McKenna Long & Aldridge. In 2015, Evans left McKenna, Long & Aldridge to work for Dentons.
Political career - National
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (July 2012)|
||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (May 2012)|
In 1988, Evans helped Gingrich and a colleague, Jeffrey Smith, draft an ethics complaint against then Democratic Speaker Jim Wright. Wright eventually resigned. Evans chaired Gingrich’s campaign organization (the Friends of Newt Gingrich (FONG)) in Gingrich’s successful reelection contests in 1988 and 1990.
After the 1994 election in which Republicans captured control of the United States House of Representatives under Newt Gingrich’s leadership, eighty-four ethics charges were made against then Speaker Gingrich and a special counsel was appointed to pursue the charges. Evans gained national exposure when then Speaker Gingrich brought in Evans to lead Gingrich’s defense against the various ethics complaints before the House Committee on Standards.
Evans was initially brought in to address ethics complaints centered around a letter prepared by Gingrich’s existing counsel. Subsequently, Evans assumed the lead for the defense against all of the ethics charges pending before the Committee on Standards.
In 1996, Evans negotiated an agreement with the Investigative Subcommittee and the Special Counsel that allowed Gingrich to remain as Speaker of the Congress. Under the agreement negotiated by Evans, Gingrich agreed that a letter provided by Gingrich’s prior counsel to the Committee on Standards was inaccurate and that he should have pursued the advice of counsel in connection with a college class that Gingrich taught. Evans insisted that Gingrich’s college classes violated no tax laws, a position which was validated in 1999 by the Internal Revenue Service when it cleared organizations connected with the college classes.
At a nationally televised sanctions hearing, Evans argued that the Committee should accept the negotiated sanctions of a reprimand and a $300,000 cost assessment for costs associated with the investigation of the inaccurate letter submitted by Gingrich’s prior counsel. By a seven to one vote, the Committee on Standards agreed. Subsequently, the United States House of Representatives accepted and agreed to the recommendations of the Committee. In January 1997, Gingrich was reelected as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
After Gingrich decided to pay the cost assessment using his personal funds, Evans crafted the “Dole loan agreement” in 1997, whereby 1996 Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole agreed to loan Gingrich the funds to satisfy the cost assessment. Evans later negotiated Gingrich’s book contract for the New York Times Bestseller ‘Lesson Learned the Hard Way.’
After Gingrich stepped down as Speaker at the end of 1998, Evans negotiated a variety of business ventures for Gingrich, including a television contract with FOX News and book contracts for several books, including New York Times bestsellers. The books include nonfiction works ‘Winning the Future,’ ‘Real Change,’ ‘Rediscovering God in America,’ ‘A Contract With the Earth,’ and ‘Saving Lives Saving Money,’ as well as fiction works ‘Gettysburg,’ ‘Grant Comes East,’ ‘Never Call Surrender,’ ‘Pearl Harbor,’ ‘Days of Infamy’ and ‘Valley Forge.’
Evans chaired Gingrich’s companies from their inception in 1999 until Gingrich’s announcement that he was a candidate for President in 2011.
Upon his election as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1999, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert retained Evans as his outside general counsel to the Speaker. Evans represented Speaker Hastert throughout his tenure as the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in history. Evans appeared on behalf of Hastert and others in various matters before the Committee on Standards in the investigations of two different matters of national interest - the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill investigation and the Mark Foley investigation.
Beginning in 2002, Evans represented Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (the first Republican governor in Georgia since Reconstruction). Later, Evans nominated Harold Melton to the Georgia Supreme Court. Justice Melton was appointed as the first Republican African-American Justice to Georgia’s Supreme Court.
In 2003, Senator Zell Miller engaged Evans to negotiate the book contract for the New York Times Bestseller ‘A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat.’ In addition, Evans negotiated Miller’s television contract with FOX News. By 2004, Evans represented most of the leadership in the House of Representatives, prompting the Committee on Standards to question the multi-representation of different members by the same attorney.
Evans has represented former House GOP Conference Chairman J. C. Watts since his last term in Congress. Evans negotiated Watts’ television contract with CNN and his speech contract with the Washington Speaker’s Bureau.
On behalf of then Speaker Hastert, and in conjunction with Susan Hirschman (former Chief of Staff for Majority Leader Tom Delay) and Bill Paxon (former National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman), Evans designed and formed the first political organization after the effective date of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act in order to receive nonfederal money. After challenges by Common Cause, the Federal Election Commission found that the entity - as structured - could accept nonfederal money.
In 2005-2006, Evans also represented Hastert in connection with public controversies involving Hastert’s real estate investments and the FBI’s raid of Congressman William Jefferson’s Congressional office. Evans appeared on behalf of Speaker Hastert in the United States Supreme Court litigation involving the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation known as the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act. Evans negotiated the book contract for Hastert’s book entitled ‘Speaker - Lessons From Forty Years in Coaching and Politics.’ After Hastert left the Congress in 2007, Evans negotiated various business ventures for Hastert.
In 2008, Evans worked with Tony Snow, the former White House Press Secretary, to create the Tony Snow Family Trust for the benefit of Snow’s children (Evans was the grantor of the Trust). After Snow’s untimely death from cancer on July 12, 2008, Evans helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Tony Snow Family Trust.
In 2009, then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin retained Evans to create a legal defense fund entitled “The Alaska Fund Trust” to help defray the expenses of Governor Palin and her staff in the aftermath of the 2008 Presidential election.
Evans served as a Senior Advisor to Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign for the Republican nomination for president until Gingrich’s announcement of his intention to suspend his campaign in late April 2012. Evans thereafter endorsed Governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive 2012 Republican nominee for president.
In addition to national political figures, Evans has represented and does represent various current and former elected officials in Georgia and elsewhere.
Political career - Georgia
||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (May 2012)|
Evans was elected chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party in 1985, and Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District in 1987 and 1989.
Evans served as General Counsel to the Georgia Republican Party for eight years, beginning with his appointment by then GOP Chairman Ralph Reed in 2001. He was reappointed by Georgia GOP Chairman Alec Poitevint in 2003 and 2005, and by Georgia GOP Chairman Sue Everhart in 2007 and 2009. From 2009-2011, Evans served as Finance Chair to the Georgia Republican Party.
In 2004 and 2008, Evans was selected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Evans was appointed and served as the Republican National Committeeman from Georgia for the 2004 Republican National Convention (when Alec Poitevint was Georgia State Chairman). In 2008, Evans served as an Elector for the State of Georgia in the Presidential election.
Evans served on the state committee and state executive committee of the Georgia Republican Party for years. From 2003-2012, Evans served as the chairman of the Georgia Republican Convention; in 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Evans abused his knowledge of party rules and Robert's Rules of Order to keep silent any duly-elected delegate who wished to question the GOP's support of John McCain as the party's presidential nominee.
He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission and as the Republican National Committeeman from Georgia (although elected in May 2012, his term will officially begin at the end of the Republican National Convention in August 2012). He previously served as a member of the five-person Georgia State Election Board for 10 years.
J. Evans, ‘Practical Guide To Legal Malpractice Prevention’ (7th Ed. 1999); Evans & Morris, ‘Guidelines for Purchasing Legal Malpractice Insurance’ (3rd Ed. 1999); Evans & Berry, ‘Georgia General Liability Insurance’ (1st Ed. 2010): Evans & Klevens, ‘Georgia Legal Malpractice Law’ (1st Ed. 2011).
- Robert Luke (November 2, 2003). "INSIDE METRO BUSINESS: UPCLOSE: JAMES RANDOLPH EVANS Lawyer keeps politics on high road of ethics". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. D.2.
- Aaron Gould Shenin (October 27, 2009). "Handel, Evans reach ethics compromise: Plan limits members' ability to engage in campaigns, elections". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- “New defender a tireless worker, longtime friend, political ally,” The Atlanta Constitution, January 16, 1997.
- “Gingrich’s New Lawyer Described as Longtime Ally, Workaholic,” Fulton Daily Report, December 20, 1996.
- Douglas County Sentinel, January 21, 1997.
- “New defender a tireless worker, longtime friend, political ally,” The Atlanta Constitution, January 16, 1997; “Evans Outlines New Goal,” The West Georgian, October 3, 1979
- “Gingrich’s New Lawyer Described as Longtime Ally, Workaholic,” Fulton Daily Report, December 20, 1996; “New defender a tireless worker, longtime friend, political ally,” The Atlanta Constitution, January 16, 1997.
- Bill Rankin (January 16, 1997). "GINGRICH LAWYER New defender a tireless worker, longtime friend, political ally". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- “Lawyer Drops Gingrich as Client in Ethics Probe.” The Washington Post, December 19, 1996; “Gingrich’s top lawyer no longer on case,” The Atlanta Journal / The Atlanta Constitution, December 19, 1996 p. A9; “Gingrich, Under Fire, Loses Defense Lawyer,” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 1996, “Statements By Gingrich Spark Flap,” Wall Street Journal, December 30, 1996, p. A18; “Briefly,” The National Law Journal, December 30, 1996 – January 6, 1997, p. A5; “New defender a tireless worker, longtime friend, political ally,” The Atlanta Constitution, January 16, 1997;
- “Gingrich ally blames lawyer for giving ‘erroneous’ evidence,” The Atlanta Journal December 20, 1996; “Ally Says Gingrich Gave Panel False Data, Blames Lawyer,” The Washington Post, December 20, 1996
- “Panel Was Misled On Gingrich, Ally Says,” New York Times, December 20, 1996
- “Lawyers keeps politics on high road of ethics,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 2, 2003, p. D2
- “Dole to help Gingrich pay ethics fine,” The Atlanta Journal April 17, 1997.
- “Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP Just Lost Their Entire Political Law Practice...”. The Political Vine. 2003-10-08. http://www.politicalvine.com/news/newsview8963.html. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- “Lawyer keeps politics on high road of ethics,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 2, 2003, p. D2.
- Lawyer keeps politics on high road of ethics,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 2, 2003, p. D2.
- “Lawyer keeps politics on high road of ethics,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 2, 2003, p. D2; “Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP Just Lost Their Entire Political Law Practice...”. The Political Vine. 2003-10-08.
- “Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP Just Lost Their Entire Political Law Practice...”. The Political Vine. 2003-10-08. http://www.politicalvine.com/news/newsview8963.html. Retrieved 2008-02-12
- "GEORGIA GOP: McCain gets slate as Paul's fans fume," Atlanta Journal Constitution, 18 May 2008 (retrieved 15 November 2011).