The Honorable Randy J. Holland
, Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, has been selected as the recipient of the Seventh Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. Justice Holland was chosen by the three-member panel: Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, Indiana Supreme Court and last year’s AJS Opperman Award recipient; Judge Cara Lee Neville, Hennepin County District Court (MN), and Judge Steve Leben, Kansas Court of Appeals.
Chief Justice Shepard, chair of the selection panel, said "Randy Holland is an icon among American lawyers and judges, and the nation is a more decent place because of his commitment to the cause of justice. Justice Holland's career has been a special gift to those of us in the legal profession for whom he has been a genuine inspiration." In his nomination letter, former Delaware Chief Justice E. Norman Veasey said of Justice Holland, “behind his impressive credentials are his true passion for the law, unselfish devotion to fairness, unimpeachable integrity, civility, professionalism, open-mindedness to all situations, and unfaltering work ethic.”
Justice Holland was appointed to the Delaware Supreme Court in 1986. Prior to appointment, he practiced at the firm of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell in Georgetown. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and his L.L.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Justice Holland’s leadership roles at the national level include serving as President from 2000-2004 of the American Inn of Court Foundation and on the American Bar Association Judicial Division Ethics and Professionalism Committee from 2007-2009. He also served on a number of committees in Delaware, including the Supreme Court Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.
Justice Holland has authored or edited six books, including “State Constitutional Law: The Modern Experience” casebook (West 2009), “Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution” (Thomson-West 2007), “Appellate Practice and Procedure” (Thomson-West 2005) and three books related to the Delaware court system. He is also the author of numerous appellate decisions, many of which are landmark precedents.
Justice Holland served from 1994-2003 as Chair of the AJS Center for Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, was a Director of the Society from 1992-2002 and was recently re-elected to serve a two-year term.
Since 1991, Justice Holland has served as an adjunct professor on Widener Law's Delaware campus.
The American Judicature Society (AJS) created the Opperman Award to honor state trial and appellate judges for distinguished judicial service. The award is named for Dwight D. Opperman, former chairman and CEO of West Publishing Company. Opperman is a former AJS vice president, director, and executive committee member and currently serves on the AJS Board of Directors as a Distinguished Lifetime Director.