Conversation with the Honorable Judge Randall, Part 1

May 3, 2022

What is it like to be a judge? Judge Randall served for over 23 years on the district court and also practiced law and he joins us in today’s podcast to talk about it all.  From arguing with his dad to law school, his career prior to becoming a judge and how that impacted his ability to be a great judge on the bench, Judge Randall shares his story in the first episode of this 2 part podcast series with the Lady Lawyer League.


Tracy Hightower-Henne: On today’s episode, we’re talking with the Honorable Judge Gary Randall, and we’re doing an in-chambers conversation behind the scenes about Judge Randall’s life as a judge and as a lawyer. 

Intro: Welcome to the Lady Lawyer League podcast. They are a league of lady lawyers in an all-female law firm in Omaha, Nebraska, called Hightower Reff Law. On this podcast, you’ll hear stories of what it’s like to be a lady lawyer and an entrepreneur. Now it’s time to talk about the law, share real-life stories about representing clients and discuss the current events of the week. It’s the Lady Lawyer League podcast with Susan Reff and Tracy Hightower-Henne.

Tracy: Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. We are very excited to have a conversation with you and learn about everything that it was to be a judge and what you’re doing now. 

Judge Gary Randall: Thank you for inviting me. 

Tracy: Yeah. So we want to go way back. 

Susan Reff: To the Wayback Machine. 

Tracy: The Wayback Machine? Yeah, that’s a really cool website. So we want to go way back to why did you want to be a lawyer in the first place? 

Judge Randall: Because my father told me that I always argued with him and that I really knew how to defend myself well and that I had to go to law school. 

Tracy: Oh, perfect. 

Judge Randall: And he started that at about age eight. 

Susan: Oh, it was like your destiny. 

Judge Randall: My destiny, I guess. Yeah. 

Susan: Do you have lawyers in your family? 

Judge Randall: No. Well, I had my uncle. I’m sorry. My mother’s brother was actually a quite famous lawyer in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, Francis Casey. And he ran for Congress twice, never got elected, but had a very successful law practice in Cass County. 

Tracy: Great. So you had it in your blood. And are you from Omaha? 

Judge Randall: I am. I grew up in Sunset Hills. 

Susan: That’s okay. 

Tracy: And you said Westside was your alma mater? 

Judge Randall: Absolutely. 

Tracy: Yeah. 

Judge Randall: Yeah, great. I was a Warrior. I still am a Warrior, I guess. 

Susan: And your dad said you were a really good arguer. 

Judge Randall: That’s because I always argued with him, and he finally said, “You just won’t let that go.” Well, I said, “No.” And he said, “Okay, that’s the field.” Yeah. Law school is next. 

Tracy: And did that translate well then for you as a lawyer? Was your dad right? 

Judge Randall: Well, my father was right. I needed to go to law school. I think it was destiny, kind of like a woo-woo word to use for it. But I do think that it was a road that I was able to follow and a road I enjoyed a great deal. 

Tracy: Yeah, and you were good at it. 

Judge Randall: Well, thank you. 

Tracy: Yeah, well, and that’s one of the things that we really wanted to talk about with you, too, is your career as a lawyer before you became a judge and how that sort of, we think, helped you be a good judge, having had experience in domestic cases, which is the primary focus of what we do at Hightower Reff Law. So tell us about your practice as a lawyer before you became a judge. 

Judge Randall: It’s a little bit of an interesting story. I went to work for a gentleman called Joseph Byrne, and Joe Byrne was a sole practitioner and he hired Tom Shoemaker, who is the world’s greatest actor and lawyer. In my opinion, he and I are very good friends. And then he hired me. So we were the two ruffians that he had to teach how to practice law, and he was the most laid back, measured individual in the world. And Tom and I were exactly the opposite. And he needed us. So he taught us how to be good lawyers and how to be ethical and how to make sure that you didn’t build or didn’t actually create any enemies in the practice, which I think is a really important way to go forward as a lawyer. 

Tracy: One of the things we talk about in our office all the time is reputation and reputation in the legal community and then reputation with the bench too, that we want our lawyers at our office to be able to go to the bench and go to a hearing and have the the judge say, “Oh, they’re from that reputable firm and they’re probably coming here pretty prepared.” And so we think that that’s a really big, big deal when we mentor young lawyers in our office, and we don’t call them ruffians. But I really like that. Sometimes baby lawyers get to be demeaning. But ruffian sounds great. 

Judge Randall: I think that’s the exact right attitude to have because lawyers that don’t go to a firm and practice with experienced attorneys can be spotted in a second because it’s unfortunate. It’s not something that as individuals, even though we’ve graduated from law school and we may have done moot court, we don’t have any idea how to behave in court or how to put a case together or what the appropriate demeanor is. 

Tracy: I never had, I never did moot court. You didn’t know, I was down the tax law road in law school. And so I never intended to do any litigation, so I had to learn it all. 

Susan: At Creighton, everyone has to do moot court. It’s required. I didn’t go to Creighton. I know but. 

Judge Randall: Like when you have to take trial practice. 

Susan: To yet. 

Tracy: I didn’t do any of that. 

Susan: Yeah there’s like a track now, you can take the trial track, but some people. 

Judge Randall: You had to take it. And of course that was the dark ages when I graduated in 1974. 

Tracy: You know what I did? Our office used to be across the street from the courthouse, so I would go seek out cases and especially jury trials. I thought that was so cool. And I would just sit in the courtroom and watch and I would do that as a ruffian. 

Judge Randall: I did that as well because Joe, my partner at the time, said, “You need to get trial experience.” He said, “I don’t practice trial law.” I started doing bond issues. That’s what I, that’s how I started practicing law because that’s what he did. But I wanted the courtroom and I wanted to represent individuals. I didn’t necessarily want to represent a nursing home or a corporation or someone that needed a bond issue. Although the compensation was excellent. The learning how to bill hours and charge a client was something I had to learn separately and learn how to survive on that because our compensation rate and I, did I mention that the other associate was Tom Shoemaker. Yes. You talk about somebody with a big personality and he would take me, he was a year or two older than I was, and he would take me along with him on all of his hearings so that I could learn how to behave. 

Tracy: And you said he was a good actor. 

Judge Randall: He’s an excellent actor. 

Tracy: And that’s part of being in court, is you have to tell a story. 

Judge Randall: Absolutely. 

Tracy: And you have to tell it in a way that catches someone’s attention and is strategically placed. Right, especially in domestic cases. 

Judge Randall: Absolutely. And you have to be able to do it fast. 

Tracy: Yes. 

Judge Randall: I mean, you know how to do a temporary hearing and it’s often in the judge’s chambers. And you have to get your point across really quick or you’re going to lose the judge’s attention because he’s got 14, he or she has 14 other things they have to do.

Tracy: And if it’s at 11:30, they’re about to go to lunch. That’s true, too. Yeah. And we are aware of that. 

Susan: Well, and I think sometimes it’s learning what facts the judge wants to hear in that moment and what facts can be saved for later or just don’t. The judge just doesn’t need to hear. 

Judge Randall: It’s true. And I think specific judges, you may want to present specific facts, too, as well. Yeah. Because they’ve highlighted them in a decision they’ve made when you’ve done it in front of them before, and if you sold it once you can probably sell it again. Yeah. 

Susan: Yes. Well, that’s like, the know your judge philosophy. 

Judge Randall: Absolutely. 

Susan: You know. 

Judge Randall: If you don’t do some background on the judge and you are not experienced in appearing, you’re not doing your client a good service. 

Tracy: So you enjoyed doing domestic cases, which is the sort of umbrella for divorce and custody and all of that. What did you enjoy the most about that? 

Judge Randall: I liked all the personalities, sorry for them. I really enjoyed the lawyers that did domestic work and I could understand it, you know, from A to Z, because it’s what I did, you know, before I was a judge, what the learning curve wasn’t as difficult. So I had a certain comfort level and even when it came to custody cases, I knew if the lawyers presented the evidence appropriately that I was doing something that was going to benefit these parties because I was never going to make a decision that intentionally drove them further apart. And in a trial, I honestly tried to explain to the lawyers, the clients. 

Tracy: Well, sometimes the lawyers need the explanation. 

Judge Randall: That’s true, too. I apologize. 

Tracy: Where did you come with that decision? 

Judge Randall: I tried to make sure the clients understood what my job really was. Yeah. And where I was going to go with it. 

Tracy: And we talk a lot about this that we try really hard to settle our cases in our office because we know judges either don’t want to make the decision, wish they didn’t have to make certain decisions, and that it’s pretty serious if we’re taking any part of a divorce or custody to the judge. And so I often try to put myself in your position and think, I don’t want to make this decision either, but thank you for doing your job. You know. 

Judge Randall: Well, it’s, you know, it becomes second nature once you do it long enough. And I did it for 23 years. And I actually practiced domestic law for 23 years before that. So I had I had a lot of background in the area and I could do it, but it still didn’t make it particularly easy. 

Tracy: Yeah. Yeah. Were there… So one thing that we talk about a lot too is like Susan just had a trial yesterday and when we have trials, maybe the next day, we’re always thinking, “Oh, I should have done that one thing differently. I should have, you know, done all these things and said things differently.” Do you, did you feel that way as a judge, if you made a decision in the next day, you think, oh, maybe I made the wrong decision? 

Judge Randall: No. 

Tracy: I made the decision. And that was it. I did. Yeah. 

Judge Randall: And the reason I mean, generally, I had a lot of information and evidence and and personalities that I was able to put together to fashion that decision. I didn’t often call it from the bench unless it was a temporary hearing because I didn’t think I was doing anybody any favors by that. You get paid to put together the evidence and present it in court and I need to digest it to make the decision. 

Tracy: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s really helpful too. 

Susan: So at what point in your career did you decide, maybe I want to be a judge, I want to put my name in? 

Judge Randall: You want to know the truth? 

Tracy: Yes. 

Susan: Yeah. And less fiction on the record. Exciting. 

Judge Randall: I was the chairman of the Democratic Party in Douglas County, Nebraska, and I worked with Kim Rybak to get Ben Nelson elected. And Kim Robert came to me and said, “You ought to be a judge.” And I said, “Let me think about it.” And I went back to her two days later and I said yes. And I was one of the you know, we should probably look this up. But Ben Nelson appointed more judges in the state of Nebraska than I believe any governor ever has. And I got appointed in his third year in office, I believe, and I’ve never regretted it.

Susan: Had you thought about it before that? You know, I mean, I think every lawyer at some point in their career, people say, well, you should be a judge. Or do you ever think about being a judge? Do you want to be a judge? 

Judge Randall: Not seriously. I mean, I thought about the possibility or I’d come out of a hearing and saying I never would have done that. 

Susan: But I could have done that better. 

Judge Randall: That’s right. But no, until she actually asked me if I wanted to do it. And I had to think about it for a couple of days before I said yes. 

Susan: Well, and Kim is an attorney and has experience. And obviously, when someone who puts it out there for you to like, hey, I think you’d be really good at this, you know, that’s where thinking about it becomes more more of a reality, too. 

Judge Randall: And she knew what she was talking about. And I don’t mean by picking me. I don’t mean that. But I also talked to her husband Bill about it, Bill Miller. And it was, it took a couple of days, you know, for me to think about that. But I was honored. Yeah. You know, and I said, well, if you think I have a reasonable chance, I am not opposed to putting my name in.

Susan: Yeah. 

Judge Randall: And I only applied once. 

Susan: I think you told me too, when you applied, there was a lot of applicants. 

Judge Randall: I think there were at least nine. 

Susan: Yeah. What was that process like for you? 

Judge Randall: Scary because I will always go back to myself and say I did something wrong or I didn’t do it well enough. Sure. You know, even though I’m trying to do it thoroughly. But it really wasn’t too frightening because I knew Kim quite well. I knew her husband quite well, and I knew the governor quite well because I had been, he’d worked for the chairman of the Democratic Party and I worked for him. Yeah. And so that process wasn’t frightening. It just was whether I’d get it or not get it. Yeah. And I didn’t know that I would. 

Tracy: People don’t like to apply for things and not get them, correct. Right. And the part of the process for the listeners that don’t know is having an interview with the governor. 

Judge Randall: Yes, ma’am. 

Tracy: And that, I can imagine is frightening if you don’t know the governor. 

Judge Randall: And I did. So I wasn’t terribly frightened by it. But it’s kind of interesting and I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you about it. And I think that governors still do it this way. They have a long conference table similar to the one we’re sitting at now. You sit on the, or I’m sorry, the governor sits on the end. You sit on the angle facing the governor and the governor’s staff member, who’s done all the research on what you’ve done in your life and who you are, is sitting at the other end going, “Yeah, that. Ask him that one. Yeah.

Susan: Feeding the governor questions. 

Judge Randall: I mean not specifically audibly. Yeah. But, you know, identifying whether they appropriately, you know, were getting the questions that they wanted across and whether they were getting the information out of the interview that they needed. 

Tracy: And it’s probably in one of the dark, kind of darker rooms in the legislature, in the Capitol building. 

Judge Randall: Yeah, no, it’s actually in the governor’s office. But the governor has several rooms to his office. And it’s actually a dark library-type room where the interview took place. Yeah, but it was okay because I knew him. So that helped a lot. 

Tracy: For the lawyers who do think being a judge could be really interesting or a path that they want to take, what are some of the myths that maybe people think about being a judge that just aren’t true? Or what are the things that you thought differently before you became a judge? 

Judge Randall: I didn’t know how busy I would always be, but I was glad. I had a lot of respect for judges. You know, having practiced trial law for 23 years before I became a judge, and I really liked the courtroom and I liked other lawyers. So if you’re a judge who likes other lawyers, it makes it a little easier. 

Tracy: If you don’t like other lawyers. Yeah, I can see how that would be difficult. 

Judge Randall: Well, there are some judges that just don’t like people. Yeah, you know, and they also are not crazy about other lawyers. I mean, they’ll say something like, “Oh, well, he’s a lawyer.” Well, yeah, of course they are. That’s what they do. And that’s why we need them.

Susan: Yeah, it sounds like that judge was surprised when they said that, like, oh, that person’s a lawyer. Of course they’re a lawyer. They’re in court. 

Judge Randall: He was.

Susan: He or she?

Judge Randall: I’m not going to say. Which probably was merely expressing an acknowledgement of why a person behaved in that particular way in their courtroom. 

Susan: When you became a judge, did you feel that your relationship with other lawyers changed? Because most lawyers, and I’m gathering this from what you’ve been telling us, you’re pretty collegial. You had good friends who were lawyers. Obviously, you were socializing professionally and personally with other lawyers, and then you become a judge. 

Judge Randall: I never took myself too seriously, I don’t think, unless I was challenged, you know, and if a lawyer was challenging my authority, then I could probably get a, you know, get a little stiff it up a little bit. And, you know, possibly wasn’t as friendly as I normally am. But I don’t think that I ever treated lawyers badly. I just didn’t, even if I ruled against them, that was my job. Yeah. You know, and I didn’t do it because of their personalities. You know, I did it because I believed that was the law. 

Susan: Yeah. So did were you able to maintain friendships with lawyers after you got on the bench? 

Judge Randall: I was. 

Susan: Do you do you think that’s always the case or do you think. 

Judge Randall: I think some judges are less comfortable with that than others. But I’m, I hate to say this, but I try to be friendly to everybody, you know, and I think we all need to have have our say in what happens in the judicial system. You know, I might make the ultimate decision or actually the Supreme Court does, but I might make. 

Susan: You’ve guided them there, though. 

Judge Randall: You tell the Chief Justice. Have you said that? 

Susan: Okay, I’ll call him. 

Judge Randall: All right. 

Tracy: I’ll text him. 

Judge Randall: Actually, he might agree, but, you know, I felt that it’s a process that we all come to the table on. I have to make the ultimate decision, but I get my information from you. Yeah. And that’s how I make that decision. 

Tracy: Yeah. And when we have to come to the table with difficult topics and things to talk about, people can do it friendly and respectfully and not always. 

Judge Randall: But yes, they can. 

Tracy: But they don’t always do it. 

Judge Randall: Yet you don’t. And it’s unfortunate because they they should. I think as a practitioner, I don’t think I ever made any permanent enemies other than people that were going to live around the landfill that I got zoning, got put in the zoning, corrected on to something. 

Tracy: Yeah. Tell us about that part of your career, because I think that’s fascinating. 

Judge Randall: I represented the, I think I can say their name. I don’t think they’d care. The Eubanks family, which owned a group of landfills and they were quite successful at it. And they weren’t garbage landfills. It wasn’t what the city picks up from your house. They were demolition, debris properties. So if they were building a structure and they had leftover broken brick and concrete and those types of things, they actually found pieces of property in Douglas County or close to Douglas County that needed to be filled so the property could be brought up to its highest and best use, which is what I did in zoning anyway. So it was really kind of a full circle situation. And, you know, in general, just because it was a landfill, it was going to be opposed. 

Tracy: Yeah. 

Judge Randall: But no, landfills have hours and landfills have people at the gates saying you can come in and do this or you can’t. You know, they regulate. And it’s just like any other business that you’re operating, you know, that you happen to live next door to.

Tracy: And talk about having to come to a table with people who don’t agree with you when you’re representing someone who wants to operate a landfill. 

Judge Randall: Yes, it’s difficult. And you need, if you are going to properly represent your client, you have to bring those people who are not in agreement with you to the table and at least get it all out there. There aren’t any secrets. You’re not going to pull any tricks on those folks. It’s all above board because I couldn’t practice law. If I wasn’t, I’d lose my license. 

Susan: Right. 

Judge Randall: And I wanted to make sure those people who are going to be most affected would clearly understand what was, you know, what the options were here. And I acknowledge their option to resist it, you know, and they could go in and do that as well. And I did not in any way act offended or feel that they did anything inappropriate because that’s their right to represent their property. 

Susan: Yeah. Well, then ultimately, if you can paint the landfill in a way that makes them comfortable, they’re going to agree. 

Judge Randall: Right. 

Susan: You know. 

Judge Randall: And often they did. Yeah. You know, it’s but still, they’re going to put a landfill next to my house, you know? Yeah, it’s my. 

Susan: Property values will go down. 

Judge Randall: It’s an emotional issue. And people have to understand it completely before they can say, okay, I can live with this. 

Susan: Yeah. And family law is emotional, too. It’s just like a totally different kind of thing. 

Judge Randall: Isn’t that odd that I had those two areas of expertise? Expertise is the wrong word. Those two areas of practice that I focused on. 

Susan: Convincing neighbors and landowners that a landfill can be also be a good neighbor and convincing a judge or opposing counsel that your position is the right position. 

Tracy: That’s right. 

Susan: Yeah. In a divorce. 

Judge Randall: Yeah. But you know, if you’re prepared for either task. Yeah. Whether you’re appearing in front of a zoning board of appeals or the city council or, you know, the county board, or if you are appearing in front of a judge, it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing. You’re just doing it with different information for a different ultimate goal. 

Susan: Yeah, one of my legal mentors, Tom Riley, always said, “Don’t lose because you weren’t prepared.” You know, if you were prepared and you lost, you know, you were never going to win anyway. It doesn’t matter what. 

Tracy: Or maybe you should even use appeal and then you win then. 

Susan: But like, that’s the worst regret, right? Is going after the fact and saying, well, man, I should have done that. You know, I could have taken that deposition. And I decided not to be prepared, be overly prepared so that you’re putting the best case forward and you don’t have those regrets afterwards. 

Judge Randall: That’s true for the judge, too. I mean, a judge walking into a three day trial that hasn’t looked at what’s going to be offered for purposes of evidence, really. I mean, not taking it as they can’t weigh it. They’re just, they just, they need to know what’s going to be presented, what’s coming out. They understand it. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So and generally they’ll know anyway because it’s, you’ve had multiple hearings before you got to trial. But, you know, I think you have to be prepared as a judge to walk in that courtroom, because if all of a sudden you start talking about something that I have a topic that I have no knowledge whatsoever on. And I don’t mean how you weigh the evidence. I don’t mean that. I mean, I need to understand where you’re going to go so that I can follow it. 

Tracy: Some of the facts. 

Susan: I feel like in my experience, I can tell in domestic cases when a judge really hasn’t looked at anything because they start, their body language changes, they start like leaning in. And, you know, we’ve given the judge ahead of time all the evidence that we’re going to present. Most of our judges ask for a proposed decree or a letter saying, here’s what we would like to have you decide. And both sides are doing this so the judge can kind of anticipate what’s going to happen. And you can tell the judge that just cracked it open that morning versus the judge that walked in and is like, okay, I’m really I’m really focused on this one or two, these one or two issues. The rest of it, I think we can kind of gloss over. 

Tracy: And that’s that’s the judge telling you, listen, I want you to focus on that issue in trial, and I don’t need to hear a whole bunch about. Right. There’s a lot of direction to the lawyers, too. 

Susan: And as an attorney, I know. 

Judge Randall: How to value property if you’ve given us the right evidence to use for purposes of valuation. That’s pretty easy. You know, and then there are solutions to some of those problems that we can employ as well. And sometime we’ll talk to you about it. Sometimes we’ll talk to you about it before the trial starts, which is if you really can’t divide this personal property up, give me a list and your client gets the first one and your client gets the second one, and we’ll go down the list. 

Tracy: And when we talk about personal property, we’re talking about the couches and the TVs and maybe the toaster. 

Susan: Exactly. Yes. Yeah. 

Judge Randall: And none of it can really be worth fighting over at the rates that lawyers bill. 

Tracy: No, no, never. 

Susan: No. And, you know, I think that you have reiterated something that we tell our clients all of the time, financials, it’s just a dollar amount. It just gets split. Very rarely are we off 50-50. You know, sometimes there’s cases where we need to go off 50-50. But for the most part, the average divorce without a business or something like that, it’s going to be 50-50. And, you know, for people to expect it like, well, they shouldn’t get any, I get that all the time. They shouldn’t get any of the house. They shouldn’t get that. That’s in my name alone. And it’s like, oh, I mean, how many times can you tell them? 

Judge Randall: Yeah, well, that’s often for an estate planning purpose or a liability protection purpose. Not to say that it’s not marital property. 

Susan: Yeah. 

Tracy: So speaking of those trials that you had, your three day trials and those types of cases as a judge, what are the cases that stick out to you the most? 

Judge Randall: You mean domestic cases? 

Tracy: Sure. 

Susan: Good or bad. 

Tracy: Yeah. Or the the little things that you just. You know, those are the stories that you tell at parties of, I can’t believe this one case that one time I remember. Is there, is it Judge Coffee did something with the espresso machine. 

Susan: I had heard that story. I don’t know if that was true. 

Judge Randall: Oh, I’ve done that. And I mean similar types of things, which is basically, you know, if you’re, we’ll sell it and we divide the money. Yeah. Or something of that nature. If the parties are being horribly unreasonable with each other and have unrealistic expectations, they’re going to get an unrealistic result. 

Susan: Yes. 

Judge Randall: And some of that’s the lawyer’s problem in not bringing them in touch with reality. Some of it is just a party not wanting to be involved in that process. They want it because they think it’s theirs and they don’t want the court to have anything to do with it. They just want the other party just to give it to them. 

Tracy: Yeah, we call that lack of client control. And so oftentimes we’ll have opposing counsel, you know, we just don’t think is really giving any advice to the opposing party because they’re being so unrealistic and we’ll say they need to get control of their client. Yeah. And really explain to them, you know, this isn’t how this works or when you go into court, the judge isn’t going to do that. No way. No how. Right. 

Judge Randall: Yeah, and that’s absolutely correct. And you recognize it when you’re sitting on the bench, you’ve got to go. Really? Really. 

Tracy: Did you have those conversations in your head when you’re sitting there in those divorce trials? 

Judge Randall: And I probably had it in my head and then I subsequently had it with the lawyers. 

Tracy: Sometimes it would come out of your head. 

Susan: Yes. Yeah. So when you’re hearing a trial and you’ve you’ve looked at the evidence and you’re sitting there on the bench and the case is being presented to you, are you taking notes like so that you, because you said, “I like to think about my decision, I go back and go through all the evidence.” I mean, are you writing down kind of word for word? Are you hitting the big points? What are you doing to help yourself remember everything. 

Judge Randall: All of that with regard to different pieces of evidence, it depends on what it is. I like actually to take notes on the copies, my copies of the exhibits. Oh yeah. Once they were admitted because I could then relate directly to, this is what Tracey said it was worth and this is what Susan said it was worth. Yeah. And I make little notes to myself about that. And then because sometimes, I mean, I have had stacks of exhibits that were two feet tall in a divorce case. Oh, yeah. You know, banker’s boxes. 

Susan: Exactly. 

Judge Randall: You know, and now all of that is on my back bar, you know, waiting for me to sift through it all and make a decision. And you can’t see it in the podcast. But I am holding my hand three feet above the table to identify how tall the stacks are. Yeah. The worst thing that can happen, though, is when you get a case like that, you get afraid of it. And I didn’t have too many of those, but if you get afraid of it and you let it sit there for an extensive period of time, your knowledge does not get any better. 

Susan: Yeah. 

Tracy: Yeah. So your notes hopefully then are the thing that help. 

Judge Randall: They would be. And of course, you know, my court reporter and I had a fabulous relationship and she would just go back and say, no, judge, this is what he said. You know, because I’ll specifically ask her because it’s okay for me to go over that record. Yeah. I could never type it up and reread it. Yeah. Okay. I don’t think the county board would want me to. 

Tracy: Do that on every case. 

Judge Randall: Every case. 

Susan: Right. Yeah. Why do you think some judges do take so long to, I mean, you never did. I felt like, I feel like there’s judges are in two camps. We’re going to get a decision pretty quick, you know, a week to 10 days on a one day, a half day divorce trial. But some of these other judges, I mean, it’s like a couple of months. Are they backlogged or more? Yeah. I mean, what are they doing? Are they bad at managing time or what is it? 

Judge Randall: I would never say that, although it may be true. No, it just depends on how busy their schedule is. If they are doing one trial right after another without any kind of breaks, you know, to be able to make decisions, it gets, it is difficult and you can’t necessarily get to it. The problem with not getting to it is you don’t remember it any better three months later than you did three days later. 

Susan: Right. 

Judge Randall: You know, so if you actually have the opportunity to get it resolved, that’s when you need to do it. As a judge, I can remember, though, you know, at the beginning of my judicial career, there were some cases I was just frightened by. Sure. And I can’t tell you why I was frightened. I can’t even tell you specifically which ones they were. I just knew that there were some that I didn’t feel I knew well, and I was a little scared about what I might do. You know, but the answer to the problem or the issue is to educate myself.

Tracy: We’re going to continue this conversation in our next episode with Judge Randall, where he’s going to talk about his legacy cases, including the Anthony Garcia case. And he’s going to give us some advice for the ruffian or baby lawyers and potential clients. So make sure to listen to our second episode with Judge Randall.

Outro: Thank you for listening to the Lady Lawyer League. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would like to learn more about our firm, visit us at We’ll see you next week. 

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