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Vol. 5, Iss. 9
September 7, 2016

Randy Evans:
Coverage Lawyer And Political Insider

Randy Evans, partner at Dentons US in Atlanta, is a coverage lawyer. Indeed, he is the co-author (with J. Stephen Berry) of the hefty book Georgia Property and Liability Insurance Law (Thompson Reuters 2014) (I have a copy of it on my shelf) as well as other books on insurance law.

But Evans is also a political insider. And at the highest level. He served as outside counsel to former Speakers of the House Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert and later served as a senior advisor to Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign. These days, Evans is the Georgia Republican Party’s national committeeman, chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association and co-chair of the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission. He was also appointed to the Republican National Committee’s Debate Committee, which was responsible for hammering out the details of the Republican presidential debates.

Coverage lawyer and political insider is a seemingly odd combination. Randy was kind enough to answer four questions about his unique dual practice.


Your credentials in the political arena are lengthy and impressive. Insurance coverage seems out of place on your resume. How did your coverage practice come about?

Both my coverage practice and political involvement developed simultaneously. During college, I met former Speaker Newt Gingrich. During law school, I enjoyed litigation and insurance. So, when I hit the ground after law school, I started both. Increasingly, I noticed how interrelated they were in many respects, especially as my practice became national and then international. Globalization has only made it more so.

Are there any ways that your political experience transfers to your insurance coverage work?

The overlap between politics and insurance coverage is far greater than most folks think. From regulations by insurance commissioners, to statutes by legislatures, to decisions by judges - all of whom are either elected or appointed - the public policy implications of insurance and insurance coverage inevitably overlap. By being involved heavily in both, it gives attorneys, including me, a better view of where things have been, where things are, and where things are going. It also gives coverage attorneys the chance to shape policy as well as predict it, in states where commissioners, legislatures, and judiciaries are in a state of transition.

Politics aside, Donald Trump tapped into the public’s dissatisfaction with Washington and the so-called establishment. Whether he wins or not, do you see other any changes on the horizon in Washington as a recognition of this?

The electorate is in a state of transition. If Trump wins, it could actually translate into the de facto formation of a third political party. There will be the traditional Democrats, Republicans (in control of the Congress) and Trump voters in control of the White House. It is why he describes the Presidential election as not a partisan choice, but instead a choice of more of the same or a new direction for the country. The ramifications of such a transition are enormous and will be manifested in many elections to come as parties realign or disappear and new alliances emerge from the top of the ballot to the bottom.

As a political insider – and especially at the House Speaker level – you surely know things about the process that we on the outside are not aware of. What are some things about the political process that the general public cannot appreciate?

Probably the single most significant unknown thing is the impact of good and reliable data. At the highest levels of government, like the President or Speaker, the information advantage is enormous. As a result, high ranking government officials know what’s coming days, weeks, and even sometimes months before everyone else does. As a result, when you talk to someone high up in the White House or in the Leadership in the Congress, the odds are that whatever you are discussing is dated.

The end effect is what you see now is actually the product of what was done years ago and what we will see years from now is the product of what is being done now. This time lag makes judging any one Congress or President in real time virtually impossible absent major blunders.

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