When the news broke that former Chief Justice Harris Hines had died in a motor vehicle accident, it was stunning and heartbreaking moment. Here was a man who had achieved the pinnacle of his career in the most professional of ways gone shortly after his retirement from the job he loved so much.
Justice Harris Hines was the kind of judge that exuded a kind of cheer and fairness that few could ever master these days. The fact is that over my career he ruled in my favor at times and against me at times. It is what judges do.
But after each ruling, I would eventually run into him at a bar function or football game. And regardless of his ruling, I was always glad to see him with his cheerful smile, and positive comment on life and more often than not, a prediction on the next Georgia Bulldogs games.
Justice Hines understood his role to judge cases. After deciding a case, he left the case as just another case so that when he saw you next, he saw a fellow member of the Georgia Bar and treated them as such with respect, professionalism and honor. And so, not surprisingly, it was always a smile, a pleasantry and a good feeling that you were left making clear with that you were glad you had seen him.
Georgia will miss former Chief Justice Harris Hines. He retired from bench. And now, he has retired from life. But his wit, wisdom, love of the law and smiles with over all good nature will last on forever as we remember him for being the kind of judge we would all like to see more of—a humble man doing an important job with respect of all of those who appeared before him.
Good bye Justice Hines. We will miss you. Life will miss you.
J. Randolph Evans
U.S. ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg