Randall “Randy” Kelly Seago ’79

Randal Kelly “Randy” Seago, 56, of Sylva, died at his residence Jan. 29, 2013.

He was the son of the late Robert Lee Seago and Naomi Alene Beck Seago of Sylva. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife, Judith Carol Jones Seago; two daughters, Paige Elizabeth Seago and Elayna Rose Seago of the home; two sisters, Donna Mershon (John) of Waynesville, Regina Kilpatrick of Clyde.

Mr. Seago graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., in 1979. From there, he continued his education at the University of Louisville School of Law in Louisville, Ky., graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1985. He was admitted to the N.C. Bar Association in 1988, the same year that he began his affiliation with the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers. In his years of service, Mr. Seago earned the reputation as an attorney wholly devoted to and passionate about defending the rights of his clients. Mr. Seago was also a member of American Association for Justice. He was involved in many high-profile cases in his career, including appellate work that resulted in a significant interpretation of the law in favor of his clients.

Randy was recognized as one of the leading trial attorneys in Western North Carolina. He loved the trial process, and handled both civil and criminal cases. He had the enviable ability and intellect to reduce mountains of complex evidence into understandable stories which he loved to tell juries. He developed a passion for defending people accused of capital murder, and was a featured speaker last year at the annual seminar devoted to those dedicated to saving people from the death penalty. Despite sometimes incredible odds, he never had a client sentenced to death. Randy also broke new legal ground in the early 1990s with the use of DNA testing to prove paternity to allow the rightful heir to inherit. He was universally respected in the legal community, and mentored countless younger attorneys how they could learn to be zealous, yet ethical, advocates.