Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Judge Barry A. Taylor to Retire in February
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barry A. Taylor will step down in the latter part of February after more than 16 years on the bench, he told the MetNews yesterday.
Remarking that he had been involved in the criminal justice system his entire career, Taylor, 65, said that it was “just about time” for him to end his career.
Taylor first began serving on the bench as a commissioner in 1991 after being elected to the position by the court’s judges.
In 1994, then-Governor Pete Wilson appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court to succeed Judge Juaneita M. Veron. He became a superior court judge when courts merged in 2000, and was retained without opposition in 2004.
Born in Los Angeles, Taylor attended Los Angeles High School and graduated from California State University, Northridge (known then as San Fernando Valley State College) in 1964. He attended law school at UCLA, graduating in 1967.
After law school, Taylor served as a law clerk in the Los Angles County Public Defender’s office for two years until he was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1969. Taylor then became a deputy public defender, remaining with the office until his election as commissioner.
Taylor said that he considered his biggest achievement during his time on the bench to be keeping up with the pace of being a judge. He opined that the pressures of the office had become more difficult over the years due to a greater workload and a docket full of increasingly serious matters.
“All of the easy cases I used to get seemed to go away,” he said.
He noted that he handled his first capital case late last year and imposed the death sentence called for by the jury.
Nevertheless, Taylor said that he had enjoyed his experience as a judge, calling it “a nice way to finish off my legal career.”
He also said that he was looking forward to retirement with both excitement and trepidation, pointing out that the good part about retiring – not being occupied by a full-time job and having plenty of time to do only the things he wanted to do – was also the bad part.
Although he hopes to sit by assignment, Taylor said that his plans were still somewhat “up in the air,” as he has not yet filed formal papers with the court. He did say, however, that he plans to use his free time to visit his son and daughter-in-law who reside in France, spend more time bicycling, and “play” with sportscars.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company