Friday, January 23, 2009
Superior Court Commissioner Gretchen Taylor to Retire in March
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Gretchen W. Taylor has announced that she will be retiring in March.
Her last official day will be March 31, but she told the MetNews that she will be using her accrued vacation time before then, so her last day on the bench will probably be sometime in the first week of March.
Taylor said she keeps hearing the Beatles song, “When I’m 64” in her head because she is halfway past her 63rd birthday and “no spring chicken.” She opined it was “time for a change for me,” and “time for some youth” for the court.
“Despite the instability in the world, I’ve taken change to heart,” she reflected. “The turning of the wheel the way our country is going gave me the courage to attempt something new in my life.”
Laughing, she exclaimed:
“Into the void I go!”
She said she plans to work as a neutral arbitrator/mediator with Alternative Resolution Centers and do some pro bono work both for the court and family law community, maybe sit on assignment, or do mediations and voluntary settlements.
“It’s hard to leave the kind of wonderful bench officers I serve with and the kind of staff,” Taylor admitted. “I can’t tell you what a wonderful job I have....I’m going to miss everybody.”
Another thing she jokingly confided she will miss is her chambers. “I’ve got great digs here,” she said of her space on the eighth floor of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, which has a balcony overlooking the Hall of Administration next door and Dodger Stadium in the distance.
Taylor said she is also going to work on her new hobby of making jewelry.
“I’ve always bought more jewelry than I should,” she disclosed, “I’m really into interesting stones.”
The Los Angeles native was raised in Barcelona and attended boarding school in England before hopping across the pond for college. She attended Marymount College in Palos Verdes before it became part of Loyola Maymount University.
After graduating, Taylor worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services while attending Southwestern Law School in the evenings and starting a family.
“I was one of those crazy moms,” she joked. “I’m working full time, I’m having a child, and I‘m going to law school—watch me twirl!”
Taylor spent 18 years in private practice before being appointed as a Riverside Superior Court family law commissioner in 1997. She spent six years at the Indio courthouse before she was appointed to the bench in Los Angeles.
“I’ve had a great career,” she reflected. “It’s been fun, it’s been just a kick.”
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company