Taylor gets right to work in new role as a judge

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 7, 2005

As he learns the ropes of his new job, 14th District CircuitJudge Mike Taylor was scheduled to begin his duties with some courtproceedings in Tylertown this morning.

Taylor, appointed last week by Gov. Haley Barbour to fill theunexpired term of new federal judge Keith Starrett, said he signedthe necessary paperwork to be judge Friday morning. Since hisappointment, Taylor has been in close contact with Judge Mike Smithand is getting familiar with his new role.

“I’m going around district with him for a few days,” Taylor saidof the district that includes Lincoln, Pike and Walthallcounties.

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Taylor, of Brookhaven, said he was trying to schedule aninvestiture, or judicial swearing-in, ceremony. He said he hoped tohave that within the next few weeks, but it can be up to a monthlater.

Smith and Taylor were in Tylertown this morning. Smith wasexpected to empanel a new grand jury and Taylor, in his firstduties as judge, was scheduled to hear some summary judgment motionproceedings.

Taylor expected his first time on the bench in Lincoln County tobe Wednesday for the purpose of handling arraignments. Arraignmentsfollowing a recent grand jury session were scheduled for thismorning, but the proceedings are waived in most cases by defendantswho want to plead not guilty and go on to trial.

In other transitional activity, Taylor said he would be wrappingup his law practice work. He said there is typically a six-monthwindow to close out private practice activities.

Taylor has practiced law for 18 years. Prior to being namedjudge, he was the 15th Chancery Court District’s youth courtreferee from 1993-97 and from 1998-2005.