Judge Taylor Left His Mark on Prince George’s County

Posted on: March 4th, 2013  |  No Comments

Judge Taylor presided over my first trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in 1972. Judge Taylor was extraordinarily kind to new lawyers like myself who did not even know “what lawyers and judges said at sidebars at the bench during trial”. A kinder more considerate jurist did not and does not now exist.
Steven Kupferberg

Retired Judge James H. Taylor passed away at the age of 86 on October 31, 2012. He was considered to be a pathbreaker in suburban Maryland legal circles when he became the first black Circuit Court judge in Prince George’s county back in 1969.

He was born July 7, 1926 and served in the Army Air Forces in 1945-1946. He graduated from Howard University in 1950, completed law school at American University in 1953, and three years later, became one of the first blacks admitted to the Prince George’s County Bar Association.
In 1963, he was named Maryland’s first black Assistant State’s Attorney. In 1969, he was appointed by Gov. Marvin Mandel (D) to the state’s 7th Judicial Circuit until he retired in 1987.

When asked by the American University publication what he enjoyed about being on the bench, Judge Taylor said,

At the risk of sounding corny, I would say it was an opportunity to make a philosophical contribution within the framework of law.

Judge James H Taylor

via The Washington Post’s Megan McDonough

A version of this obituary appeared in print on Tuesday December 11, 2012, on page B5 of The Washington Post with the headline: Md. judge broke many racial barriers.

Comments are closed.