Questions with a Judge – Mike Taylor

Circuit Judge Mike Taylor
Lincoln, Pike & Walthall Counties
14th Circuit District

Judge Taylor earned a B.A. from Millsaps College and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi. Judge Taylor was elected unopposed in 2010 and 2014.

1. What do you like most and least about being a judge?

I enjoy actually judging cases.

A broken printer is the same whether you are a judge or a lawyer. The office work of a judge is similar to any other sort of office work. The business of the court is not as interesting as the work of the court.

2. Identify one judge, living or dead, whom you admire the most and explain why?

I practiced in front of some very talented judges. I can’t pick just one.

3. What three suggestions would you give to a lawyer about how to improve their writing?

From George Orwell:– Never use a long word where a short one will do.
– If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
– Never use the passive where you can use the active.

4. What three suggestions would you give to a lawyer about how to present an effective case in your court?

Be candid. Don’t gloss over the weakest points of your argument.

Tell about your particular case/motion. Don’t read Rule 56 as if you possess a book of secrets you are sharing with the court.

Think about your case/argument. Present a narrative. Judges, like other humans, process a coherent story more easily than strands of seemingly unconnected facts and law.

5. If you could change any law or rule, what would it be?

I agree with Judge Strong’s answer. Conspiracy should never carry a longer sentence than the completed crime.

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