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Clifford W. Taylor

Of Counsel





George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1967

University of Michigan, B.A. 1964

Bar Admissions

Clifford Taylor, former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, appears on behalf of amici curiae on appeals involving federal and state constitutional, statutory and public policy matters.

He consults regarding appeal strategy, court decisions and justices, settlement strategy on appeal, and participates in mock appeals and preparation for oral argument on appeal. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator.

Justice Taylor was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1992 and elected later that year. He remained in that position until 1997 when he was appointed by former Governor John Engler to the Michigan Supreme Court. He was elected Justice in 1998 and reelected in 2000. In 2005, he was elected Chief Justice by his colleagues and re-elected in 2007. He served as Chief Justice until 2009.

Justice Taylor came to know state and federal judges throughout Michigan and the United States as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Chief Justices and as a board member of George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center, a leading provider of continuing judicial education for Federal District and Court of Appeals judges and state court appellate judges.  As Chief Justice, he was responsible for the administration of the Michigan judiciary and served as the spokesman for the Michigan courts before the Michigan Legislature as well as the media.

Prior to his judicial appointments, Justice Taylor was in private practice, specializing in tort defense, oil and gas land acquisition, and litigation for major oil producers.  His background also includes being an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.


Thomas M. Cooley Law Review Distinguished Brief Award, 2014

Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice 2012-present; 2013 Lansing Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2010 Leaders In The Law

Police Officers Association, Judge of the Year 2008

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Judge of the Year 1998

Professional Activities

State Bar of Michigan, Standing Committee on Professionalism

Commission on the Courts in the Twenty-First Century; Character and Fitness Committee, former member

Michigan State Board of Law Examiners, former President

George Mason University, Law and Economics Center, Board of Directors, 2005-2009

National Conference of Chief Justices, Board of Directors, 2006-2007

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Mackinac Center, Board of Directors, Chair

Catholic Lawyers Guild

Chief Okemos Council of the Boy Scouts, Executive Board, Financial Committee, former member

Michigan Dyslexia Institute, Board of Directors, former member


Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, FL, Justice in Residence, Visiting Professor of Law


U.S. Navy, Lieutenant


"A Forum on Methods of Judicial Selection," (Co-presenter with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor), Michigan Task Force on Methods of Judicial Selection, Wayne State Law School, Detroit, Michigan, June 14, 2011

"The Assault on the Elected Judiciary: How Well-Funded Special Interests Are Seeking to Change (for the Worse) How States Select Their Judges," (Co-presenters Colleen Pero and Robert Alt), The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2010 

"Judicial Elections and Ethics," Panelist, The Stanford Law Review, Stanford Law School, February 20, 2010


"Merit Selection: Choosing Judges Based on Their Politics Under the Veil of a Disarming Name," Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 32, No. 1, Page 99, Winter 2009

"Construing the Text of Constitutions and Statutes," Texas Review of Law & Politics, Vol. 8, No. 2, Page 365, Spring 2004

"Who's in Charge: A Traditional View of Separation of Powers," Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University Law Review, Vol 1997, Issue 3, Page 769, Fall 1997

"A Government of Laws, Not of Men," Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, Vol. 22, No. 2, Page 199, Trinity Term 2005

"Michigan Practice Guide on Torts," co-author, published by West, 1998