CHARLESTON -- Shawn A. Taylor was re-elected as Charleston's municipal judge in the May 15 city election.
As the Municipal Judge since March 2005, Taylor's duties include hearing "every kind of traffic case, except for second offense DUI, [and] every kind of misdemeanor case."
Traditionally, municipal judges are not required to have a law degree, Taylor, who has practiced law in Charleston since 1992, has his own firm.
But with so many lawyers in the Charleston area, Taylor said he was forced to acquire a second source of income.
"When I went into private practice on my own, the competition for business was very high," he said.
Taylor is the municipal judge of Charleston, Nitro and St. Albans.
When former Charleston Municipal Judge Carol Bloom stepped down in 2005, Taylor got the job.
"I started out as a clerk of the Municipal Court," Taylor said. "I was [then] nominated by our mayor, Danny Jones, and confirmed by the City Council until this election cycle."
Since becoming Charleston's Municipal Judge, Taylor says "the greatest part of the job [is] getting to meet all of the people ... [it] is by far the most fun."
Taylor holds true to his principles every day, which can be simply put in this quote that he keeps taped to his desk from the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer: "Strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being."