Clifford Taylor

<<Back to Bios

Clifford TaylorServed from 1997 through 2008
Chief Justice: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008


Clifford W. Taylor was born November 9, 1942, in Delaware, Ohio. His parents, Alexander and Carolyn Taylor, soon thereafter moved to Flint, Michigan, where he was raised. After graduating from Flint Central High School, he enrolled in the University of Michigan where he received a B.A in 1964 and was a member of the honorary society, Michigauma. He then enrolled in the George Washington University Law School graduating in 1967.

Taylor served in the United States Navy as a line officer from 1967 until 1971.

Taylor was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1968. In the same year, he married Lucille, a law school classmate. He began practicing law in Lansing, in 1971, as an Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. The following year he joined a law firm that later became Denfield, Timmer and Taylor, practicing there until 1992, when he was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Court of Appeals. In 1997, upon the retirement of Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley, Governor Engler appointed Taylor to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Taylor’s professional service to Michigan included the 1988 Commission on the Courts in the Twenty-First Century as well as member and President of the State Board of Law Examiners from 1989-1997.

Taylor co-authored a three-volume work on Michigan personal injury law entitled Torts in addition to numerous articles for newspaper, professional journals and law reviews.

Taylor participated in various community organizations including the Executive Board of the Chief Okemos Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Directors of the Michigan Dyslexia Institute, and the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Chief Justices.

After leaving the bench, Taylor joined the Michigan law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone. He serves as Justice in Residence and Visiting Professor of Law at the Ave Maria School of Law and also as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Portrait presented on: (Click link to read transcript)
September 14, 2011

Portrait Artist:
Burnett, Patricia Hill

Oil on canvas

30″ x 40″

Owned by:
State of Michigan

Current location:
Hall of Justice – 6th Floor:
Justice Brian Zahra’s Suite

Portrait photo by:
David Trumpie