- Special Sections
- Public Notices
SHEPHERDSVILLE – It was a project of the Bullitt County Bar Association and one of its senior members, Burlyn Pike.
The group worked 20 years ago to make sure there were portraits of all the circuit court judges posted in the courtroom.
Since that initial ceremony, things have changed – including spending time in a temporary facility and the opening of the new judicial center six years ago.
Also what changed during that time was that the portraits were stored away for the various moves. It was only last Friday when the judicial portraits were returned to public view.
Supreme Court justice John Minton presided over a special ceremony to rededicate the portraits of past circuit judges Thomas Waller and the late Athol Lee Taylor.
Waller, with his wife and several grandchildren present, and Bailey Taylor, representing his late father, were both honored at the unveiling.
Eric Farris, a member of the bar association, said the goal is to have the other portraits refurbished and also hung in the circuit courtrooms.
He thanked attorneys John Spainhour, Jennifer Barbagallo and Monica Meredith Robinson for their role in refurbishing the portraits.
Minton, who Farris said was still a friend of local attorneys and always available for consultation, recalled that he had past experiences with both Taylor and Waller.
He appeared in court before Taylor and he became a circuit judge in 1991, the same time as Waller.
Looking back on the careers of each, Minton said they were distinguished on the bench and what they meant to their communities.
Taylor taught law for 30 years at the University of Louisville and was a renaissance man. He moved to Bullitt County in 1952 and opened up a law practice five years later.
He served as Mount Washington city attorney and also as legal counsel to the planning commission.
At the same time, he was also a founder of Bullitt Federal Savings, which later merged into First Federal Savings Bank.
He began his seven-plus year stint as circuit judge in 1983 but died from cancer in August 1991.
Bailey Taylor, his son, also went into the judiciary, serving as a Bullitt District Judge. Now retired, Taylor serves across the state as a senior status judge, filling in courtrooms throughout Kentucky.
Taylor and Waller were very good friends and legal partners for years.
Minton reminded the audience that when he came to Bullitt County in 1964, Waller joined the law firm of Taylor and Pike. He would become commonwealth attorney in 1974 and serve through 1991.
In 1991, Waller won a special election to succeed Taylor as circuit judge and continued until his retirement in 2006.
Minton said that both men served not only the judicial system but their communities.
“Thank you for your years of service and as valuable members of the community,” said Minton.
Prior to Minton’s comments, current circuit judge Rodney Burress complimented the number of past co-workers, members of the past and present court system and other elected officials who took time to attend the ceremony.