Black History Month Profiles

Throughout Black History Month, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recognized standout African American trailblazers from throughout Los Angeles County including Judge Kevin C. Brazile, Judge Eric C. Taylor, Blake Shepherd, Stephanie Wiggins, and Reverend Dr. Alexander Hamilton.

Select from the profiles below:

During a Black History Month board presentation Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas honored two individuals that contributed to the legal community in Los Angeles and the state of California.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas presented a scroll to Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile, and Assistant Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor, the first African American and second African American judges to hold their respective positions in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Their recent elections mark a significant example of how with passion, determination, hard work and opportunity, you can blaze trails,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “And how you can achieve the dreams of your intellectual and heart’s desire.”

Elected by their peers, the newly elected judges will be responsible for the day-to-day administrative, budgetary, and legislative aspects of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Brazile was an attorney in Los Angeles County’s Office of County Counsel where his practice included personal injury, employment discrimination, and federal civil rights litigation.

He was also Division Chief of the general tort litigation section and served as an in-house legal advisor to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for the Jail and Custody Division.

He has argued before the Second District Court of Appeals and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and won Conn v. Gabbert before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Brazile has held held numerous leadership positions within the Los Angeles Superior Court such as Assistant Supervising Judge of Civil, Supervising Judge of Civil, and is Site Judge of West Covina Courthouse.

Judge Brazile earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.

“To get to this point, you don’t do it by yourself. You do it with help and the support of so many others,” said Judge Brazile. “Today I stand on the shoulders of the board members who have done so much for our county, who have done so much for me and who have done so much and made a difference for our community.”

Judge Taylor’s appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench in 1998 by Governor Pete Wilson made him the second-youngest judicial officer ever appointed.

“One of the things that we’re dedicated to do is to show young kids who are like us growing up in Los Angeles, in public schools, that you can do anything,” said Judge Taylor. “Not just be the first and there’s no limit to it. You can be the second, third, there is no more barrier. And we want to take that message across Los Angeles and throughout the state. “

Judge Taylor served twice as the Supervising Judge of the Southwest District and on numerous Los Angeles Superior Court committees such as Bench-Bar Outreach, Civil Grand Jury, Legislative, Family and Security.

He held numerous statewide leadership positions such as the President of the California Judges Association and as advisory member to the California Judicial Council.

Judge Taylor earned a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.