Taylor is sworn in as Jefferson County’s new magistrate | News, Sports, Jobs

NEW JUDGE — Maresa Baes Taylor, right, was sworn in as Jefferson County’s new judge by Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller. – Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — Maresa Baes Taylor is the new Jefferson County magistrate who presides over both the state file and the civil defense orders.

While her family watched Taylor, 44, she was sworn in by Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller on Monday. Miller and Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. selected Taylor to succeed Adrian Hershey, who retired after eight years as a judge.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity” Taylor said afterwards. “I look forward to serving the community on a different level than individual clients.”

Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College in 2000 and her law degree from Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law in 2003. She and her husband, Frank, moved around extensively thereafter and over the next few years practiced law at various law firms in Ohio and Indiana and taught at West Virginia Northern and Eastern Gateway Community Colleges.

In 2019 she opened her own practice in Steubenville.

“It’s an opportunity to change lives” Miller told Taylor before swearing her in. “As a lawyer, you’ve been able to help people, but as a judge, you have more control over the process, how quickly people get on board, how quickly their cases go through when things have to be delayed, so you’re better able to fill in information from certain places.

“You know, they say if you want to test a person’s character, don’t give them adversity, because these people will rise to the occasion.” Mueller added. “If you want to test someone’s character, give them power…you will have it. They will have the power to make changes at the most basic level – about custody (matters), their divorces, all the things that are dear to them. It is the fabric of society.”

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“But most importantly, or as importantly, we think you are very trustworthy and honorable, and that is what a member of the judiciary needs.” said Mueller.

Taylor said it’s hard to leave her practice, not least because she enjoys working with people.

“It’s like Judge Miller said — you can see where you’re making a difference in people’s lives, sometimes when you least expect it.” she said, pointing to judges and prosecutors “help (people) to ensure that the law is fairly applied.”

Miller said they made the decision because of Taylor “her intelligence, her analytical skills, her commitment to justice.” She said she and Bruzzese saw her in action in their courtrooms and “We knew she had the temper and qualities needed to be a fair member of the judiciary.”

“It’s an important job – she decides where the children live. She has the power to put anyone in prison, depriving them of their liberty, if they do not obey the rules of the court. It takes a steady hand and a reasonable temper, and she has it.”said Mueller.

“A lot of people look at something on the news and say, ‘Put it up,’ but judges can’t do that: they have to adjudicate calmly, analytically, with reason and objectivity. That’s exactly what this job entails. It will directly affect the lives of families.”

Taylor grew up in Toronto and graduated from Catholic Central High School in Steubenville. She and her husband have two children.

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