It is with great pleasure to announce the addition of Ms. Dacia Riley-Taylor as General Counsel for the Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida. Ms. Riley-Taylor is a former Assistant Public Defender, having served under the Administration of Public Defender, Alan Schreiber from 1996 through 1999. Ms. Riley-Taylor has been practicing law for over 20 years, and brings a vast amount of experience to the office.
Ms. Riley-Taylor holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Florida and received her law degree in 1995 from Emory University School of Law, in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to obtaining her license to practice law in both Florida and Georgia, Ms. Riley-Taylor both worked and interned within many notable organizations. As an intern with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Atlanta Georgia, she was responsible for the review of investigation reports to prepare executive charges for violations of the Fair Housing Act. In 1994, Ms. Riley Taylor, was hired by People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy group, based in Washington, DC., where her primary role was to review all opinions (written for the majority and for the dissent), by the then Chief Judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Steven Breyer, relevant to his nomination hearings to the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Riley-Taylor’s report was relied upon by National Public Radio (NPR), during Senate confirmation hearings, in order to discern Justice Breyer’s judicial temperament, if appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Riley-Taylor’s work at this organization, her exposure on Capitol Hill, and her passion for civil liberty causes, was attractive to the then Public Defender Alan Schreiber and as a result, she was offered the position of Assistant Public Defender, in the 17th Judicial Circuit.
As an Assistant Public Defender (APD), Ms. Riley-Taylor served in many courtrooms and many divisions. After her service in the Public Defender’s office, Ms. Riley-Taylor entered into private practice, focusing on many areas of civil and criminal law, where additionally, she was selected as an Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. While in private practice, Ms. Riley-Taylor also was employed as an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department, at Brown Mackie College.
After several years in private practice, Ms. Riley-Taylor took her knowledge base in legal risk management, legal risk avoidance and contracts to both the corporate and government sector. Most recently, and prior to returning to the Public Defender’s Office as General Counsel, Ms. Riley-Taylor served as an Advisor to Miami-Dade County, Internal Services Department.