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“My Story” Featuring Bernard Taylor

A video snapshot of JAMS neutral Bernard Taylor

After a nearly 40-year legal career at Alston & Bird, where he was chair of the firm’s Management Committee and the Products Liability Group, Bernard Taylor, Sr., joined JAMS. Mr. Taylor focuses on mass torts, complex commercial disputes and class actions, as well as employment, personal injury, and civil rights matters.

Professional Experience 

Mr. Taylor took a winding route to ADR. Early in his career, he was a police officer and an undercover narcotics officer. His experiences in those roles taught him the importance of empathy and understanding everyone’s perspective in resolving disputes.

When he was 31 years old, he decided to attend law school, and he began practicing law at 34. “Be true to who you are, and you’ll be successful,” a judge told him early in his legal career. He’s followed that advice ever since.

A Passion for Justice

Throughout his legal career, Mr. Taylor learned the importance of being honest and straightforward. Once, while handling a case in Alabama, a judge asked him how he wanted the case to proceed. Mr. Taylor responded that he wanted to see justice done. 

“You’re in the wrong place for justice,” the judge told him. “You must be basing your experience on the History Channel, because justice isn’t what goes on in this courtroom.”

That experience stayed with Mr. Taylor for the rest of his career. It reaffirmed his conviction that you must be true to yourself and not allow anyone to treat you unfairly, whether in life or in the courtroom. 

He brings this commitment to fairness to his work as a neutral at JAMS.

Tools for Success: Patience, Determination and Empathy

Mr. Taylor believes that much of his success in mediation comes from his absolute refusal to give up on the process. He makes sure that the parties know from the very beginning that he will do everything he can to make sure they reach a successful resolution. If they can’t resolve the matter right away, he continues to press for a resolution. 

His recipe for success in ADR is patience, determination and empathy for all parties. 

When asked what advice he would give to the next generation of ADR leaders, Mr. Taylor says, “ADR is here to stay. Embrace it and be creative in seeking and finding solutions to your clients’ problems.”

Community Involvement

Mr. Taylor is passionate about community involvement. His extensive experience includes:

  • U.S. Fund for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF USA), USA National Board and Southeast Regional Board
  • Chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Southeast Regional Board
  • Chair of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta
  • Past chair and current member of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
  • Member of the Society of International Business Fellows

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in ADR

Mr. Taylor believes that diversity and inclusion is important in the practice of law and dispute resolution. He wants to see the ADR industry communicate to clients that diverse and minority lawyers have the experience and ability to help them resolve their disputes. 

Making Dreams a Reality

On a recent trip abroad, Mr. Taylor saw a quote that resonated with him: “You’re as young as your dreams, and not as old as your calendar.” 

From his later start in the practice of law to his new beginnings as a neutral at JAMS, Mr. Taylor has spent his life proving that you can make your dreams a reality at any age when you stay true to who you are and believe in yourself.


This page is for general information purposes. JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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