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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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Lawyer Celebrates 25-Year Practice

PLANT CITY - Ted Taylor is a trail blazer in two ways. When he opened a law practice here in 1982, he was the city's first black lawyer. In 1995, he was among the first to restore a historical building downtown, a trend that continues. Taylor, 54, recently reflected on his time in Plant City as he celebrates his 25{+t}{+h} year in business. He worked at law firms in Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Tampa before a friend of the family told him: 'Plant City was a good place to have a practice.'
Taylor, who got his law degree from the University of Florida, said he felt right at home soon after his move after visits from the late Circuit Judge J.D. Bruton and other community leaders. 'Everybody welcomed me and I've felt welcomed ever since,' he said. About 12 years ago, he bought and renovated a dilapidated furniture store at 202 S. Collins St. At the time, downtown was suffering from urban decay as businesses fled to shopping centers and the suburbs. Today, downtown is filled with restored buildings. He shares his 5,000-square-foot, 60- to 70-year-old building with a hair stylist and a contractor support service. His practice includes real estate and probate law, personal injury, Social Security disability, guardianship, family and criminal law. Taylor and his wife, Sharon, have two sons, Aaron, 32, a lawyer who is a law school administrator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Wesley, 21, a senior at Florida A&M University, where he is an All-American punter and kicker. Despite a thriving practice, Taylor finds time to lift weights, volunteer serving meals at Mount Olive Baptist Church and attend FAMU football games. 'I haven't missed one game since 1998,' said Taylor, who received his undergraduate degree from FAMU.

Reporter Dave Nicholson can be reached at (813) 865-4432 or [email protected]

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