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Benjamin Taylor, new head of the Arizona State Bar. (Photo: attorneybenjamintaylor.com)

Arizona Republic Loves Up New Bar Head Ben Taylor

Ed page editor Elvia Diaz writes him literal loveletter

By Ken Kurson, November 27, 2023 11:26 am

The new president of the Arizona Bar Association, Benjamin Taylor, doesn’t tweet often. His last communication occurred September 22, 2022. It was only three words long, and those three words were “Great opinion piece!”

He was referring to a story by Elvia Diaz, the editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic. Diaz was writing (correctly, in my humble and unsolicited opinion) about how bad a proposed law restricting the filming of police is in a country whose literal first law forbids government from placing unreasonable restrictions on the press.

Until recently, Taylor, a telegenic and quippy personal injury and criminal attorney in Phoenix, was best known for a client whose aggressive arrest by the Scottsdale PD landed him and her on Dr. Phil and resulted in a pretty big settlement. Now that he has been elevated to head the state bar, plaudits are pouring in.

Andrei Cherney, who is running for the Democratic nomination in the first congressional district, wrote that when he first met Ben Taylor, “I was a prosecutor, and he was a defense counsel. But we both were working for Justice. I’m excited for my friend and that the Arizona bar has such a great leader. Thank you Elvia Diaz for telling the story.”

That’s right. Taylor‘s old friend Diaz gifted him a glowing column in the state’s biggest newspaper, and the language is remarkably flowery.

“Civil rights attorney Benjamin Taylor was chosen by his peers to lead the state bar of Arizona, opposed to uses to fight for equity for all.”

Diaz writes there isn’t a defining moment that led him to devote himself to civil rights. “In speaking with Taylor, I got the sense that it was more of an understanding and affinity of the historical oppression that some minorities, especially African-Americans, have been endured by law enforcement.”

Just in case Diaz’s high opinion of Taylor wasn’t sufficiently elevated, Taylor takes the baton on his own behalf.

“A lot of ancestors, people like Thurgood Marshall and Dr. King Jr., fought and put their lives on the line to do this,” Taylor told Diaz. “I figured if they could this, I can do this.”

Good to know the president of the state bar has such lofty company. And fans high up on the mastheads of the state’s media elite.

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Ken Kurson
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