After 40 years of practice, the variety and challenges Mr. Taylor and Mr. Spicer have faced together have been both frequent and intense.
Mr. Taylor started out his career in the Juvenile Section of the Bexar County District Attorney's office. He still maintains his interest in defending youths accused of crimes, and this area of the law still constitutes a significant portion of his practice.
Thereafter he was a Court Martial Defense lawyer, a Federal Commissioner (Magistrate) for Viet Nam, and Chief Defense Counsel at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
In 1970, he began his private practice. For many years now, Mr. Taylor has followed the philosophy of accepting only a handful of cases, thereby being able to concentrate on those few cases.
Mr. Taylor is always available to his clients, and has all the time necessary to prepare the most thorough defense.
A few cases from our war chest of experience:
1. Perhaps the case that Mr. Taylor is best known for is the "Ski Mask Rapist" case.
1982-1983, a huge series of rapes plagued a small neighborhood in San Antonio. Competing pairs of armed vigilantes had almost exchanged gunfire while trying to arrest each other. The entire city of San Antonio was up in arms about the epidemic of rapes, and the defendant was a suspect in 325 cases.
The defendant was arrested nude and wearing his customary ski mask after coming back to rape a young single mother for the third time. Police had rigged a sound-motion detector system after she had been raped the second time.
The defendant was also indicted for two other rapes, one of a 12 year old, and of a middle age school teacher, but Mr. Taylor managed to get these cases dismissed.
The defendant pled guilty to 3 attacks on the young mother, for which he could have received three life terms. Mr. Taylor went to the local medical school, and utilizing his science background, learned of the pioneering work of a Dr. Fred Berlin of the John Hopkins Medical School Bio Psychological sexual treatment program.
The defendant did not testify at trial. Mr. Taylor elected for the jury to assess punishment.
Medical testimony proved up the defendant's testosterone levels were six times normal, that he masturbated several times daily, and that he was most remorseful for his crimes, and had been accepted for treatment by Dr. Berlin.
Evidence was presented that he was a good candidate for use of Depo-Provera. Since the drug temporarily shrunk the testicles to the size of raisins, the treatment name of "chemical castration" was coined by Phil Spicer.
After hearing the evidence of the program's high success rate, the jury assessed 10 years probation, and he left Texas for his native Virginia to begin treatment.
Because of his success in this celebrated case, Mr. Taylor was profiled on "60 minutes", appeared on "The Phil Donahue Show" and "Good Morning America". He wrote a book about the defense method, and now several states have passed laws regarding the treatment program.
2. The defendant entered a neighborhood convenience store with a wrench and, raising it over his head, said "I want the money, all of it." A video-audio system recorded the exchange, the storekeeper stepped back, drew a pistol, and said "not today!" As the defendant fled, he was knocked down by a neighboring bartender, a friend who had stopped to chat with the storekeeper. He was also armed, and the defendant was apprehended at the scene and the police were called.
At trial, the state's star witnesses were the convenience store clerk, who weighed 350 lbs, and the armed bartender, who witnessed the episode and verified the accuracy of the audio video tape.
Two arresting officers testified the defendant smelled of beer, and seemed unconscious when they got there.
The video-audio tape was not challenged. Instead, Mr. Taylor called the defendant's girlfriend and two other companions, who testified the 130 lb. Defendant had drunk most of a case of beer that evening, and was quite intoxicated.
The defendant testified, admitted being so drunk he could barely walk and passing out in the store, noting he had been in the neighborhood store several times before, and knew the clerk was armed. They had joked before. He testified he thought of the clerk as a friend, and he had gone in to buy cigarettes, and was just joking, and had no true intent to permanently deprive the store of their money.
A favorable jury instruction was obtained, instructing the jury that the state must prove the defendant was sufficiently sober to form the intent to permanently deprive the store of money, and that if the jury believed the defendant was just joking, they must find him not guilty.
After two days of deliberations, the jury found him not guilty, of all charges.
Two months later, the convenience store chain settled his claim for malicious prosecution with Mr. Taylor for $6,500.00.
3. A lady was subpoenaed before a federal grand jury for allegedly selling, but not delivering electric wheel chairs to the elderly. Mr. Taylor defended her, and as a result she was not indicted.
4. The defendant was accused of raping his 12 year old daughter, infecting her with venereal warts. She also claimed he had threatened her in person if she testified.
The defense proved up he was at work operating the credit card machine at the moment she said the threats took place.
A doctor for the defense testified the defendant had never had venereal warts, and it was medically impossible for the defendant to have infected her.
When recalled to the stand, under cross examination by Mr. Taylor, she admitted her mother put her up to falsely testifying.
Result: Not guilty.
5. The teenage complainant claimed the defendant sexually assaulted her at church. She was a very convincing witness.
Our investigator went out to talk to her at her home. She refused.
As the investigator was leaving, he took a plastic bag of her trash with him.
The trash revealed a bottle of medicine proving the girl was on antipsychotic drugs. Her psychiatrist was subpoenaed and testified she was not taking her medication when she claimed the assault took place and she was hallucinating, was delusional, heard voices, and had sexual fantasies. The Psychiatrist testified she was unable to distinguish the truth from a lie, and could not correctly give an accurate social, medical, or school history.
Verdict: Not Guilty.
6. A 25 year old defendant was accused in Juvenile Court of sexual assault of a cousin. She waited 9 years to report it. She had been six at the time of the alleged assault. The prosecution cleverly set up a social and psychiatric interview, with out Mr. Taylor, to get damaging evidence in order to transfer the case to adult court, thus exposing the client to up to 40 years in adult prison.
Mr. Taylor stopped the interview, and went directly to the transfer hearing.
The court ruled the 10 year stature of limitations had run by 3 weeks.
7. Mr. Taylor was approached in the halls of the courthouse by a court appointed class mate who had never tried a case.
The best plea offer was 8 years in prison for possession of a stolen car.
Mr. Taylor, with 5 minutes preparation picked the jury, and began the trial. The prosecution then offered Mr. Taylor's new client 2 years probation, and the client accepted.
8. Mr. Taylor defended a murder case in Laredo, resulting in a hung jury, 8 for acquittal, and 4 for guilty.
As of two years later, the case is still not set for retrial, and may never be retried.
9. In Hondo, Texas, an Air Force Sergeant was accused of indecency with a 16 year old girl. The prosecutor tried to bully an early guilty plea with threats of taking his children away, and a lengthy prison sentence. Mr. Taylor got the case dismissed.
10. In Greensborough, N.C., the defendant was accused of conspiracy and possession of 12,000 lbs of marijuana. The jury trial resulted in a hung jury - 8 for acquittal, 4 for guilty. Just before retrial, a year later, the government dismissed.
11. In Wilmington, N.C., the defendant was charged with possession of 10,000 lbs of marijuana - jury verdict: not guilty.
12. In Lockhart, Texas, the defendant was accused of indecency with a child. Jury Verdict: not guilty.
13. In San Marcos, a college student was tried for date rape. After a lengthy trial, not guilty.
That defendant is now a respected lawyer.
14. In San Antonio, the defendant was caught with 106 illegally smuggled parrots, a felony. Result, charges dismissed, a small fine paid for violation to the Department of Agriculture Regulations, no jail time.
15. The defendant had pled guilty to indecency with a child, but, asserting his innocence he hired Mr. Taylor to try to set aside the guilty plea.
Mr. Taylor was successful, and twenty years later, the case has yet to be reset for trial.
This is only a tiny sample of the thousands of cases Mr. Taylor has successfully handled.