Drawing upon her varied life experiences and professional career, Mullen Taylor delivers smart, creative and resourceful solutions to meet the needs and goals of her clients.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Mullen earned a B.A. in art studio from the University of South Carolina in 1989. Although her art work was shown in juried exhibitions at the University of South Carolina and the Florence Museum, she soon took the advice of her parents to explore more practical career paths. In 1990, she joined the administration of Governor Carroll Campbell as an ombudsman helping individuals and businesses navigate through state government red tape and investigating abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults. In 1995, she joined Richland County government, rising to the position of Assistant to the County Administrator; she was charged with supervising research staff and overseeing special projects primarily involving land use and economic development. Rather than shrinking from public policy conflicts that she observed and managed during her tenure at Richland County, Mullen discovered a passion for conflict resolution, obtaining a Master of Arts degree in this field from Columbia College in 1999. She founded the Community Mediation Center of Columbia, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mediation services for disputes ranging from interpersonal conflict, small business disputes and neighborhood controversies.
At Richland County, Mullen worked closely with many lawyers who urged her to earn a J.D. and join their ranks in the legal profession. After much thought, she resigned her position at Richland County to enter the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2001. As a law student, Ms. Taylor clerked for Governor Jim Hodges’ administration, supporting the Governor’s legal counsel in challenging the federal government’s decision to transport plutonium to the Savannah River Site. She also served as a law clerk for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources where she assisted Governor Sanford’s Water Law Committee in recommending new state water resource policy. In addition, Mullen was Associate Editor of the Southeastern Environmental Law Journal.
Having earned a B.A., M.A. and J.D., Mullen was eager to return to the School of Life. Upon entering private law practice in Columbia, Her established reputation in the community enabled her to quickly engage in significant, complex legal issues representing state and local government as well as the private sector. After practicing with two other law firms, Mullen established her own law firm in September 2014. Mullen is a skilled litigator, negotiator and advisor. Highlights of her nine-year legal career include the following:
- Negotiating hydropower relicensing settlement agreements on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to protect South Carolina’s water resources on the Catawba-Wateree River
- Advising the Governor Sanford-appointed Savannah River Committee concerning Savannah River issues in dispute or of concern between the State of South Carolina and the State of Georgia
- Defeating at the trial level takings and due process claims brought against a local government, with alleged potential liability exceeding $40 million, which she is now defending on appeal before the South Carolina Supreme Court
- Guiding clients through complex issues concerning navigability of South Carolina waterways, wetlands regulation, renewable energy, stormwater management, floodplain management, as well as land development and wastewater
- Obtaining dismissal, on a novel constitutional ground, of a class action lawsuit against an international engineering firm, saving the client from the expense of protracted litigation
- Defeating at the trial level a class action lawsuit brought against a municipal utility, with a potential liability of $22 million, challenging a city’s use of its revenue as violating municipal finance law, which she is now defending on appeal before the South Carolina Court of Appeals
- Applying her knowledge, training and experience in the area of South Carolina law governing withdrawal and use of water from rivers, lakes and groundwater to provide valuable strategic advice to her clients who use water.
Mullen’s dedication to civic engagement has never wavered. From 2005 to 2011, she served on the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the Columbia Area, followed by the South Carolina League of Women Voters. From August 2009 until July 2014, Mullen served as chairperson of Congaree Riverkeeper; she remains on the organization’s Board of Directors.
In her free time, Mullen enjoys reading, music, dining with friends, and watching the television shows House of Cards, True Detective, and The Good Wife. She recently discovered that whitewater rafting is a great deal of fun. Mullen finds peace and relaxation in the company of her husband, attorney and former state legislator Timothy F. Rogers, wandering in the woods and porch-sitting at their home away from home on the Edisto River.