By Christine Bolaños
He has worked as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic. He has helped defend victims of crimes, women, in particular. He has served several communities as their judge. As of late April, Kevin Madison, a highly respected attorney in the Austin area, is joining Liberty Hill as municipal court judge.
Madison was familiar with Liberty Hill because a former client of his happened to be a city councilmember. He also knew court clerk Tracy Musch, whom he worked with previously, and City Administrator Greg Boatright, who previously served as a county commissioner.
“The city is right on the edge of explosive growth,” Madison said.
When he discovered the city was looking for a new municipal court judge he realized it was the right fit.
Madison — who formerly had dreams of working in the FBI after serving as a police officer, chief of police, deputy sheriff and assistant district attorney — worked with Musch for about a year while in Johnson City.
He knew Boatright from his time as presiding judge in Cedar Park.
“I’m impressed by their performance and work ethic,” Madison said. He was drawn to the community because he knew that by working with people like Musch and Boatright he could help shape court policy at a time when the city is experiencing rapid growth.
He has experience working in courts in communities that are steadily growing. He has even built some courts from the ground up.
“I started court from scratch in Bee Cave,” Madison said. “I got some experience getting courts up and running, and taking courts from regular courts to courts of record.”
He said small yet growing communities like Liberty Hill need a judge who understands its people and culture.
“My guiding principle is treat everyone fairly,” Madison said. “That’s very important to me: an independent court and treating others fairly without any influence on me as a judge.”
He said he will review each case independently and fairly because every case is different. He made this clear to the Liberty Hill City Council, which appointed him as judge April 25.
Madison has more than 30 years of experience litigating personal injury, criminal, tort and crime victim cases. He has an “AV” rating from the Martindale-Hubbel legal directory, which is the highest rating awarded for ethics and competence. He has served as presiding municipal judge and state magistrate for 27 years.
Madison is a trained sexual assault advocate. He recently retired from his volunteer service as certified firefighter and engine driver/operator and emergency medical technician with advanced lifesaving skills.
Madison has worked in Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Volente as presiding judge.
He served as administrative judge at Texas Youth Commission in 1982. He was Travis County District Attorney from 1982-1983. He worked as a deputy sheriff for Travis County in 1981-82. He served as chief of police in the City of Smithville from 1984-1986. Madison has served as board member on a number of organizations in the past, including Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Polo Club Homeowners Association, The 100 Club of Central Texas, Girls School of Austin and as volunteer firefighter for the Westlake Fire Department. He was named a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
According to his resume, less than one percent of all attorneys licensed in the state of Texas are accepted into this organization. He was also awarded the “Top One Percent” Association from the National Counsel of Distinguished Counsel. Madison has served as first responder for Travis County EMS, past president of Texas Municipal Courts Association, past president of Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, a judicial instructor at Texas Municipal Courts Education Center and a judicial selection committee member on the Travis County Bar Association.
He is a graduate of the University of Houston Bates School of Law. Prior to attaining his law degree, Madison graduated with honors in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned standing as a commissioned peace officer from the University of Texas System Police Academy. Madison is a Number One Police Cadet in academics and physical fitness. He also has a First Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Due to his experience in law, law enforcement, emergency services, involved organization member and dedicated volunteer, he has a unique perspective when it comes to law and as judge. One of his main goals besides fair trial for every person who comes through his courtroom is to facilitate the legal process. He will also work to build and maintain transparency in Liberty Hill’s municipal court.
“We’re trying to make it easier for the public without them having to spend a lot of time to take care of their cases,” Madison said.
He will also make himself available to Liberty Hill police should they need him after hours to sign off on any search and arrest warrants.
“I have two different duties,” Madison explained. “One is to serve as municipal judge and take care of all court cases filed. The other is as state magistrate.
“In that capacity I am initiating and starting procedures to work with the police department,” he added, “so if they need a search warrant or they have a driver who is intoxicated, who is refusing to give a breath test, that will now be available 24/7 for blood search warrants.”
Madison does not believe this has been done in the past in Liberty Hill.
“If something comes up and the police department needs a judge to sign I am going to be available,” he reiterated. “Those guys are trying to do their job and it’s not always easy to track down a judge after hours.”
He said he is looking forward to meeting members of the community.
“When I’m out there I will certainly be involved in anything the city is doing,” Madison said. “My best service and what I want to let people know is they are going to get a fair trial in court.”