Interview with Mario Madrid

by Adam Williams, legal writer for Law & Policy Institute Guide

Mario Madrid is a criminal defense attorney and associate judge, practicing in Houston, Texas. More about his practice can be found at mariomadridlaw.com
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Adam Williams: You currently practice criminal defense in Houston, Texas. What drove you to practice criminal defense law over other practice areas?

Mario Madrid: I began my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Galveston County. I gained valuable experience and had the opportunity to try many cases. When I chose to open my own practice it was a natural progression to stay in the criminal justice arena as a defense attorney.

AW: I understand you are also as an Associate Judge at the City of Houston Municipal Court. Private practice must be more lucrative than a government job; why did you want to serve in this position?

MM: It was an honor to be appointed and I find it an absolute honor to serve. It allows me to experience the justice system from another point of view. I enjoy serving the citizens of the City of Houston.

AW: You started your career as an Assistant District Attorney in Galveston County. What insights or advanages did working as an ADA give you now that you defend the people you once prosecuted?

MM: I worked up cases from the investigation to trial. I interacted with law enforcement,states witnesses and victims gaining valuable insight into criminal prosecutions. I know what a prosecutor is doing or is going to do. Its imerative to know your oppponents next move, my experience in the DA's office prepared me to give the best possible representation to my clients.

AW: It's the job of law enforcement to enforce the law; it's your job to defend those accused of breaking the law. Have you ever had a case where you felt you did too good a job, and the client deserved a more severe punishment?

MM: My duty is to my client. There is no such thing as too good of a job. A defense attorney must defend the rights of the accused. I always strive for the best result possible. The state has already made their judgment by charging my client. My job is to defend my client,not judge him. Again there is absoltuley no such thing as too good of a job for your client.

AW: With a busy practice and two young children, do you ever find time for your own hobbies?

MM: It is certainly difficult but I try to keep up with hobbies which include marathon training and playing the guitar, as much times permits.