Getting to Know: Norbert T. Madison, Jr.


Norbert T. Madison, Jr. is an attorney in Fraser Trebilcock’s Detroit office, and a highly regarded corporate and real estate attorney with more than three decades of experience.

Primarily focused on real estate matters, Madison represents clients in all facets of the practice, including the purchase, sale, leasing, and financing of various types of real estate, as well as the development of industrial, office, retail, condominium and residential real estate.

He also counsels clients in corporate and partnership law, including limited liability companies.

In addition to his experience in private practice, Madison worked in the real estate department of Kmart Corp., and as part-time general counsel for a title insurance agency.

A Grosse Pointe Park resident, Madison earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, his J.D. from University of Detroit School of Law, and his LL.M. in advanced taxation law from Wayne State University Law School.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What would surprise people about your job? How often I work with family-type clients on small but important projects.

Why did you become a lawyer? After working post-college in the closing department of a savings and loan association, I realized how much I enjoyed real estate transactions.

What’s your favorite law-related TV movie? “Anatomy of a Murder” starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, George C. Scott, Arthur O'Connell and Eve Arden.  Directed by Otto Preminger.  Filmed on location in Marquette, including the Marquette County courthouse.  Great score by Duke Ellington.

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional? Who else? – Atticus Finch.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Do it without taking on any debt, if possible.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Telling a tenant/client that his supermarket lease prohibited any additional construction on the shopping center by the landlord without tenant's written permission without actually seeing the lease, just knowing who the original tenant was. Sure enough, paragraph whatever.

What do you do to relax? Watch old, classic movies.

What other career path might you have chosen? American history teacher/professor.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? This too will change.

Favorite local hangouts: University of Michigan Golf Course.

Favorite websites: I'm a big movie fan, so IMDb.

Favorite app: MGoBlog – keeping up with Michigan football.

Favorite music: Rock ‘n’ Roll with great guitar solos.
What is your happiest childhood memory? Junior sailing on the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.

What is your most treasured material possession? 1887 Winchester lever action shotgun I inherited from my father-in-law.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2000 – won a golf tournament in England with my partner.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? The Grand Canyon – nature at its finest and most powerful.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Super speed, having always been a very slow runner.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play piano.

What is something most people don't know about you? That I enjoy sailing.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Most people answer this question with three extremely famous historical figures, but for me, it would be three athletes I have always admired:  Francis Ouimet, 21-year-old amateur winner of the 1913 U.S. Open in golf; Roger Bannister, first man to break the 4-minute mile; and Bob Beamon, winner of the 1968 Olympic gold medal in the long jump, breaking the old world record by nearly 2 feet.  First question to all, “What was it like to be first in your field?”

What’s the best advice you ever received? Always clear your calculator before using it.

Favorite places to spend money? Hardware and tool stores. Also estate sales searching for old tools.

What is your motto? You never know as much as you think you do.

Which living person do you most admire? The individual that stood in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square. I hope he is still alive.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?  Doing what I could to assist all three of our children to graduate from college.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Once had an hour-long, one-on-one conversation with George Plimpton at the Admiral's Club in Chicago O'Hare.