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Car_and_horse_outside_building Article image 552 x 330Equity Trustees has always enjoyed having high-calibre directors on its board, and Irish-born Sir John Madden, a politician and judge who was the longest-serving Chief Justice of Victoria, was no exception.

He sat on the board from 1888 to 1893, resigning after being appointed Chief Justice. His was a long and distinguished public career after graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Laws in 1865.

Between 1871 and 1883, he was in and out of Parliament, serving in several ministries before quitting politics to focus on the law.

In his role as Chef Justice, he presided over what is believed to be the first court case involving a car accident in Victoria, deciding for the plaintiff after the Australasian Dunlop Tyre company manager collided with a horse. Madden had one look at the driver’s skills (or lack thereof) and decided in favor of the horse’s owner to the tune of 250 pounds.*

But he soon took a liking to cars and in 1903 became the first president of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.