JUDGE McKAY CHAUVIN
Judge McKay Chauvin is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (BA, 1986) and the Georgetown University Law Center (JD, 1989). Prior to being appointed to the Jefferson Circuit Court bench in 2004, he spent ten years as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Jefferson County, Kentucky where he was the Chief of the Capital Crimes and Special Prosecutions Units. In 1999 he joined the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky as an Assistant United States Attorney where, as the designated Violent Crimes Coordinator, he developed the nationally recognized “Project Backfire” anti-gun violence strategy.
Judge Chauvin quickly developed a reputation among those who appeared before him for his keen intellect, tireless work ethic, and wry sense of humor. He created the S.M.A.R.T. Probation program (a comprehensive strategy which promotes success on probation by addressing a person’s needs through Supervision, Motivation, Accountability, Responsibility and Treatment); the KYC-11 initiative (a docket management system designed to ensure due process of law and a speedy trial/disposition of criminal charges as guaranteed under Section 11 of the Kentucky Constitution), and the Jefferson Courtroom Upgrade Project (a capital improvement venture through which a state of the art audiovisual trial presentation system was developed and installed in the Circuit Court courtrooms).
He was selected by his colleagues in 2013 to serve as Chief Judge.
He has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by the Louisville Bar Association, and as Member of the Year by the Jefferson County Women Lawyers Association.
Judge Chauvin is the author of Trial Practice Makes Perfect and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville where he was honored with the Dean’s Service Award. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Bar Foundation, the Racial Justice Commission, Volunteers of America Mid-States, and the Restorative Justice Advisory Counsel.
Through his most recent project, the Division Eight Little Library at the Jefferson County Judicial Center, he has given away more than 500 books.
Judge Chauvin is married to Laura Ponte Chauvin, a non-profit consultant to philanthropic organizations and individuals. She is also the Founder of Her Best Foot Forward, a non-profit organization which empowers women and facilitates the provision of sustainable menstrual hygiene products and health education in East Africa. They live in Louisville where they have raised three children, six dogs, and one very fat pig.