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Joseph M. Getty

Chief Judge
Court Of Appeals Of Maryland

A former state delegate and senator representing Maryland’s fifth district, which encompasses Baltimore and Carroll counties, Joseph M. Getty was appointed as a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals in June 2016. In September of this year, he was named chief judge of that court. Getty is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the legal profession today? 

The widespread use of social media in today’s society has led to the intentional and inadvertent misuse of social media, which can have the unfortunate effect of creating backlash against attorneys and judges. Cases across the nation show that social media misuse by lawyers raises questions of professionalism, and misuse by judges causes questions about judicial integrity. 

What advice would you offer anyone interested in a legal career? 

There is no single mold or path to becoming a “good” lawyer. Our profession is composed of individuals of all backgrounds, interests and expertise. A variety of life experiences contribute to the diversity that constitutes the Maryland Bar, and enable attorneys to understand and capably resolve the challenges faced by their clients. 

What has been your biggest surprise during the pandemic? 

My biggest surprise has been the willingness and ability of the legal profession to adapt and incorporate change into the practice of law during the pandemic. In a profession grounded in precedent and common law, swift change is uncommon, yet the acceptance by attorneys and judges of ever-changing circumstances permitted a rapid response for the betterment of all Marylanders.