Special Collections: Chief Judge Getty Bobblehead

Chief Judge Getty Bobblehead

Joseph M. Getty made history when he became the 25th Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in September 2021. He was the first Chief Judge to have served in the:

  • Judiciary;
  • House of Delegates;
  • Senate; and,
  • Office of the Governor.

The Library is the proud custodian of this commemorative bobblehead. Part of our burgeoning bobblehead collection, Chief Judge Getty's likeness will grace our Special Collections Room and welcome visitors of all ages. 

Before earning his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1996, Chief Judge Getty had a career in historical preservation. He served as Acting Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Mid-Atlantic Office, Executive Director of the Historical Society of Carroll County, and authored three books on architectural history and historic preservation. Many opinions authored by Chief Judge Getty include highly researched discussions of history and the evolution of statutory law.

Chief Judge Getty is generous with his time, sharing his knowledge of history and broad experience in state government with Library staff. There is perhaps no better teacher of Maryland legislative history research than the Chief. An excellent example of how this research can impact a case can be seen in Chief Judge Getty's opinion in Moore v. RealPage Utility

We are honored to have Chief Judge Getty's bobblehead as part of our collection. The Chief's official portrait is described below and hangs in the atrium 

Official Portraits of the Former Chief Judges

The Maryland Commission on Artistic Property is the repository responsible for the preservation and conservation of the official court portraits of the former Chief Judges. An exhibition of these portraits is arranged in chronological order in the lobby outside of the historic Supreme Court of Maryland Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building. Most of the Chief Judges are represented with portrait paintings by prominent artists of the day during or after their service on the Court. The state does not have a portrait painting of the first Chief Judge, Benjamin Rumsey, except for the silhouette shown in this exhibition. The portrait of Jeremiah Townley Chase, the second Chief Judge, was stolen from the Court in 1989 but has been reproduced for the exhibition. There have been 25 people who have retired as Chief Judge of the Court and the dedication of Chief Judge Getty's portrait completed the historical period prior to renaming the Court of Appeals as the Supreme Court of Maryland. 

Chief Judge Getty Portrait



Shirley M. Watts, A Tribute to the Honorable Joseph M. Getty, 82 Md. L. Rev. 163 (2022) 
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/mlr/vol82/iss1/6

Supreme Court of Maryland hosts portrait ceremony for retired Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty [press release].
Available at: https://www.mdcourts.gov/media/news/2024/pr20240508