May 8, 2024


Government Relations and Public Affairs
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401


Supreme Court of Maryland hosts portrait ceremony for retired Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Supreme Court of Maryland held a special ceremony on Monday, May 6, 2024, for the unveiling of a portrait of retired Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty, who served as chief judge of the Supreme Court of Maryland, which was named the Court of Appeals of Maryland during his tenure. The portrait was painted by award-winning Maryland artist Scott Woolever.

“It’s both an honor and privilege to celebrate the unveiling of Chief Judge Getty’s portrait, honoring his tenure as the 25th chief judge of Maryland,” said Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader, Supreme Court of Maryland. “Chief Judge Getty, the first chief judge to have also served in both the legislative and executive branches of state government, is a consummate public servant. His many contributions to the Maryland Judiciary include his jurisprudence, which was influenced by his experiences in the other branches and as a historian; his commitment to the institution of the Judiciary; his caring for all the people in and associated with the Judiciary; and his forward-thinking leadership. His portrait is a fitting tribute to his legacy.”

Joseph Getty retired as chief judge of the then-Court of Appeals of Maryland in April 2022. He was appointed to serve as a judge of the Court of Appeals by former Governor Larry Hogan in June 2016 and was elevated to chief judge in September 2021. Before joining the Maryland Judiciary, Getty represented Carroll County in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995 to 2003. He was elected to two terms in the Maryland State Senate representing both Baltimore and Carroll counties before resigning in 2015 to join the Hogan Administration as the chief legislative officer. Getty also served as policy advisor to Governor Robert Ehrlich from 2004 to 2007. 

“I am humbled to celebrate and memorialize this day with my colleagues, family, and friends,” said retired Chief Judge Getty. “Mr. Woolever’s talent and skill as an artist shines through in the lighting and colors of the portrait and his attention to detail of the many historic artifacts relating to the Court of Appeals. As a jurist and historian, I have a deep affinity for the history and traditions of the Court. This portrait reflects the honor and privilege I felt to serve with the Maryland Judiciary.”

Portrait artist Scott Woolever studied formally at Washington College, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware. Woolever is a member of the American Society of Portrait Artists. His work is represented in galleries, private collections, and exhibitions across the country.

Getty is a graduate of Washington College and received his master’s degree from George Washington University. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1996 and was admitted to the Bar that same year. Before pursuing a legal career, Getty worked in the historic preservation field for the Maryland Historical Trust and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Chief Judge Getty recently received the Mary Ellen Barbera Judicial Excellence Award (2023) from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Washington College (2022). He is a member of the American Law Institute, Maryland State Bar Association, Bar Association of Carroll County, Cole-Davidson Inn of Court, and James Macgill Inn of Court.

Due to the court’s name change pursuant to a constitutional amendment ratified in 2022, Chief Judge Getty is the last person to retire from active service with the title chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. His portrait is now on display in the lobby outside the Supreme Court of Maryland courtroom with those of all but one of his predecessors as chief judge. The ceremony was livestreamed on the Maryland Judiciary’s website and can be viewed on the Supreme Court of Maryland’s special events archive web page.

Chief Judge Getty portrait ceremony photo
Left to right: Artist Scott Woolever; retired Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty; Maryland Archivist Elaine Bachmann; former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

Bradley Tanner
Public Information Officer
[email protected]

Terri Charles
Asst. Public Information Officer
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