Governor Appoints Getty as New Chief, Elevates Gould to COA, Signals Fast Action on Upcoming Vacancies

Governor Larry Hogan today appointed Judge Joseph Getty, who reaches mandatory retirement age in April 2022, to serve as Maryland’s new chief judge for the next seven months. The Governor also appointed Court of Special Appeals Judge Steven Gould to fill the Montgomery County seat on the Court of Appeals. The press release, quoted below, also states that the Governor will immediately begin the process to fill upcoming February and April vacancies on the Court of Appeals.

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he has appointed Judge Steven B. Gould to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Gould, who currently serves on the Court of Special Appeals, will fill the seat being vacated by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, who will retire on September 10.

Additionally, the governor announced that he has designated Judge Joseph M. Getty as the new chief judge of the Court of Appeals, effective September 11.

“Judge Gould is a distinguished jurist committed to justice and fairness, and it is my privilege to elevate him to the state’s highest court,” said Governor Hogan. “I am also pleased to name Judge Getty as the state’s chief judge, and I know he will continue to provide exemplary service on the bench. Lastly, on behalf of all Marylanders, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Chief Judge Barbera, and wish her well in her retirement.”

The Court of Appeals is slated for two retirements in 2022: Judge Getty (April 2022) and Judge Robert N. McDonald (February 2022). The governor has directed the Chief Legal Counsel to immediately begin a process to identify a new chief judge, replacements for Judge Getty and Judge McDonald, as well as a replacement for Judge Gould on the Court of Special Appeals.

Biography of Judge Steven B. Gould. Judge Gould was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals, 7th Appellate Court (Montgomery County), in March 2019. Mr. Gould was a founding partner of Brown Gould Kiely, LLP. He is a trial lawyer and civil litigator who has litigated, arbitrated, and tried numerous complex commercial litigation cases. He has served as the co-chairperson of the Commercial Litigation Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, and is active in his synagogue, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, where he has served on the board of directors and currently holds the position of general counsel. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, cum laude.

(Update) Chief Judge Barbera has issued a statement on the appointments:

“I offer my congratulations to Chief Judge-Designate Joseph Getty on his appointment as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals upon my retirement. Congratulations as well to Judge Steven Gould on his elevation from the Court of Special Appeals to the Court of Appeals, representing Montgomery County (7th Appellate Judicial Circuit). Thank you to Governor Hogan for these fine appointments.”

“I look forward to working with Chief Judge-Designate Getty to ensure a smooth transition of leadership of the Maryland Judiciary. I trust that he will find this the opportunity of a lifetime to serve the people of Maryland in this capacity, helping to ensure equal justice under law for all.”

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