Governor Appoints Matthew J. Fader as New Chief of the Court of Appeals

Today, the day after Chief Judge Joseph Getty‘s 70th birthday and formal retirement from the State’s highest court, Governor Larry Hogan appointed Judge Matthew J. Fader to succeed him, as the next Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. In the same press release, quoted in full below, the Governor also officially designated Judge E. Gregory Wells as Chief Judge of the Court of Special Appeals:

Governor Larry Hogan today swore in Judge Matthew J. Fader as Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals, and officially designated Judge E. Gregory Wells as Chief Judge for the Court of Special Appeals.

“I am proud to designate Judge Fader and Judge Wells to preside over the state’s highest courts,” said Governor Hogan. “They are both highly respected and experienced jurists who serve with distinction and an unwavering dedication to the law.”

In total, the governor has made 163 judicial appointments during his tenure. He has focused on ensuring that the composition of the courts better reflects the diversity of the state. Earlier this week, he swore in Judge Angela M. Eaves as the first Hispanic to serve on the Court of Appeals. Today, Judge Wells became the first African American to serve as chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals, and the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as chief judge of either of Maryland’s appellate courts.

Chief Judge Matthew J. Fader. Most recently, Judge Fader was chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals, which he served on beginning in 2017. In February, the governor announced that Judge Fader would succeed Judge Joseph M. Getty upon his mandatory retirement. In addition, the governor is officially designating Judge Fader as the new chief judge.

Prior to his appointment to the Court of Special Appeals, Judge Fader held various roles at the Office of the Attorney General, including chief of civil litigation. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, he was a partner at K&L Gates LLP, an international law firm, where he represented clients in commercial litigation in federal and state courts. Judge Fader served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1999 to 2002. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Read his full bio.

Chief Judge E. Gregory Wells. Currently a member of the Court of Special Appeals—where he has served since 2019—Judge Wells is being designated as the new chief judge of the court, succeeding Chief Judge Fader.

Prior to his appointment to the Court of Special Appeals, Wells was a judge on the Circuit Court for Calvert County, a judge on the District Court of Maryland for Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties, and a master for domestic relations and juvenile causes for Calvert County. Wells also served as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General and was the first African American to serve as Calvert County State’s Attorney. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Read his full bio.

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