Joseph Murtha


Email: [email protected]

Joseph Murtha is a veteran trial attorney whose criminal defense practice spans both the State and Federal courts. Joe’s hallmark is his dedication to his clients and his vast knowledge of the intricacies of the law. These attributes, and his extensive courtroom experience, have earned Joe a reputation as one of the top criminal defense attorneys, locally and nationally, and has been recognized by his peers as preeminent in the practice of criminal law.

Joe notably successfully defended Linda Tripp against charges that she violated the law when taping conversation with Monica Lewinsky. Joe’s sophisticated legal challenge to the investigation in the Linda Tripp case resulted in the charges having to be dismissed. Joe was called upon to serve as lead counsel in the defense of Baltimore City Police Officer, William Porter, who was the first officer to be tried for the “in custody” death of Freddie Gray. This case received international attention and placed Joe in the national and international spotlight once again. The zealous and rigorous defense of Officer Porter resulted in a mistrial. The charges against Officer Porter were ultimately dismissed. Joe’s involvement in the Officer Porter case was chronicled nationally, recognizing Joe’s skill in the courtroom, and his ability to handle difficult and challenging cases.

For those wrongfully accused, Joe is without equal in his tireless pursuit of justice. Joe’s knowledge and advocacy in criminal law earned him recognition as a Super Lawyer, an honor that has been awarded to him on a yearly basis. His peers have honored him as an outstanding attorney in the area of criminal law.

Joe has experience in both State and Federal courts and represents both individuals and corporations. The extent of his representation has ranged from successfully thwarting the government’s efforts to obtain the death penalty in a drug and murder conspiracy to keeping a corporate president from being indicted in a federal fraud investigation. He has successfully defended individuals in drug cases, sex offenses, violent crime and white collar offenses. With over 25 years experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Joe’s colleagues often refer him difficult and widely publicized cases. Joe’s prior experience as a prosecutor gives him unique insight into the trial strategies of the prosecution and a firm background for pursuing and defending the rights of his clients.

Joe has been locally and nationally recognized for his trial skills. Whether representing someone for a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, Joe commits himself to zealously defending his clients, and seeking an outcome that is in the client’s best interest. Joe’s commitment to the defense of those accused of serious criminal offenses has been recognized by the United States District Court by being awarded the prestigious John Adams award.


Rahway, New Jersey, 1959


  • Towson University, B.S., 1982
  • University of Baltimore, J.D., 1989

Practice Areas:

  • Federal Crimes
  • Homicide & Violent Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Firearms & Weapons Crimes
  • Grand Jury Investigation
  • Child Pornography & Child Abuse
  • White Collar Defense
  • Fraud & Identity Theft
  • Narcotics & Drug Crimes
  • Internet & Computer Crimes
  • DUI & Vehicular Homicide
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Post Conviction Relief
  • Bar Admissions & Attorney Grievance Matters


  • The Bar Association of Baltimore County
  • Howard County and Maryland State Bar Associations; Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


  • 1990, Maryland; 1996 U.S. District Court, District of Maryland and U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit; 1999, U.S. District Court, for the District of Columbia


  • Recipient, United States District Court John Adams Award
  • Recipient, Honors
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable James B. Dudley, Howard County Circuit Court, 1990.
  • Faculty Advisor, National College of District Attorneys, 1994.
  • Attorney, Howard County State’s Attorneys Office, 1990-1995.


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“Randolph is an amazing attorney. He is very patient and understanding and straightforward to work with. Anytime I have a legal question or potential issue, I know I can contact him to get honest advice and excellent representation if/when needed. Thank you Randolph. I wish you continued success, health and happiness.”

- Michael K.