Maryland Carey Law announces 2023 Alumni Awards honorees

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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards to be presented on Thursday, March 30, during Alumni Weekend 2023. This year, the law school is presenting the following awards: the Distinguished Graduate Award, the Mary Ellen Barbera ’84 Judicial Excellence Award, the Benjamin L. Cardin ’67 Public Service Award, the Star Award, and the Rising Star Award. Alumni Award honorees are selected by members of the Alumni Board Awards Committee and confirmed by the Alumni Board, with leadership from the board’s Alumni Awards Committee. 

The Distinguished Graduate Award is presented to a Maryland Carey Law alum who has achieved prominence through professional excellence and service to the community. This year’s recipient is Paul A. Tiburzi ’80 

Tiburzi is a lifelong Baltimorean and longtime member and former managing partner of DLA Piper’s Baltimore Office, practicing in the Litigation and Regulatory Practice group. He is also immediate past chairman and vice chairman of the Greater Baltimore Committee. 

Tiburzi is a dedicated public servant. He has worked on the transition teams for two Maryland governors and now serves on the steering committee of Attorney General Anthony Brown’s transition team. Additionally, he chaired numerous state commissions and task forces, including the Commission to Revise Maryland’s Administrative Procedure Act, the Camden Yards Sports Commission, and the State Advisory Council on Administrative Hearings. 

In law school, Tiburzi was editor-in-chief of the Maryland Law Review, second in his class, and Order of the Coif. Now, he serves on the Maryland Carey Law Board of Visitors, as well as the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). 

Tiburzi has received many awards for his leadership and community service, including the Daily Record’s Leadership in Law, Icon, and Most Admired CEOs awards. He has been included in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2006 and was the Best Lawyers Baltimore Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year in 2018 and 2014. 

The Mary Ellen Barbera ’84 Judicial Excellence Award is presented to an alum who exemplifies the highest standards of judicial excellence, displays extraordinary courage, energy, and tenacity in the handling of controversial and difficult cases as well as embodies strength of character, service, and competence as a jurist, lawyer, and public servant. This year’s honoree is The Hon. Joseph M. Getty ’96. 

Judge Getty is a retired chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals (renamed the Supreme Court of Maryland in 2022). He served in that role in 2021-2022 until the mandatory retirement provision for justices required him to retire. He continues to serve as a senior judge by special assignment for the Supreme Court and Appellate Court of Maryland. 

Judge Getty was appointed in 2016 to the Court of Appeals of Maryland and has served in all three branches of state government. His legislative career includes election to the Maryland Senate in 2010 and 2014, and to the House of Delegates in 1994 and 1998. He served in the executive branch as chief legislative officer for Gov. Larry Hogan (2015-2016) and as policy and legislative director for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. (2003-2007). 

Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Getty was a solo practitioner of law with Main Street offices in Hampstead and Manchester, Carroll County. 

A 1996 graduate of Maryland Carey Law, Judge Getty earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington College and master’s from George Washington University. In 2022, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Washington College. 

The Benjamin L. Cardin ’67 Public Service Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated significant and substantial contributions to furthering ideals of public service in the law. This year’s honoree is Amy L. Petkovsek ’06. 

Petkovsek is deputy legal and advocacy director at Maryland Legal Aid and directs the development of the Community Lawyering Initiative, Lawyer in the Library, and Lawyer in the Schools programs.  

Previously, she served as Legal Aid’s director of advocacy for training and pro bono and represented children in Legal Aid’s child advocacy practice.  

She is active in the Maryland State Bar Association and the Bar Association for Baltimore City and serves on the boards of Moveable Feast and the Carroll County 4-H/FFA Fair. She is also the volunteer camp director of Carroll County 4-H Residential Camping Program.  

In law school, Petkovsek was a member of the moot court team, president of the Student Bar Association, and a student attorney in the Juvenile Law Clinic. After graduating in 2006, she clerked for The Hon. Sally D. Adkins. Petkovsek has stayed highly engaged with the law school as a mentor for students and a longtime member and past president of the Alumni Board. 

She is a past recipient of the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s Rising Star Award, The Daily Record’s “20 in their Twenties” and Leadership in the Law awards, the Maryland Legal Aid Diane Kinslow Memorial Award, Maryland 4-H Alumni Award, Carroll County 4-H Fair Hall of Fame, the American Camp Association President’s Award, and is a fellow in the Maryland Bar Foundation.  

The Star Award recognizes the unsung heroes among the alumni population. Those alumni who volunteer for Maryland Carey Law behind the scenes with little fanfare, and who are steadfast in their support, loyal in their hearts, and deserving of special recognition. This year’s honoree is Benjamin S. Salsbury ’07. 

Benjamin S. Salsbury is a founding member of Salsbury Sullivan, LLC., who devotes his life to helping people and families seek justice after tragedy. He has spent his entire career handling medical malpractice, personal injury, and general liability cases. Salsbury has obtained numerous verdicts and settlements for his clients in medical negligence, personal injury, premises liability, and construction matters. In 2022, he obtained the largest verdict in Frederick County history on behalf of the family of a deceased father and husband. 

Salsbury has been recognized consistently by several organizations including Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers as a leading medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland. In 2021, he was inducted into the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates. 

He graduated from Maryland Carey Law in 2007, where he served as an associate editor of the Journal of Healthcare Law and Policy, a member of the National Trial Team, and a member of the National Healthcare Moot Court Team. Upon graduation he received the Law, Litigation and Advocacy Award. 

Salsbury remains an active member of his law school community as a teacher and mentor. He has served as director of the National Trial Team and is currently an adjunct professor of Advanced Trial Practice and The Master’s Class in Trial Advocacy. Salsbury has served on the Maryland Carey Law Board of Visitors since 2017. 

Salsbury has been a consistent advocate for Maryland Carey Law’s National Trial Team since his graduation. He was instrumental in pushing behind the scenes for the creation of a permanent full-time position for the director of the team and in establishing an intra-school trial competition. 

Salsbury lives in Baltimore City with his wife and children. He and his wife have created a scholarship for students at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. 

The Rising Star Award recognizes a recent graduate whose exemplary contributions of service and leadership, either professionally or at Maryland Carey Law, have brought credit to the graduate and this institution. This year’s honoree is Letam Duson ’13.  

Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Duson is a senior assistant state prosecutor with the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor. Previously, she was an associate at Rollins, Smalkin, Richards & Mackie, LLC and an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore City in the Violent Felony Division. 

Duson is an active member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Bar Association of Baltimore City, holding multiple leadership positions in both. She is also the immediate past president of the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland, Inc. and president of the Board of Directors for Civil Justice, Inc.  

In law school, Duson was a member of the National Trial Team, an articles editor for the Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class, a Rose Zetzer Fellow in the Women, Leadership & Equality Program, a peer advisor, and an admissions ambassador. Immediately after graduating from law school, she clerked for The Hon. Broughton M. Earnest in the Circuit Court for Talbot County. 

She remains highly engaged with the law school in several capacities. Duson is a co-chair of the Maryland Carey Law School Club and a founding member of the Maryland Carey Law Trial Advocacy Leadership Council. She is a volunteer judge for the National Trial Team, BLSA Trial Team, and Moot Court Board. She also speaks on career panels and mentors Maryland Carey Law students and young attorneys. 

Duson is a 2020 recipient of the Daily Record Leadership in Law – Generation J.D. Award. She is also the founder of Ley All Day, L.L.C., a personal styling company.