Paul B. DeWolfe, Jr.

Maryland Public Defender

Plenary Speaker, Thursday Midday Plenary

Mr. DeWolfe has practiced in the area of criminal defense since 1980. Most of his practice has been as a public defender in the State of Maryland. In 2009, Mr. DeWolfe was appointed by the Board of Trustees as the Public Defender of Maryland, the fourth attorney to hold this position in the agency’s history. In this capacity, he leads an office of 570 attorneys and 344 support staff. He first joined the Montgomery County office in 1981 as an Assistant Public Defender before leaving the office for private practice in 1989. He returned to the office in a leadership role in 2000 serving as District Public Defender for Montgomery County, Maryland and overseeing a staff of 34 lawyers.

During his career, Mr. DeWolfe has tried criminal jury trials in cases ranging from misdemeanors to capital murder in both state and federal court. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2005, Mr. DeWolfe formerly served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a former President of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, and a former President of the Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland. He is the former Chair of the National Association of Public Defenders and an ex officio member of the Criminal Law Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association. Mr. DeWolfe is a 2008 recipient of the Joseph P. Curran Award for Distinguished Public Interest Lawyers from the Maryland State Bar Association. In 2019, he received the Robert Heeney Award from the Maryland State Bar Association Criminal Law Section Council.