Sandusky Prosecutor Josephy McGettigan Joins McAndrews Law Offices, P.C.
When Joe McGettigan returned to the Attorney General’s Office in the Fall of 2011 and was immediately assigned to prosecute Jerry Sandusky, he was no stranger to prosecuting high profile cases. McGettigan had prosecuted John duPont, the richest murderer in American history, as well as many other murder cases in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. But even McGettigan did not anticipate the extent of the public profile of the Sandusky case. “Initially, McGettigan says, “I thought that the publicity would be limited and short-lived. Sandusky had been long retired from Penn State, and Centre County is removed from major media markets. But as I learned all of the disturbing facts of the case, and realized that its full reach went well beyond a single retired coach, the full impact of the case became clearer to everyone.”
In June of 2012, after one of the most followed trials in recent American history, Sandusky was convicted by a jury of 45 criminal counts involving his molesting 10 young boys on or near the Penn State campus while part of the Second Mile program for children. Sandusky’s abuse of his victims spanned over a decade. The case riveted the attention of the nation and gained almost as much attention internationally. And the investigation and verdict continue to have far-reaching results for Penn State and the operations of child care programs everywhere.
Joe McGettigan will now enter private practice with his co-counsel in the duPont prosecution, Dennis C. McAndrews, of McAndrews Law Offices in Berwyn. With the McAndrews firm, McGettigan will work primarily in cases involving crime victims in organizational or institutional settings, whether in youth organizations, religious groups or facilities, and will include the abuse and bullying of children, the disabled, and the elderly. McGettigan has had a long and notable career as a prosecutor, serving as First Assistant District Attorney in both Delaware County and Philadelphia, as well as a Chief Deputy in the Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant United State Attorney. In each of those roles, McGettigan also tried cases, mostly child abuse and murder.
McAndrews says, “Our firm is deeply gratified that Joe is joining our legal family. Joe’s broad experience in working with victims of abuse and crime will be invaluable in our already extensive cases involving child abuse, school bullying of children with disabilities and gender issues, and harm to the disabled and elderly. All of these cases involve persons who have been subjected to abuse despite being in the care of responsible adult caretakers, and Joe has extraordinary skills and years of experience in assisting victims of crime and abuse in every conceivable setting. In addition to his experience and ability, Joe will bring to his cases a compassion for those who have been harmed, and a strong voice advocating for the rights of victims of crime or abuse.”
McGettigan and McAndrews worked closely in 1996 and 1997 as co-prosecutors for then-District Attorney (now Congressman) Patrick Meehan, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in the celebrated trial of John duPont for the murder of Olympic gold medal wrestler David Schultz. duPont’s defense was a claim of insanity, and District Attorney Meehan convinced McAndrews, who was in private practice at the time, to enter into the case because of his expertise in mental health and disability law. McAndrews and McGettigan worked closely every day for a year and a half during the prosecution. McAndrews states, “duPont effectively had an unlimited budget, and it often seemed like he exceeded it. Joe and I were required to contest and rebut — often within 24 hours — over 70 pretrial motions and emergency appeals by duPont’s defense team of over a dozen lawyers. I observed firsthand Joe’s skill and commitment in his preparation for trial and his work with victims and witnesses to insure that justice prevailed in the case.” duPont’s insanity defense was rejected, and he was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and he died in jail in 2011.
McGettigan’s background includes a year-long deployment to Iraq where he worked in a U. S. Department of Justice/State Department program to help re-establish a criminal justice system after the fall of Saddam Hussein. He has also served in private industry, having worked as a consultant and manager for Vance International, a prominent private security company based in Washington, D.C., and for Bochco Media, in Hollywood, as an attorney-consultant for major network television productions focusing on criminal law. McGettigan graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Temple University in English literature, and from the University of San Diego School of Law.
McGettigan said, “I have truly enjoyed my years as a prosecutor, but the opportunity to work with Dennis, for whom I have the highest professional respect and personal affection, presented just the ideal situation in which to work and continue to help victims.”
McAndrews Law Offices is a seventeen attorney law firm based in Berwyn, and with offices in Scranton, Wyomissing, Wilmington and Washington, D.C. It has been involved in some of the largest abuses cases in the nation, including a five million dollar ($5,000,000) settlement on behalf of children with autism who were abused in a Northeastern Pennsylvania classroom, as well as cases involving facilities which care for disabled and elderly citizens. In addition to its work in abuse cases, the firm handles special education matters in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Its practice in this specialized area is the largest in the United States, with attorneys who possess degrees in education and psychology. The firm pursues appropriate programs and placements for children with disabilities, including compensatory education, research-based instruction, private school tuition and inclusive programs with nondisabled children.
McAndrews Law Offices also has one of the region’s fastest growing estate planning and estate administration practices. Its Estates and Trusts attorneys possess advanced degrees and certifications in taxation and estate planning, and enjoy a national reputation in special needs and elder law planning.