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Attorneys Grant A. Posner AND John J. Cord say that while sharing space in Timonium they discovered their compatible styles made forming a new firm a good idea. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Timonium solo attorneys launch new firm

Attorneys Grant Posner and John Cord shared many reasons for opening their solo firms: more control over their work, the opportunity to handle bigger cases, the desire to build up a business from scratch.

But as the two lawyers got to know each other while sharing office space in Timonium over the past few years, their compatible goals and working styles made teaming up seem like a logical next step. On Jan. 1, Cord and Posner launched The Law Office of Posner & Cord LLC, a three-lawyer personal injury firm.

“It was totally fortuitous — I had rented out a place with a spare office and wanted someone to help pay the bills,” Cord said. “We liked each other and things moved on from there.”

Although Cord moved to the area from Colorado while Posner earned both his undergraduate and law degrees in Maryland, the attorneys share otherwise similar backgrounds. Their solo practices, The Law Office of Grant A. Posner and John Cord Law LLC, mainly handled personal injury cases, and both lawyers had first worked for larger firms before deciding to open their own.

“It was just kind of the right time,” Cord said. “You spend a number of years working for other firms, and when you leave one firm to go to another, there’s usually a reason behind it. For me, I wanted more trial experience. Oftentimes, larger firms, they might not be willing to trust a five-year lawyer with a million-dollar case. The timing was just right to branch out on my own.”

Posner said he, too, felt a strong urge to shape his own professional path, which influenced his decision to go solo.

“I always had the intention of opening my own firm, building a business and directly dealing with my own clientele, and getting into court and doing as much as I could,” he said.

Similar backgrounds were not the only common denominator for Posner and Cord — the attorneys said their shared vision for the future of their practice and concern for managing growth were major factors in the merger.

“We’ve always bounced ideas off each other. We have a similar outlook, and that’s centered on growth,” Posner said. “We want to grow the firm and be efficient and keep it going in the right direction by combining resources.”

Both attorneys described the transition as a smooth one, in part because they already shared a physical office space. Even so, it’s an adjustment, they said, and syncing client and case information so that each attorney can quickly find out the status of a case that started at the other’s firm has become a top priority.

“The biggest challenge, I think, is when a client calls on the phone and it’s a case that started with Grant,” Cord said. “It’s just an issue of data entry. That’s probably the biggest challenge; we’re on the same page with most things.”

For instance, he said, his solo practice placed a heavy emphasis on the use of technology to investigate cases and present them at trial, a philosophy that Posner shares.

“I’ve always been a ‘techy’ guy, and there’s a lot of opportunity with regard to cases and trials in terms of what technology you use,” Cord said. “That’s one of the benefits of being your own boss.”

In addition to making it easier to effectively argue a case at trial, he said, technology can make the legal process less stressful for clients. Posner & Cord LLC will use a case management system that allows clients to log in through a portal and check the status of their case or look at recent case documents, ensuring that they’re kept up-to-date even while the attorneys’ caseload continues to grow.

The new firm won’t mark a huge departure from Posner’s and Cord’s solo offices, they said, just an increase in resources. The two said they’ve done some basic marketing, including a pre-merger holiday party and social media outreach, and are now working to spread the word further.

“It’s been a pretty good transition so far — we know what works and what doesn’t,” Posner said. “We’re primarily still practicing in the same areas we practiced as solos; it’s just a matter of logistics.”

About Lauren Kirkwood

Lauren Kirkwood covers the business of law beat at The Daily Record.