Smith, Gildea & Schmidt, LLC is adding the expertise of an established Towson litigation practice to its ranks with the acquisition of the Law Offices of Stephen J. Nolan, the firm announced Thursday.
Nolan, 67, has been practicing for more than 40 years, including the last 15 years as a solo practitioner. When Nolan decided to merge his firm with Smith Gildea, he thought of a proverb, “If you wanna go fast go alone, if you wanna go far go together,” Nolan recalled Thursday.
“After going it alone for 15 years, I’m going together with a great team of lawyers,” he said.
Nolan will be of counsel at Smith Gildea and will continue to handle civil litigation, including business disputes, trusts and estates litigation. He is also currently representing a former asbestos worker in a mesothelioma case.
“I’ve had a very demanding caseload, and I’ll have a deeper bench by joining SGS,” Nolan said, adding that moving to a bigger firm will give his clients access to a broader scope of services.
Nolan decided to bring his practice to SGS because he has known name partners Lawrence E. Schmidt and David K. Gildea for many years and has been on the opposite side of Michael Paul Smith in cases in the past, he said.
“When it comes to litigation. Steve Nolan is one of the best. He is a well-regarded and well-respected trial attorney, and we are thrilled that he is merging his practice with SGS,” said Gildea, managing partner of SGS, in a press release.
Nolan is also following in the steps of Mary Loker, who is also of counsel at Smith Gildea. Loker merged with the firm last year, expanding Smith Gildea’s estates & trusts practice.
“She was telling me what a fantastic move it was for her,” Nolan said of Loker. “She said the culture of the firm is excellent.”
Nolan got his law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and started his legal career as an attorney at Nolan, Plumhoff, and Williams in 1977. He opened his solo practice in 2003.
Even though he’s moving his practice to a bigger firm, Nolan does not plan to retire anytime soon.
“I love practicing law and trying cases,” Nolan said.
When asked what he will miss the most about being a solo practitioner, Nolan said, jokingly, “my fireplace. I have a fireplace in my office. And the parking space outside my door.”
“I’ve enjoyed solo practice and the co-counsel relationships I’ve had,” he added.