Kirk Kolodner is a trial lawyer with 35 years of litigation and transactional experience in many diverse areas of law. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubble, which is the highest rating for legal ability and professional ethics. Since 2007, he has been selected to Maryland Super Lawyers for eight years. In 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, he had the distinction of being named among the 100 top lawyers in Maryland. He was selected for 2015 and 2016 among Best Lawyers® in America in litigating estate matters.
He graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and obtained his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is a Member of the law firm and has been practicing law in Maryland since 1980.
His practice areas include family, divorce and marital separation law, guardianships, estate and trust litigation, business and commercial litigation, personal injury and real estate litigation. His primary focus is family and divorce law.
As a trial attorney, Mr. Kolodner asserts his client’s interests aggressively, but he is sensitive to the costs and risks involved in litigation. He has significant experience strategizing and analyzing litigation issues, and he handles all aspects of litigation from investigation, negotiation, pre-trial discovery and motions, to the trial and appeal.
Mr. Kolodner is past chair of the law firm’s litigation practice, coordinating the firm’s litigation among its 20 lawyers.
In 2015, Mr. Kolodner appeared on WBAL-TV and FOX-45 TV to explain “divorce by consent,” a new Maryland law which became effective on October 1, 2015.
The following are a sample of cases he has handled:
- In a 9 day divorce trial, he saved his client, a physician, over a million dollars.
- Following an 11 day trial involving custody, child support, alimony, marital property, limited liability companies and numerous other issues, he won a decisive victory for his client on every issue, including a $150,000 attorney fee award.
- In a real estate dispute, Mr. Kolodner was successful in helping a farmer terminate a financially disastrous lease. In 1960, the farmer leased his building for $800 annually in perpetuity to a bank tenant in what was then a very rural area. Forty years later, the area had become highly urban; yet the farmer still was collecting only $800 annually in rent from the bank. Mr. Kolodner proved to the trial court that the tenant bank had violated the lease when the bank merged with another bank. As a result, Mr. Kolodner was successful in terminating the lease, thereby forcing the bank to re-rent the building for $40,000 annually under a new lease.
- In a 9 day child custody case, the child’s mother, who Mr. Kolodner represented, was awarded sole custody, even though she previously had disappeared for two years with her then 2-year old child by going “underground” in her effort to protect her child from a potentially abusive father. The child’s disappearance was found by the trial judge to have been motivated by the mother’s desire to protect her child.
- In an adult adoption case involving a multi-million dollar trust, Mr. Kolodner represented a brother and a sister who, for inheritance purposes, had been adopted as adults by their older, infirm half-brother. The brother and sister were successful in proving that they were the “descendants” of their half-brother’s grandfather who had created a trust many years earlier, even though they were not related by blood to the grandfather. As a result of their adoption, they were deemed their half-brother’s “children” and therefore were “descendants” of their half-brother’s grandfather. This entitled them to receive the trust assets.
- In a real estate dispute involving the ownership of a multi-million dollar, 92-acre horse farm, Mr. Kolodner proved that the neighbor’s “right of first refusal” to purchase the farm had not been triggered (contrary to his assertion) when, for estate planning purposes, his client transferred the farm to a limited liability company she alone owned. Mr. Kolodner successfully argued before the trial and appellate courts that the “transfer” was not to a third party because the farm owner alone owned the company to which she had transferred the farm. As a result, the neighbor was not able to exercise his right to purchase the farm.
- In several product liability cases involving injury and/or death caused by fork lift operation, Mr. Kolodner was successful in recovering more than a million dollars for each of his clients.
- In several estate and guardianship controversies, Mr. Kolodner successfully forced the removal of the personal representatives who had neglected their fiduciary duties. Mr. Kolodner also successfully recovered damages from the personal representatives for their wrongful conduct.
- In a divorce case that was ultimately decided by Maryland’s highest court, Mr. Kolodner established that his client’s $80,000 country club membership was not “marital property” within the meaning of Maryland divorce property law and should not have been considered as an asset by the trial judge because the country club membership could not be sold, transferred, or pledged under the club’s rules.
- In a commercial real estate controversy, Mr. Kolodner successfully sued on behalf of the seller to force the purchaser of an apartment building to consummate the $9.1 million sale.
For more than 30 years, Mr. Kolodner served on a pro bono basis as legal counsel to V-LINC, a Baltimore-based non-profit computer resource center that provides opportunities for people with disabilities, their families, professionals and members of the business community by using adaptive technology, computer systems, software, and the Internet.
Mr. Kolodner has served as volunteer, President and board member of The Mt. Washington Swimming Club, Inc., a neighborhood swim club in Baltimore City.
Mr. Kolodner co-founded Maryland Lawyers for the Arts, a non-profit organization that provides volunteer lawyers for artists.
Mr. Kolodner often provides pro bono legal services through Maryland Volunteer Legal Services for persons who cannot afford legal services.
Mr. Kolodner serves on the Board of Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (Gedco), a Baltimore-based nonprofit social service provider and developer of subsidized housing primarily serving low-income seniors and previously homeless men and women through affordable housing and support programs.
He also provides pro bono legal services through Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), a national nonprofit which provides legal services to immigrant and refugee children in custody and deportation proceedings.
- Family Law Group
- Litigation Group
- Wills, Estate and Trusts Group
- Real Estate Group
- Maryland, 1980
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 1995
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 1981
- J. D., University of Baltimore, School of Law, 1979
- B. A., Lawrence University, 1975
- 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine, (Top 100 Lawyers, Family Law)
- 2016 Best Lawyers® in America, Litigation – Trusts and Estates
- 2015 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine, (Top 100 Lawyers, Family Law)
- 2015 Best Lawyers® in America, Litigation – Trusts and Estates
- 2014 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine, Family Law
- 2013 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine, (Top 100 Lawyers, Family Law)
- 2012 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine, (Top 100 Lawyers, Family Law)
- 2007, 2008, 2011 Maryland Super Lawyers, Baltimore Magazine
- AT&T Wireless Services v. Mayor and City Council, 123 Md.App. 681, 720 A.2d 925 (1998)
- Schaefer v. Cusack, 124 Md.App. 288, 722 A.2d 73 (1998)
- Townsend Properties, Inc. v. Z.N., Inc., 1995 WL 375595 (D.Md.)
Professional and Civic Involvement:
- Maryland State Bar Association, Section on Family Law
- Bar Association of Baltimore City, Section of Family Law
- Baltimore County Bar Association, member
- Howard County Bar Association, member
- Board member of Gedco (Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation), a Baltimore City based non-profit providing affordable, supportive housing and emergency services that meet the food and shelter needs of low income individuals and families.
- “Spotlight on “Twilight Alimony,” (co-authored with Carol G. Cooper, Esq.), Maryland Family Law Update, October 2014
- “The Real Test of a Valid Prenup,” (co-authored with James Phillips-Farley, Esq.), Maryland Family Law Update: January 2014
- “Setting Aside a Marital Settlement Agreement,” (co-authored with Carol G. Cooper, Esq.), The Maryland Bar Journal, October 2012
- “Maryland Courts Address Whether Employment-related Discharge Settlement Proceeds are Marital Property”
- “Court takes the ‘analytical approach,'” Maryland Family Law Monthly, March 2010