May one count before Maariv?
It is permitted to count the Sefira before Maariv [after nightfall]. This applies even on Motzei Shabbos, when one extends the Shabbos into the night [until Maariv]. Nevertheless it is proper to precede the Davening of Maariv to the counting of the Omer.
Is it proper to count the Omer together with a Minyan?
Yes. It is proper to count the Sefira together with the Minyan. [Thus one should not leave the Minyan for Maariv until after Sefira.]
If the Minyan is holding by Sefira and one has not yet begun Maariv is he to recite Sefira with the Tzibur?
Some Poskim rule that one is to count Sefira together with the Minyan and then Daven Maariv, in the event that he will not be Davening with another Minyan.
 Admur ibid; M”A 489/7
The reason: As nevertheless it is already night and is not considered the previous day but rather the next day. [Admur ibid]
 Admur ibid; Chok Yaakov 489/16
The reason: As Maariv is Tadir [i.e. common] while the counting of the Omer is only on occasion, and the rule follows that a more common Mitzvah receives precedence over a less common Mitzvah. [Admur ibid]
 Shelah brought in Chok Yaakov 489/16 “Sefira with a Minyan”; Siddur Yaavetz “Sefira with Rov Am”; Minchas Yitzchak 9/56
 Minchas Yitzchak 9/56
 The reason: As it is proper to count the Omer with a Minyan [Poskim ibid] and one should not separate from the Tzibur. [ibid]
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