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Retired Administrative Law Judge and Lawyer Samuel B. Groner Dies at 92

Samuel Groner heard whistle-blower cases.
Samuel Groner heard whistle-blower cases. (Family Photo - Family Photo)
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Samuel B. Groner, 92, a retired administrative law judge and lawyer, died May 16 at his home in Chevy Chase after a heart attack.

From 1979 to 1995, Mr. Groner worked as an administrative law judge and was a member of the board of contract appeals at the Department of Labor. Many of the cases he heard dealt with coal miners who were disabled by black lung disease as well as longshoremen and others who worked in seaports who were injured on the job. He also heard numerous whistleblower cases.

Samuel Brian Groner was born in Buffalo and grew up speaking Yiddish, German, Hebrew and English. He graduated from high school at 14 and received a bachelor's degree and law degree from Cornell University, the latter in 1939.

Mr. Groner moved to Washington in 1940 to work as a lawyer in the Department of War and the Office of Price Administration until he joined the Army, serving during World War II in the infantry and the military intelligence service in Europe.

After the war, he returned to Washington to work at the Justice Department in the Office of the Solicitor General. Mr. Groner received a master's degree in economics from American University in 1950. He worked in private legal practice between 1953 and 1963, then joined the Department of the Navy, where in the latter portion of his time there, he was associate chief trial lawyer.

He also worked in the family law practice of Groner and Groner in Chevy Chase, starting in 1962. He wrote "Modern Business Law" (1983) and the sixth edition of "The Improvement of the Administration of Justice" (1981).

Mr. Groner was a two-term president of Ohr Kodesh Congregation, a conservative synagogue in Chevy Chase. He also was a member of the Cosmos Club and the Cornell Club. He ran unsuccessfully for the Maryland House of Delegates in the mid-1950s.

His first marriage, to Molly Wexler Groner, ended in divorce. His second wife, Beverly Anne Groner, died in 2003. A son from his first marriage, Jonathan Bruce Groner, died in 1962.

Survivors include a son from the first marriage, Laurence M. Groner of Bethesda; three stepchildren, Morrilou Morell of Chevy Chase, Lewis A. Davis of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Andrew G. Davis of Clearwater, Fla.; a brother, Isaac N. Groner of Kensington; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

-- Patricia Sullivan

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