George W. Croner
George W. Croner is Special Counsel to Sander Ingebretsen & Wake, P.C., Denver, Colorado
Mr. Croner was awarded his B.S. degree (with distinction) from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975 and graduated J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1980. Following law school, Mr. Croner attended the Navy Judge Advocate General's military justice school in Newport, Rhode Island where he was awarded the ABA Award for Professional Merit for highest academic standing in his class, and the Frederick Shields Award for the highest academic standing of any attorney completing the course of study for the year 1980.
From 1981 to 1988, Mr. Croner was a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Navy, Mr. Croner was awarded two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, a Meritorious Service Metal, and a Navy Commendation Medal for his performance as an attorney. His U.S. government service also included assignment as the first Navy JAG ever assigned as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where he worked from 1982 to 1983.
In his last government assignment, as an attorney with the Office of General Counsel at the National Security Agency (NSA), he was NSA's litigation counsel on several major espionage trials and served as the NSA representative to the White House Interagency Group for the Iran-Contra Affair. He received a letter of commendation from President Ronald Reagan for his work in connection with Iran-Contra matters.
Mr. Croner has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in securities and other complex litigation involving both class and individual cases including: Graf, et al. v. Commercial Properties Group, Inc., et al., No. 89-CV-2400 (E.D.N.Y.) (class action); James O'Brien, et al. v. National Property Analysts Partners, et al., 88 CIV. 4153 (PKL) (S.D.N.Y.) (class action); Ramos, et al. v. Patrician Equities Corp., et al, 89 Civ. 5370 (TPG) (S.D.N.Y.) (class action); Sadler v. Stonehenge Capital Corp., et al., 89 Civ. 6512 (KC) (S.D.N.Y.) (class action); Rabin v. Concord Assets Group, Inc., et al., 89 Civ. 6130 (LBS) (S.D.N.Y.) (class action); Hastie v. AMCOR Capital, Inc., et al., CV 92-2392 (DT) (C.D.Cal.); and In re VMS Limited Partnership Securities Litigation, No. 90 C 2412 (N.D.Ill.) (class action).
Mr. Croner has been appointed lead counsel in a number of class actions in both federal and state courts. In November 1995, Mr. Croner was appointed as lead counsel for two classes certified by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado where he served as lead counsel for over 6800 limited partners in their litigation against Tele-Communications, Inc., (“TCI”) which was, at the time, the largest cable television operator in the United States. In November 1996, Mr. Croner was appointed as lead counsel for the class certified in Solo, et al. v. Duval County Housing Finance Authority, et al., No. 94-1952-CA, and, in this capacity, represented a class of over 500 municipal bondholders in Florida state court. Then, in January 1997, Mr. Croner and the Kohn firm were appointed lead counsel in Goldenberg, et al. v. Marriott PLP Corp., et al., No. PJM 95-3461. In August 1997, the court approved a settlement in the Marriott litigation which included a payment of more than $22 million to the class members, and in April 1998, the court approved a settlement in the amount of more than $6 million in the Colorado cases against TCI.Mr. Croner also served as co-lead class counsel in In re Nantucket Island Associates Limited Partnership Unitholders Litigation, Civil No. 17379-NC, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, where the Court approved a settlement in the amount of $9.75 million in May 2003, in Alexander v. Two Winthrop Properties, Inc., et al., Civil No. 00-005602, where he obtained an award of nearly $6.9 million on behalf of limited partners in a contested arbitration proceeding conducted in July 2004, and in Zimmerman v. GFB-AS Investors, LLC, C.A. No. 2022-VCS (Del. Ch. 2009).
In 2006, in Joseph v. The Scranton Times, L.P., Mr. Croner represented the plaintiffs in the trial of their defamation claims against the largest media consortium in Northeastern Pennsylvania and won a verdict of $3.5M, which was subsequently affirmed on appeal (but later reversed on issues unrelated to the initial trial). In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Mr. Croner obtained substantial settlements on behalf of clients in separate cases brought against one of the largest law firms in St. Louis, MO, against Wachovia Bank, N.A. in an ERISA action, and in the Zimmerman class action in Delaware Chancery Court where, in 2009, the court approved a $6M settlement in an action where Mr. Croner served as co-lead counsel for a class of limited partner investors in litigation against a major owner/operator of senior living facilities.
More recently, in Mitchell Partners, L.P. v. Irex Corp., Mr. Croner convinced both the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (2011) and the Pa. Supreme Court (2012) to accept an unprecedented interpretation of Pennsylvania corporate law regarding appraisal rights in merger transactions.
Mr. Croner has been awarded the “AV”® rating which is the highest rating conferred by the Martindale-Hubbell legal rating system. He is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and Colorado, and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He also is a director and shareholder of the firm of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., Philadelphia, PA.