Stanley W. Kronick led the state Reclamation Board under Gov. Pat Brown.

Obituary: Sacramento lawyer Stanley W. Kronick, 93, helped shape California water policy

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 - 7:59 am

Stanley W. Kronick, a prominent Sacramento lawyer who was a major figure in California water law and policy, died Sunday at 93, his family said.

A decorated Marine aviator in World War II, Mr. Kronick practiced law in New York before joining the federal Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento in 1950. Working with colleague Adolph Moskovitz, he helped conceive and lay the groundwork for water allocation policies that were embraced by Gov. Pat Brown.

The two lawyers went to work for the California attorney general's office as top advisers on water and water resources law before going into private practice together in 1959. They co-founded the firm known today as Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, one of the oldest and biggest in Sacramento.

"Stan was a great lawyer and a great mentor to me," former partner Edward Tiedemann said. "He helped put together a good firm right from the start and built it to what it is today."

Meanwhile, Mr. Kronick was influential in developing postwar water policy in California.

Appointed by Brown to lead the state Reclamation Board, he was instrumental in forming the Kern County Water Agency, the state's largest, and developing major dams, reservoirs and canals for the State Water Project.

He was active in the Democratic Party as a fundraiser and behind-the-scenes adviser to candidates for many years. He was a leader in Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's gubernatorial campaign. His brother, Russell Kronick, was a longtime leader in local Democratic organizations.

Stanley William Kronick was born on Sept. 18, 1919, in Pittsfield, Mass. He left his studies at Boston University to join the Marine Corps during World War II, flew B-25s in the South Pacific and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He returned to school and earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1947.

Mr. Kronick, who retired in 1994, pushed efforts to expand Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard into a major private practice representing businesses and public-sector agencies in a variety of legal specialties. The firm today has 60 lawyers in offices in Sacramento, Bakersfield, Roseville, San Luis Obispo and Walnut Grove.

"Stanley was a very fair person and a visionary," former partner Lloyd Hinkelman said. "He could see that the firm was small and mostly focused on water clients, and he felt we should be an all-purpose firm."

A Sacramento resident, Mr. Kronick had two children with his wife of 66 years, Shirley, who died last year. He was active in the Sutter Club, belonged to Temple B'nai Israel and was an avid golfer and former president of Northridge Country Club.

Mr. Kronick is survived by his children, Louise Mueller of Sacramento and Rob of Bakersfield; brother, Russell of Sacramento; and two grandchildren.

A private service is planned. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any charity.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @bob_davila.

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