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Family, colleagues remember Akron attorney Stanley P. Aronson

Akron attorney Stanley P. Aronson passed away on Sept. 22 at the age of 77. Aronson is pictured here with his wife and daughters. From left to right are Kaley, his wife Kimberly, Aronson, Kara (standing) Beth and Emily. (Photo courtesy of the Aronson family).

Legal News Reporter

Published: November 7, 2019

Akron personal injury attorney Stanley P. Aronson was known for his “bulldog” tactics in and outside the courtroom, as he sought to obtain the best possible outcomes for his clients and their families, said Summit County Probate Court Chief Magistrate George Wertz.
“Stan was a very creative and aggressive advocate,” said Wertz. “I was in private practice for 20 years before I came to the court and I would often do the probate work for his clients.
“In wrongful death cases, many times I would serve as the administrator of the family’s estate in mediation hearings. Before we entered the room Stan would say when the mediator asks you to weigh in remember to say three words, ‘it’s not enough.’ Stan was always trying to get as much as he could for the families and he would hold out until he thought the number was what it should be.
“I know it’s a cliché, but he really knew how to make lemonade out of lemons.”
Aronson practiced for decades, serving as a role model to many, including two of his four daughters, who followed in his footsteps by becoming lawyers.
“My dad wanted us all to be doctors, but he made it very intriguing to choose the law instead,” said his youngest daughter Kaley Austin-Aronson, an assistant state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orlando, Florida.
“Being a lawyer was a part of his DNA and it definitely ran in the family. My sister Beth is an assistant prosecutor in Medina County.”
On Sept. 22, Aronson passed away at the age of 77.
“My dad loved his family,” said Kaley. “He adored my mother and he was a very hands-on father. He knew the details of his daughters’ lives, right down to the names of their friends. He had a story associated with each daughter and if you were in his company he would decide which one was most appropriate to tell.
“As I got older, he always had words of wisdom and a quick joke,” she said. “When I spent the summer in Washington D.C. and got lost I called him and he was my Google maps before such a thing existed. We were all very lucky.”
“Stan had a heart of gold,” said Wertz. “He always had a smile on his face and a very infectious laugh. He loved Popeyes’ chicken, SUVs, computers and high-tech electronics.
“He was a fine lawyer and an honorable person,” said Wertz. “His passing is a great loss to the legal community.”
Born in Canton, Ohio on Dec. 27, 1941, he was the eldest of Herbert and Tillie (Segal) Aronson’s five boys.
Kaley said her father seemed destined to enter the legal profession at an early age.
“When my dad was in kindergarten, he argued with his teacher and his teacher told my grandparents he would make a good lawyer when he grew up,” said Kaley.
Aronson received his bachelor’s degree in English and his juris doctorate from The University of Akron.
He began his legal career as a military police captain during the Vietnam War.
“My dad had an innate ability to recall laws, some over 100 years old,” said Kaley. “When he was in the Army, my dad told me that a general wanted him to arrest Jane Fonda.
“He explained that he couldn’t do that because of the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law that was signed in 1878, which limited the powers of the federal government to use military personnel to enforce domestic policies.”
After returning to Ohio, he served as an assistant prosecutor in the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and as an assistant prosecutor in the criminal division of the Cuyahoga Falls Law Department.
In 1979, Aronson started his own practice in Fairlawn, where he primarily handled plaintiff personal injury cases.
His wife Kimberly initially came to his office to seek legal advice.
“My mom found my dad’s name in the phonebook,” said Kaley. “When she met with him, he said ‘I’m sorry but I can’t help you because I want to take you to dinner and I have a steadfast rule of not dating clients.’ He wowed her on the first date and they were together ever since. She helped him run his practice. I don’t think there was anyone in the world he loved more than my mom.”
Solo practitioner William Mikesell worked for Aronson as an associate from 1985 to 1990.
“Stan was excellent with clients,” said Mikesell. “Stan had a reputation for being stubborn and that stubbornness usually translated into very good settlements for his clients.
“As a boss, he was easy-going, but when a case came up he was very demanding. He wanted to make sure the case was in good order and ready for trial. Stan was very selective about which cases he took because he wanted to make sure the client was well represented and that he could deliver. He was one of the most honest lawyers I ever knew and a good friend. I am really sorry to have lost him.”
Kaley said her father enjoyed practicing so much that he never retired.
Aronson, who was admitted to the Ohio, Florida and Arizona bars, was a longtime member of the Akron, Ohio State and the Orange County (Florida) bar associations. He sat on the Akron Bar Association’s grievance committee for a decade and was an Akron Bar Foundation fellow. He was also a founding member of the Summit County Trial Lawyers Association and a sustaining member of the American Association for Justice.
Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Kathryn Michael said she had a great deal of respect for Aronson.
“Stan was an ‘old school’ gentleman lawyer, who sealed deals with a handshake. He never came before me, but he had a reputation of taking very good care of his clients,” said Judge Michael.
“He was a very kind person, who would do anything for his family. I got to know him through his daughter Beth when I was a criminal defense attorney. Stan always put family first. His family sort of adopted me. He reminded me of my dad, even though my dad was over 20 years older than Stan. They asked me to swear in his daughter Kaley and I was part of the family celebration afterward.
“I thought the world of Stan.”
A celebration of life was held for Aronson on Sept. 25 at Rose Hill Burial Park in Akron.
Aronson is survived by his wife Kimberly; daughters Beth (Seth), Emily, Kara and Kaley; brothers Arthur (Marcy), Barry (Maureen) and Brian; grandchildren Simone, Kai and Naomi and sister-in-law Lonnie.
His parents and his brother William preceded him in death.