Summarized by Eric Bunker
Longtime Las Vegas attorney Robert Callister dies at 77
Las Vegas NV Sun 19Oct99 P2
By Ed Koch: Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Las Vegas attorney Robert Callister, 77, the son of a former
prominent Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney, Norval Callister, died a
few weeks ago just one day before his 52nd wedding anniversary. He was
married to and survived by the former Marco Christensen, the youngest child
of prominent Las Vegas businessman M.J. Christensen and five children, sons
Matt, Daniel and Tracy Callister, and daughters Christene Reynolds and Mara
Meservy, and 26 grandchildren.
Although born in 1921 in Washington D.C., Bro. Callister was raised in
Southern California and Utah. After graduating from high school in Salt
Lake City, he attended the University of Utah but chose to interrupt his
education to serve a mission in the South in the early 1940's
However, because of the demand for solders, he left his mission early to
enlist in the Army during World War II, attending officers training school.
Thankfully, the war ended before he was shipped overseas.
Returning to the University of Utah, he graduated in 1947. Considering his
prospects better elsewhere, he and moved to Las Vegas where he walked up and
down Fremont Street stopping at law firms and asking for a job as a law
clerk, where he was hired by the firm Morse and Graves.
A few days after coming to town, Robert met fellow U of U graduate Marco.
They married Oct. 17, 1947, in Salt Lake Temple, but lived all their married
life in Las Vegas.
Callister, who's father and three uncles were also lawyers, passed the
Nevada bar in March 1948 and joined the firm of Ruyman and Gregory, which
later became Gregory and Callister. In the early 1950s, Callister opened
his own firm, which later became Callister and Reynolds twenty-five years
ago when he included his son-in-law, Ronald Reynolds as a partner. Today his
son Matt is also a partner.
Another son, Daniel, is a Washington D.C., attorney, and his other son,
Tracy, is a cardiologist in Tennessee. His daughters live in Las Vegas with
Although he practiced criminal law early on as did his father, he did not
specializing in that area. Instead, he became involved in divorce law and
handled personal injury cases for many years. At one point was co-counsel
on two Las Vegas personal injury cases with nationally prominent attorney
Melvin Belli. Later he practiced federal and state credit law. The Nevada
League of Credit Unions was among his
As lifelong Republican, father Robert wasn't too happy about his son Matt's
venture into politics. Matt is a former state assemblyman, state senator
and Las Vegas City councilman. It first rankled him because his son was a
Democrat and second because it brought Matt squarely into the public
spotlight from which he the dad had long shied.
"Dad had a keen intellect and had high expectations for those he loved,"
Matt said. "But he also was a very private man who avoided publicity."
About the practice of law his son Matt commented, "Dad would say that when
you write a brief, tell a story and get the key information on the front
page. He said a judge doesn't have time to muddle through several
pages of a brief to get to the point you are trying to get across."
Bro, Callister also loved the game of golf. He played every course in the
Las Vegas area and read most everything on the subject he could get his
hands on. In his prime, he had a single-digit handicap.