Longtime Montgomery County practitioner, Robert D. Salzer, died suddenly on January 24, 2003 following a heart attack at age 58.
Bob was born and grew up in Montgomery County and attended Northwood High School. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in Liberia, an experience he always cherished. He then served in the U.S. Army and subsequently attended American University Law School from which he graduated in 1973. While at American University Law School, Bob worked in Annapolis as an intern for Judge James S. McAuliffe, Jr., who was then a Maryland State Senator. Judge McAuliffe recalls vividly his lengthy discussions with Bob and that Bob could always discern the real intent of a bill. Upon graduation from law school, he entered solo practice primarily representing a restaurant chain and shared space with the firm of Greg Everngam in Silver Spring. He later formed partnerships with Jim Newton and Jim Nowak before joining Meiselman & Greene in the mid 80’s and later becoming a principal in the firm of Meiselman, Salzer & Inman in 1998.
Bob was a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.
Bob appreciated the value of family. He would periodically leave the office early for the express purpose of spending time with his beloved wife, Teddy, even if it was just to go to a movie. He frequently flew to Florida to visit his daughter, Lacey, who lives in Miami and seldom passed up the opportunity to get some fishing time in with friends while there. He never missed a basketball game his son, Barry, played while in high school or while in college at St. Mary’s. He even went to Israel to see Barry play professional basketball there. He was proud of the fact that he raised six children.
Bob also valued his friends. He selected them much in the same way he selected restaurants. The more distinctive and unusual they were, the better he liked them. His fishing buddies came from varied backgrounds, occupations, and interests and several belonged to the Bar Association of Montgomery County. They would often travel to new fishing areas, and he often made their families his close friends. He would sometimes arrange small fishing tournaments among friends and there was usually some friendly competition involved. His card playing friends were mostly friends from high school. Their families, too, became close friends with his. He would occasionally meet another group of friends at the horse track where he seldom admitted to losing, but always let everyone know when he had won.
Bob valued humility in the practice of law. He liked his clients and his clients liked him. He had a way of slicing through technicalities and getting to the heart of the matter. In representing his clients in personal injury cases, he was a tough negotiator with insurance adjusters and defense counsel, but they invariably ended up liking him and respecting him.
Perhaps Bob’s greatest attribute was that he knew the value of a beautiful day. He would talk those of us who fished with him into taking the day off and going out onto the Chesapeake Bay on a windy, threatening day. Once there, the wind would be howling around us and the waves crashing into, sometimes over, the boat and Bob would be heard to say “See, I told you it would be a beautiful day” and indeed, he was right, it always was.
Those of us who knew Bob miss him already and always will.
Irwin G. Meiselman, Esquire