Tom Brady courtroom artist, panned online, apologizes

A Tom Brady courtroom artist was panned online and has apologized. Because priorities.

It takes a lot to get large media outfits interested on a deep level with the justice system. Despite how central our courts and laws are to every area of life, it usually takes a special element—like a notorious murderess or, say, a football player—to garner serious coverage.

Well, if you combine a famous baller with what’s widely perceived to be a visual fail, you’ve got a story the press wants to cover.

That’s what happened as New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady sat in a courtroom. And the story that emerged was about the lack of artistic justice he received from a New York Times sketch artist.

You can see the artwork above. While the Patriots fans among my readers cry deep and abiding Tom Brady tears, I’ll simply say, first … I have always been a big fan of the courtroom sketch artist, and I’ve covered their exploits before. Whether you’re drawing John Gotti, Tom Brady, or some other dissembler (sorry to bring on more tears, Pats fans), the job of the courtroom artist is a tough one.

Obergefell v. Hodges sketch by Arthur Lien.

Obergefell v. Hodges sketch by Arthur Lien.

So evocative can a courtroom sketch be that we’ll be running one (by Arthur Lien) in the next Arizona Attorney Magazine. It depicts the Supreme Court as the ruling in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges was announced. (And yes, we paid Art for his work!)

That’s why the NYT story irked as much as it informed. Brady was in federal court appealing his four-game suspension (The injustice! The horror!), and artist Jane Rosenberg did her best to quickly capture the essence of the sullied QB.

And, O the anger her work wrought, as people emerged to impugn her skill and wax poetic about Brady’s baby-faced visage.

Ultimately, the twittersphere would have its justice, as Rosenberg offered an apology of sorts:

“I’m getting bad criticism that I made him look like Lurch,” she said, referring to the Addams Family character. “And obviously I apologize to Tom Brady for not making him as good-looking as he is.”

Hey, Ms. Rosenberg, I’ve got a suggestion: Apologize for nothing. NOTHING.

After all, we have to be open to a deeper possibility. As an artist, Rosenberg was tapping a deep well of resonance. Maybe she drew not what was precisely before her, but what lay beneath.

Oliver Wilde offers an analogue in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Who’s to say what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Oliver Wilde's Dorian Gray is a pretty-boy, but the painting reveals a deeper story.

Oliver Wilde’s Dorian Gray is a pretty-boy, but the painting reveals a deeper story.

And I reached deep within and tried my own hand at drawing a likeness of Tom Brady, but this is the best I could do.

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Cue the ire of the Patriots’ fans and Brady defenders (some of whom—men and women both—have told me, “He’s too cute to be guilty,” reminding me the jury system—and the human race—is a crap shoot).

I offer a hat-tip to Tim Chester of Mashable for the story link.

Here’s wishing you a great—and fully inflated—weekend.

In-House Counsel BattleIn-House Counsel Battle At long last (or too soon, depending on your viewpoint), the long, long road culminating in the Super Bowl is over. Right now, you’re either Patriot-happy, Seahawks-bitter, or couldn’t care less and are simply awaiting forensic Deflate-gate results. After months of buildup, you may think you’ve heard every possible news angle.

But wait. The folks at Inside Counsel decided to talk to two in-house counsel from the teams’ home cities. Here was their approach:

“We decided to ask two senior in-house counsel some questions about football and law, ranging from whether Tom Brady or Russell Wilson would be a better lawyer, to what their pregame speech would be before exiting the tunnel. And we were right: Mark Roellig, general counsel of Springfield, Mass.-based MassMutual, and David Heiner, deputy general counsel of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, couldn’t be more different in their thoughts on the game, and the intersection of law and football, if we tried.”

Read the results of their conversation here. Smart, eh? So that got me wondering: Does your own favorite team have characteristics that might be reflected in their city’s lawyers? And why not go further? How about the team’s general counsel’s personality and outlook? What say, Cardinals fans? What team traits and views would the team’s lawyer hold? (And if you are David Koeninger, the team’s lawyer, feel free to weigh in! A previous team lawyer was once-prosecutor Michael Bidwell, now the Cards’ president. We are lawyered up in Phoenix!)