The sartorial splendor of Sam Sr.

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Amid R. Kelly's well-dressed handlers and hangers-on, defense lawyer Sam Adam Sr. stands out.

Kelly himself is a sharp dresser, wearing expensive-looking, well-tailored suits (Navy blue today), crisp white shirts, and ties that seem to glow. Defense lawyer Ed Genson wears shirts with monogrammed cuffs, and his colleague Marc Martin's suits do not appear to suffer any overt damage during the ride south in his, Martin's, BMW. Sam Adam Jr., the youngest member of the defense team, dresses well.

But, in keeping with his I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass demeanor, Sam Adam Sr. eschews suits. Instead, he wears rumpled pants and sport coats that look like he got them at the Salvation Army. Invariably, the sleeves engulf half of Adam's hands. Meanwhile, his shirt collars point in more directions than a weather vane.

The color choices are interesting, too. On Monday, the first day of juror interviews, Adam's sport coat was bottle-green. On Tuesday, he wore a purple one.

At one point, Adam, 72, was overheard saying, "I dress like a juror."

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As a young lawyer, I worked with Sam Adam for several years in the 70's and 80's. He was as sartorially unkempt then as he is now. Once, in the office, we noticed that a fountain pen in his shirt pocket had leaked, and the dark blue stain had spread across the front of the white dress shirt. Oops,we thought,Sam is going to have to toss that $3 EJ Korvette special. Alas, we were wrong. Sam wore that shirt regularly, stain and all, for at least three more years. That said, Sam Adam was, day to day, the best courtroom lawyer I've ever seen. Clothes sloppy, mind immaculate. With shirttail invariably hanging out from behind his sportcoat, Sam controlled the courtroom like nobody else.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric Herman published on May 14, 2008 12:56 PM.

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