Women in the Law

Decades Ago, I Took a Newspaper's File of Unflattering Photos of a Federal Judge, Law Partner Says

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Women, more so than men, tend to be portrayed in an unflattering manner in photos as their popularity wanes, writes former Congressman and current law firm partner Martin Frost in a Politico opinion column.

And, while female politicians tend to suffer the most, others including lawyers, have also felt its sting. Frost, who is currently a partner at Polsinelli Shughart, says now-deceased federal judge Sarah Hughes was among the victims of this unfair practice, which he helped remedy, in her case, by taking a file of unflattering photos of Hughes, including negatives, from her hometown paper, the Dallas Morning News.

While clerking for Hughes, he simply went into the paper’s offices one day, asked for the photo file, and walked away with it, Frost recounts. Asked this week by the newspaper if he feels he did anything wrong, he replied: “The statute of limitations has run,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

He says he has no regrets about taking the file of photos from the News morgue in the 1970s and doesn’t remember what he did with them or whether he ever told Hughes, who died in 1985, about his action. She knew nothing about it at the time, Frost tells a reporter for the paper.

“They had some pictures that were not very nice of her, and from time to time, they would use them,” he says, explaining that Hughes never asked him to do anything about the unflattering photos. However, he knew she didn’t like them because she complained about them when the paper published them.

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