In an industry known for hubris and artifice, Brittenham can be self-deprecating, using humor to disarm adversaries and diffuse tensions.
His Christmas cards, sent out by the hundreds each year, have become legendary. Designed by Brittenham's wife, actress Heather Thomas, they always make the balding, 5-foot-8-inch lawyer the brunt of the joke.
Last year's card showed what happened when Thomas, following the instructions in a book called "How to Have a Happy Marriage," let her husband pick the family's holiday vacation destination. The card opened to reveal the entire Brittenham family, shivering and scowling, huddled around its self-centered patriarch as he happily fished through a hole in the ice.
OK, maybe he's not particularly funny, but we already like him much better than Bert Fields. And nearly every guy in our seventh grade class had his wife's poster on their wall, so he's making up some points right there.