You Are At: AllSands Home > Potluck2 > Judge Judy--justice with an attitude
Justice with an attitude--Judge Judy. That's how Judge Judith Sheindlin's television courtroom show is billed. Indeed Judge Judy won't take guff from any litigant on her show, and one can easily she why she had a reputation before retiring as one of the toughest judges in the state of New York.
USA today has stated she can always tell if someone in her courtroom is lying, and she doesn't hesitate to let the offending party she doesn't believe his or her story. When she gets aggrevated at a litigant's attitude or doesn't believe a story, she doesn't hesitate to snap at that person. She always tries to bring justice to the situation, however.
She began her career prosecuting juvenile deliquency cases in New York. Later New York City Mayor Ed Koch appointed her Family Court Judge, and she heard more than 20,000 cases in her career. She later became Supervising Judge in Manhattan.
Known as a tough judge, Judge Judy became the subject of a Los Angeles Time article and later a 60 Minutes episode. It was after that she retired, and her show debuted September 16, 1996. Her show is now the number one television courtroom show in the country.
The litigants who come before her know her decisions are legally binding and final. They also should know when they bring their family matters, small claims issues or whatever before her, they better be honest.
"For 24 years I tried to change the way families deal with problems on a very small scale one case at a time," Judge Judy explained on her website why she retired and took the show. "Now I can use the skills I have developed and take my message to more people every day."
The issues that come before her are varied. In one case a 19-year-old woman sued the father of her child for taking her money to buy a car for her and not returning the money or helping her buy the car. She claimed he took $2,800, but he said only $800.
The woman had a tape recording of a phone call with her boyfriend in which he said he received $2,800. The case was easy to decide, but Judge Judy was hard on both litigants.
He told the plaintiff she is a "nice woman," but "not too swift."
She chastised the defendant for not paying child support, because he hadn't been allowed to visit his child, because of a history of domestic violence.
"Well, he eats doesn't he?" she snapped.
In another case a 35-year-old nurse's aide sued a former friend for half the cost of their trip to Las Vegas. She said the defendant had paid for their airplane tickets but nothing else.
The defendant claimed she had paid the plaintiff $1,400 cash. She said she had dropped the matter when the plaintiff didn't pay her money she owed her. She also countersued the plaintiff for defamation of character for distributing flyers stating the defendant didn't pay her debts.
The plaintiff won the case, because Judge Judy called the defendant's lawyer and found out the plaintiff had contacted the attorney to receive her money. The defendant lost her countersuit.
"This lady doesn't look like she's missing a few," Judge Judy said of the plaintiff. She said she wouldn't have contacted the lawyer if she wasn't owed the money. She also said the defendant wouldn't have dropped the matter if she really were owed $300.
"Someone who is not shy would have taken her to court," she explained.
Judge Judy doesn't hesitate to let a litigant know if she believes a person is trying to take advantage of another. In one case a woman who had four children by four men, none of them her husband, sued her ex-husband for support.
"Madam, on Father's Day your house is going to need a revolving door for all your kids," she told the plaintiff.
Legal minds run in the Sheindlin family. Her husband, Jerry, is the judge on the People's Court, once run by Judge Joseph Wapner and later Ed Koch.
Justice with an attiude--an idea some might believe should have come much sooner in America.