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TV Judges

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2007 01:03 pm
I am home sick, but fortunately for me I get the distinct pleasure of viewing daytime TV.

I noticed that there are about three Judge/Court shows on at a time and these shows are consistent throughout the day. I remember Judge Wap and this show has some amount of legitimacy. These shows barely resemble a real courtroom. The Judge is just if not more so dramatic than anyone else.

What do "real" lawyers and judges think of these shows? I wouldn't trust my verdict to these bozos. Are they even real judges?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,527 • Replies: 11
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2007 02:36 pm
I'm not a lawyer or a judge but I can shed some light on why people trust judgements to these bozos.

My friend filed a case in small claims court. She was contacted by the producers of one of these shows to see if she would appear on the show to have her case tried. It seems that not only do the shows pay for your trip to appear, they also pay any money awarded.

She said, "No" to their request.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2007 04:52 pm
Dunno if they're real judges. I practiced in NY, so it wasn't a real courtroom unless the judge was giving you a hard time.
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Roberta
 
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Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 12:24 am
I know that Judge Judy was a real judge. Don't know about the others.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 06:36 am
Hehe. I'm not a judge or lawyer either.

But have you seen the 'cases' that are tried? They don't even really need judges...they need a wack. Smile
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 06:39 am
I have only seen Judge Judy a couple of times. I get the distinct feeling that she is saying on the show all the "stuff" that she couldn't say when she was a "real" judge. I think that she is having a ball.

Her persona is a cross between a judge, and a strong willed mother.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:45 am
You know Judge Judy isn't so bad - I am referring to this string of new judge/court shows. Not sure how new they are - but they are a combo of Jerry Springer and Judge Judy.

I caught the tail end of one. It was about this woman who went to a Gyn and he did some procedures she thought was unnecessary - as I only got the tail end, I am not sure exactly what happened. The judge called the Nurse Practitioner at the office and swore her in over the phone (asking her to raise her right hand). She didn't think the procedures were necessary as the pap smear did not seem to be negative. The Doctor argued that she is not a doctor and he is. The judge had the woman get up and sit on an examining table while he made the doctor write out a check for the cost of the procedures and then write out another $5k for her suffering and then another $5k for the NP because the doctor said he was going to fire her. While all this time the audience is cheering and making all this noise similar to a Jerry Springer show.

I saw the beginning of another that was called something like Moral Court - basically it appeared there was no money involved or crimes committed simply that the judge was to determine who in a disagreement was morally correct. I didn't watch this one though.

Well, thanks now I know how they get the trainwreck of people to go on TV rather than dispute in a "real" courtroom. Still don't know who on the plaintive side would want to as besides the airfare there is no benefit for them except being embarrassed on national TV.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:07 am
The benefit for either party is that the show pays the judgement.

If you are being sued, and lose -- you don't have to pay out of your wallet.

If you are suing someone who you know will never be able to pay, and you win -- you get paid.

How in the world they ever got a doctor, who presumably has insurance, to appear on such a show is beyond me.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:36 am
boomerang wrote:
The benefit for either party is that the show pays the judgement.

If you are being sued, and lose -- you don't have to pay out of your wallet.

If you are suing someone who you know will never be able to pay, and you win -- you get paid.

How in the world they ever got a doctor, who presumably has insurance, to appear on such a show is beyond me.


Ahh - I didn't consider that fact that often times those being sued don't always pay up. But that is a big consideration - still not worth being embarassed on national TV though.
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edithdoll
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2007 11:46 am
TV Judge Shows
Hi all: The TV judge format has gained popularity and ratings over the years, hence the number of them have increased vs. regular sensational talk shows i.e. Jerry Springer.

Full disclosure here I work as a civil paralegal in public service but I trained to be a journalist and many folks I knew back then went into jobs in TV production. Many of them went to work for TV talk shows as they were very popular when we graduated in the late 80's -- early 90's and they were able to get their first jobs. I knew folks who worked for Monteil Williams, Jerry Springer, Sally Jesse Raphael, Maury Povitch among others.
Some folks actually went to work for Court/TV back in the day, actually my whole former crew was there at one point. That's just a whole other kettle of fish.

All talk show participants are usually paid. When I say talk shows--I'm talking about the social/confrontational genre that was very popular at the time. Usually those folks would get a paid trip to Chicago, NY, or LA paid by the show and some type of a small fee for appearing. At least that was the policy. I think the upswing of the trend though has gone down probably with the advent of both Martha Stuart's original show and Rosie O'Donnel's original show. Both were more soft focus less tabloid oriented. Today we have Ellen DeGenres and Tyra Banks taking more of a mixed format lead and meeting with success -- which seems to leading the trends right now.

Judge shows sort are going into a mixed genre mode themselves. The People's Court was the originator with the very low key Judge Wapnor, who often cited California Law in the small claims cases. He also made a particular effort to give feuding relatives a chance to talk it out and resolve it amongest themselves before ruling and having them sign the show's contract papers.

Back then again both sides were probably given travel fees, although back then, it seemed to be more local California participants, even though the show was syndicated. Each side was given a certain amount to appear--for example: $1,500 -- and that was the max on the claim. So if the judge ruled against you and you lost say $500 judgment, you still made a $1,000 and I guess got the opportunity to air your grievance on TV. Also please note, there is a similar max. amount to sue for in small claims court. So some folks, especially the losers may actually do better and get to make some money on TV vs. in real small claims court, but again, there is public humilation involved on National TV. But to each their own decision.

Nowadays I believe the basic policy still goes. The "case" fees are probably a bit higher and the travel fee is probably in addition since with more shows there is a more of a need for folks to travel in order to go on these shows. There is probably also other legal forms/contracts to sign, especially if you are also pursing the matter in a real court.

To her credit, I have seen Judge Judy say in certain cases say she couldn't address certain legal matters since she understood that part of the case was still under deliberation in an actual court of justice. I've also seen her annoyance at attorneys who are appearing with clients, since they are being paid legal fees for a TV appearance not a court appearance. Again to her credit she usually doesn't let them speak much.

Apparently the People's Court wasn't doing well for whatever reason, so when Judge Judy (Sheinland) originally contacted them they weren't interested. She is a former NY Family Court judge. Her show is produced by a different company. Ironically it sparked a new trend--we got all these former judges sitting on judge format shows. The People's Court also relaunched first with former NY Major Ed Koch and later Jerry Sheinland, Judy Judy's husband who is a former NY State Supreme Court Judge. He had a very short tenure, I don't think he could take the nature/haggling/sensationalism of some of the cases being a former SJC judge. Sometimes he would also make like comments to the people about how they were lucky they were in front of them and not his wife (Judy). There is now a new female judge on the People's Court franchise, I am unfamilar with her background. Judge Wapnor had a Animal Court show for awhile on Animal Planet or a similar channel about cases where animals were involved. I'm not sure it lasted or if it is still on for whatever reasons.

Like the tabloid/talk shows I think the judge shows are going through a trend/genre trend right now in more sensational direction. Judge Maria Lopez who was removed from Mass. Superior Court, is now being syndicated. Back when she was a sitting judge she was known for both her volatile disposition and varied approach to the law. We had one former attorney, an experienced NYC trial attorney who came back from his first hearing with her all shaken and shell-shocked, saying: "I don't know what just happened." It was like wait until next time--it'll probably be completely different.

I think the trend of sensational/tabloid judges will burn out just as the confrontational/shows did. They will dribble down, although as long as people are willing to go on them, and they are inexpensive to produce, they will remain in rotation.

I agree with a previous poster though, I think Judy Judy is having fun, but I also think she is right when she says she has heard every story in the book. Her experience backs that claim up. In general I think she does what she wants, but still adheres to her principles. Bottom line she still knows it is a show and she is no longer in a court room. She won't go over certain lines and I respect her for that while finding her entertaining. I can't really comment on the other TV judges with them since I am not as familar.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 10:55 am
Wow - thanks that is interesting information.

Have you ever heard of a judge type show where it is strictly about who is morally right or wrong - can't remember the name of it, but it is also set up like a courtroom, but the judge determines who is morally in the right.
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edithdoll
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jun, 2007 12:11 pm
Moral Court Show
Hi personally: I haven't heard of it moral court show, but I not surprised to hear it exists. It's seems like the shows have downgraded down just like tv talk shows did after they crested in the market.
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