One of Susie’s favorite TV shows is Judge Judy. It’s a show I detest. Although I’m usually in the computer room when she watches it, I can still hear what’s going on.
And what’s going on is a sad testament to the state of civilization. As far as I’m concerned, Judge Judy is one small step above Jerry Springer and one giant leap for 15 minutes of celebrity for losers. If you want an argument against universal suffrage, tune in to Judge Judy.
You don’t have to watch more than two or three shows to become familiar with its modus operandi. After Judge Judy summarizes the issues of the case, she begins questioning the plaintiff. It’s routine for the defendant to make all sorts of facial and body gestures showing disagreement with whatever is being said. Do they really believe these gestures will sway the judgement?
Often, the defendant interrupts the proceedings with statements like “That’s not true!” Judge Judy then admonishes the offender to stop interrupting and that their turn to speak will come. The admonished party appears to agree. But often the defendant will interrupt again, and then Judge Judy often goes ballistic and delivers a tongue lashing. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual for this scenario to play out three and four times.
When the defendant is being questioned, the plaintiff will often engage in the same tactics that the defendant did, despite having seen the consequences. Judge Judy then delivers a similar admonishment and tongue lashing. I think these are the parts of the show Susie likes.
I would put the intellectual level of at least one party, and often both parties, at a junior high level. When Judge Judy attempts to explain the legal principles involved in her decision, the party on the “losing” side often becomes argumentative. “It’s not fair” is often heard. Judge Judy’s efforts to educate them on the legal principles involved are usually ineffective.
It’s amazing what folks think they can get away with. When unpaid loans are the issue, the defendant almost always claims the loan was a “gift.” When Judge Judy confronts the defendant with contrary evidence, such as a text message to the plaintiff that the defendant intends to repay the “gift” or an initial payment on the loan, the defendant seems surprised that they have been caught in a lie. Loooooser!
I wondered why anyone would volunteer to appear on Judge Judy. Amazing how many folks don’t care if they become the laughing stock of the nation, as long as they get that 15 minutes of TV stardom. “Look Ma, now the nation knows what a low life loser I am!”
But there is in fact a very rational decision for appearing on the show. First, there’s a free trip to New York City, including hotel, to film the show. Second, no matter who Judge Judy rules in favor of, the show, not the losing party, pays the award.
So let’s see, a free trip to New York and no cost if Judge Judy rules against me. Where do I sign up?
I know this because many years ago a friend was sued in small claims court by a former co-worker of mine. He was a wedding photographer and she took issue with some of the photos of her daughter’s wedding. I had warned him that this co-worker was a real cantankerous type who loved to complain but he took the job anyway.
Judge Judy’s rep contacted them to be on the show and explained the “benefits.” My friend did not want to go on the show, for obvious reasons. He did win the case when it was heard by a local small claims court. (The local judge almost threw her husband out of the courtroom for interjecting himself inappropriately during the hearing.)
Judge Judy tapes shows 50 days a year. For that, she is paid in the double digit millions of dollars. Proving that there’s a lot of money in dealing with losers….
If you’re involved in a small claims suit, want a free trip of New York and no financial liability regardless of Judge Judy’s ruling, you don’t have to hope her reps find you. You can go to her website and nominate your case for her show.