In the 1980’s, there was only one TV Courtroom Judge and that was Judge Joseph Wapner. He presided over The People’s Court along with his trusty bailiff Rusty Burnett. Today, there seems to be a TV Courtroom Judge for every channel.
My husband watches every single one, therefore, I do too. While watching one day, we debated over which TV Courtroom Judge we would want to preside over a small claims case that we might have. Here are my top 3 picks for favorite TV Courtroom Judge.
“You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Sheindlin. The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is Judge Judy.” Those words start off the number one TV Courtroom show – one that has been on television for 15 years, has been nominated at the Daytime Emmys 13 times and has earned Judge Judith Sheindlin a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Laying aside these glowing facts, I would put Judge Judy as my third pick of TV Courtroom Judges that I would want to hear my small claims case. Why? Plain and simple – she’s grouchy, mean and a name caller.
Okay, maybe being a TV Courtroom Judge is not easy. Having to listen to people complain and whine about their cases all day long could make anyone grouchy. Some of these people definitely deserve the names Judge Judy calls them such as “bums,” “jerks,” and “bullies.” That does not make me want to step into her courtroom and face Judge Judy’s wrath.
I am one of those people that have a hard time explaining things. I go a mile in a sentence to get out a street block’s worth of words. That being said, I know that I would annoy Judge Judy in no time. Add to that my southern accent, my use of words such as “ain’t,” and “y’all,” and my tendency to put a lot of “uhms” and “likes” into my sentences and Judge Judy would be pulling out her nicely styled hair as she corrected my English and told me to stand up straight. I will not even go into what Judge Judy would say about my clothes or how many times she would interrupt me before I got my side of the story out.
In my opinion, Judge Judy knows the law, is very competent and gets the job done. However, I feel she has a tendency to pay too much attention to how a plaintiff or defendant stands, talks or dresses. Also, Judge Judy is very judgmental for a TV Courtroom Judge – although that is her job. While her dressing down of people on her TV Courtroom Show is funny to watch, I would not want to be in their shoes.
Judge Greg Mathis
Judge Greg Mathis has not been a TV Courtroom Judge as long as Judge Judy but I think he is just as good. I enjoy watching Judge Mathis and often find myself laughing along with him.
Judge Greg Mathis joined a gang and committed numerous crimes before being jailed. After being released from jail, a family friend helped Mathis get into college where he learned to love studying law.
After failing his bar exam once and being prohibited from practicing law due to his criminal past, Judge Mathis was finally allowed to practice law and was the youngest judge in Michigan to be elected as Superior Court Judge. During his time as Superior Court Judge, Judge Mathis was voted in the top five of the District 36 Judges of which there were 30. Judge Mathis is a role model.
Judge Mathis’ courtroom is much more laid back than Judge Judy’s. Where Judge Judy commands respect at all times (along with good grammar, etc.), Judge Mathis seems to overlook most of these things. Oh, yes, he has been known to get upset with plaintiffs or defendants who do not tuck in their shirts or put their hands in their pockets but for the most part, he is more tolerant of their appearance.
One thing I really like about Judge Mathis is the fact that he does not correct grammar and will listen for quite a while before he actually seems to get upset or bored with the long winded or nervous plaintiffs or defendants. Judge Mathis is also capable of making people laugh at themselves and often cracks jokes in his courtroom.
Some people do not find his humor to be appropriate on a TV Courtroom Show, but I think it would help to ease my tension if I were a plaintiff or defendant on the show. As long as I did not get on his bad side, I think I would be happy with Judge Mathis settling my dispute.
The People’s Court – Judge Marilyn Milian
Maybe it’s because I started out watching the People’s Court a long time ago. Maybe it’s because I am a woman and would probably feel more comfortable talking to a woman. Maybe it’s because I think Judge Marilyn Milian is more compassionate or that she is a cross between Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown. Whatever the reasons, if I had a small claims case aired on a TV Courtroom Show it would be The People’s Court with Judge Marilyn Milian presiding.
For the most part, Judge Marilyn Milian seems to be able to put the plaintiffs and defendants at ease. She talks to them as if they are human beings instead of litigants, unlike Judge Judy. Judge Marilyn Milian also adds humor to her courtroom, much like Judge Mathis. However, Judge Marilyn Milian does not let things get as out of hand as Judge Mathis sometimes does.
While Judge Marilyn Milian seems to be a kind lady and often doles out justice while trying to teach a lesson, there are times that she can become as irate as Judge Judy. For instance, if I were to be a defendant in a dog bite case, I would definitely not enter Judge Milian’s courtroom. She has made it known that her daughter was bitten by a dog and she will not tolerate anyone not leashing their pets.
Judge Marilyn Milian gives a thorough yet concise reason why she is siding with the defendant or the plaintiff. Judge Joe Brown seems to go on for a rather long time and Judge Judy, for the most part, bangs her gavel down and says, “Judgment for the plaintiff or defendant.” and walks away.
Hopefully, I will never be in a smalls claim court – much less airing it on television, but if so, Judge Marilyn Milian is my choice. However, on second thought, it might be profitable to be on television. After all, these TV Courtroom Shows pay around $100.00, plus expenses, plus $35.00 – $40.00 a day for taping (which usually lasts 3 days) to each plaintiff and defendant appearing on the show. If you lost your case, you would have that money to put toward the verdict. If you won the case, well, you would get what you were asking for plus the extra money.and a free trip to New York. Going on a TV Courtroom Show seems more appealing now.