Judge Judy In Her Next Act Is Still Entertaining, Educating, and Inspiring
Some Lessons This Court-TV Luminary Has Offered Over Two-and-a-Half Decades
After multiple episodes brought in 25+million streaming hours through Amazon Prime’s IMBD TV, star Judith Sheindlin’s court TV spin-off Judy Justice was renewed for a second season in March 2022. New episodes will start streaming in Fall 2022. Judy Shiendlin first garnered national attention in 1993 when 60 minutes aired a story documenting her tenure as a strict, candid, and indomitable family court judge in New York City’s Manhattan district. In just a few years, she was the star of one of prime-time televisions top-rated shows, Judge Judy. Featured in her own L.A. based pristine courtroom/television studio with multiple cameras, a bailiff, and an audience, Sheindlin would be the main mediator and arbitrator for some of the most crazy, hair-pulling, and even laughable small claims cases ever. Not only has Judge Judy entertained hundreds of millions over a quarter-century with her uninhibited candor and austerity, but has also offered uncommon education and unmatched wisdom. Now, as her new program will soon be premiering its second season, let’s look back at some of the greatest lessons from this television hall-of-famer.
“Don’t Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining”
Judge Judy Sheindlin first popularized this adage with her 1997 book by the same name. By then, she was known to express the same attitude on her show with her directness plus her whole rap-sheet of other famous Judy quotes. It is nice to know that since the prime-time series ended in 2021, the official Judge Judy Youtube channel showcases many of the cases that aired over the 25 year life of the show, so viewers can easily revisit many of her top cases where she delivered the wisdom of this and other adages. The deeper meaning behind the comical phrase is straightforward — if your own negative, toxic, or destructive behaviors have brought harm to yourself or others, don’t blame it on others or some outside circumstances.
Watch past episodes on Youtube or live television(or stream her new show on IMBD Live), and you will see Judy never cease to put this proverb into action. Judge Judy is always quick to call out the miscreant tenant (or landlord), and never holds back on making a spectacle out of the guest who she discovers have manipulated the system. Dramatists and rude witnesses are dismissed before the first commercial break, and the curtain is pulled back right away for liars and con artists alike. In a world where scandals and hyper-inflated grievances have continued to be the norm in law and other areas, viewers have always been able to trust that Judge Judy’s rulings to be fair and based on the truth. If a plaintiff or defendant is honest and genuine in their complaints, then Judge Judy will reward them accordingly. If she can smell the urine, she will make sure to have the bailiff escort them out before they can declare rain.
“There’s More To Life
At the height of her CBS run, Judge Judy was earning $47 million per year. Before her rise to stardom, Sheindlin was a city judge making barely enough to get by. By the time 60 minutes spotted her in 1992, her second marriage to former New York trial judge (and later television justice in his own right) Jerry Sheindlin had just been dissolved( though they later reconciled and remarried). One noteworthy thing about her rise to the top was that she has not forgotten where she came from. She doesn’t forget she was once a hard-hitting judge in the harsh family courts of New York, where she certainly saw the worst and most unimaginable of child and family crises.
So, any time litigants come before her with cockamanie complaints about any head-shaking trivial matter imagined, she is quick to offer a dose of critical priority checking. Just like we all encounter some people who make us wonder if we are in “the twilight zone,” Judge Judy has regularly seen some of the most fantastical cases, including a plaintiff suing her former friend for “breaking her toilet” or the angry guy who accused his former “friend” of stealing his checks without any evidence. Judge Judy is quick to tell these out-of-control, real-life litigants to “get a grip” and remember there are more important things in life.
A Little Primer in Basic Civil Law
Besides life lessons, Judge Judy also offers amazing education and nutshell knowledge on civil law and procedure. “You can’t go outside the four corners of the contract” is one such lesson she regularly offers to disgruntled landlords, tenants, clients, or others who are suing for some breach of their legal agreement that can’t be found on any page of the original contract. Additionally, Judge Judy regularly brings up the “doctrine of clean hands,” which in simple terms means a litigant can’t receive legal recompense if they have themselves committed the same (or a similar) offense. For example, a landlord can’t sue for lost rent or withhold a security deposit if they illegally evicted a tenant. Similarly, a plaintiff can’t sue the responsible party for injuries and medical bills if they were found to actually be the altercation’s instigator.
Granted, Judge Judy is not syndicated by public television. She never offered the best programming for children’s literacy education or specialized scientific or academic documentaries. But these tidbits of law and education were refreshing in the 90s and 2000s when “tabloid talk shows” ran rampant. Judge Judy reminded litigants not to bring “hearsay” to her courtroom while many other day programs were flaunting hour-long half-baked soap opera scandals. Note: I recognize not all talk shows were like this(certainly not Oprah!), but this was a common theme of the day. Also, so many could imagine Judge Judy could actually be played in a public school classroom as part of lessons(or even a college law course). The same could not be said for quite a few other programs!
So Much Yet To Come
The amazing thing about Judge Judy Sheindlin and her second season of Judy Justice is the realization that there is so much more ahead! Even as she turns 80 in October, Judge Judy remains as unstoppable as when viewers first welcomed her in their homes some 26 years ago. And considering how many famous stars are still rolling strong way past age 80, it is hard to see how Judge Judy will be stopping anytime in the next decade or even longer! One additional positive about Judge Judy before we sign off — her programs just have that timeless appeal no matter if being viewed on the old kitchen television or through the latest smart device. These days, with all the negative news and dire problems we face, it is so easy to lose hope and get stuck in a negative spiral. Judge Judy can be one remedy for lifting one’s spirits and reminding viewers that intangible forces like hope, common sense, and a good dose of no-nonsense justice still prevail.