‘Oh, Really?’ 47 million ways TV courts differ

In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. Pop quiz: Who is America’s highest-paid television star? Kim Kardashian? Nope. John Stewart? No. Tina Fey? Negative. Try this: TV Guide says it is Judith Sheindlin, aka “Judge Judy,” who reigns atop this nation’s star list, pulling down a whopping $47 million annually. It’s unsurprising, actually, that the Judge Judy phenomenon has seeped so deep into pop culture. By delivering her brand of “drive-thru” justice and entertainment, replete with common sense conduct and no-nonsense rebukes from the bench for an endless array of reality TV-style twits, Sheindlin has become one of America’s most trusted jurists. But the cruelest reality of the broadcast courts — where Judge Joe Brown hauled down a reported $20 million annually and Judge Marilyn Milian presides over one of TV’s longest-running and highly profitable franchise series — is how much they differ from the pauperized, actual state of the legal system. While Judge Judy exemplifies the exception where a law degree is worth millions, her show and the other TV courts falsely portray an American legal system that’s fiscally healthy and sufficiently rewarding to give all plaintiffs, especially those with relatively minor matters, an abundance of time and...

Read More