|Judy Sheindlin left New York City family court after 25 years ("at the top of my game") because TV "sounded like an adventure." Now Judge Judy is one of the hottest shows in syndication. Her first book, about accepting responsibility for one's actions, set Sheindlin, 55, on her current course. A new book, "Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever", stresses teaching girls independence. Her inspiration? Seeing teens "having sex for the wrong reasons, for acceptance and [to] be part of the group." Also a factor: her dismay over the many cases she hears in which "women lend large sums of money to men they've known for two days. Why do women put themselves in precarious financial circumstances to be mated?"|
Don't let the lace collar fool you. After serving more than 15 years during her tenure as a New York Family Court judge, Judge Judy Sheindlin is most admired for her compassion and an in-your-face, cut-to-the-chase approach on the bench.
It's no surprise that she continually speaks her mind during her nationwide syndicated television show, Judge Judy.
Here are some of her statements that have earned her a reputation as an outspoken advocate for court system reform:
* On juvenile incarceration: "My personal belief is that we have to get kids' attention, and fast ... There are many ways to get kids' attention. A period of detention in a chilly upstate facility can be a great attitude adjuster."
* On legal aid lawyers: "In our country, indigent people are given free legal counsel. That is fine and good, but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you are entitled to a free ride."
* On plea-bargaining: "Lawyers are always asking me if I will cut some slack for their clients. My standard answer is this is not Let's Make a Deal, and I'm not Monty Hall."
As for life on the bench, Judge Sheindlin says she's often asked why she continues to stay on the bench.
"The answer is that occasional success stories make it worthwhile and rejuvenate me," she said.
When offered the chance almost two years ago to try real cases with real consequences on a national television show, Judge Sheindlin saw it as an opportunity to entertain as well as better educate the public on many of the problems facing American families and the family court system.
Television isn't the only medium for Judge Sheindlin. In her book, Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining, she offers an honest criticism of the family court system and gives suggestions and solutions to what she sees as the system's weaknesses.
"The media should use its influence realistically to address society's worst plagues," she said recently. "I am convinced that it is an untapped resource. When it puts its mind to it, the media can be a force for good.
Yep, I'm bragging!!
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