Judith Susan Sheindlin, famously known as Judge Judy, (born October 21, 1942), is an American lawyer, judge, television personality, and author. Since 1996, Sheindlin has presided over her own syndicated courtroom show, Judge Judy, and is well known for her no-nonsense legal style and powerful personality, sharpness, and quick wit.
Sheindlin passed the New York Bar examination in 1965, and became a prosecutor in the family court system. In 1982 Mayor Ed Koch appointed her a judge, first in criminal court, then later as Manhattan's supervising family court judge in 1986. She retired in 1996, after hearing more than 20,000 cases. Following retirement, Sheindlin was approached about possibly starring in a new reality court show, featuring "real cases with real rulings." She accepted the offer, quickly gaining success and a reputation as a no-nonsense fact-finder, incisive decision-maker, and overall strict adjudicator.
As of 2012, Sheindlin is the highest paid television personality, making over $123,000 per day.
Her abrasive personality and acidic quotes, popularly known as "Judyisms" (see below), were quickly recognized as excellent material for prank calling and made into soundboards, which have been used in numerous calls. According to a 2003 article from CNN.com, Sheindlin herself is aware of this and is reported to be greatly annoyed by it.
In November 2002, the media giant, Viacom, threatened the owners of the entertainment website, eBaum's World, with a lawsuit if soundboards of Judge Judy, as well as soundboards of Dr. Phil, Howard Stern and Tim Meadows were not removed. Ultimately, nothing came of it and the site's collection of Judge Judy soundboards and movie clips has only grown.
Judge Judy sued
In March 2012, it was announced that a woman named Patric Jones, the ex-wife of Judge Judy producer Randy Douthit, had filed a lawsuit against Sheindlin, seeking more than a half-million in damages. Jones claims that her ex-husband sold an expensive set of Christofle china tableware to the TV jurist for $50,000 without her consent. She further claims that he agreed to reduce his profit participation on in the TV show in order to give Jones less money in their divorce settlement.
Jones is demanding that Sheindlin return the china or pay the rest of what she believes she's owed, which amounts to more than $46. She is also seeking punitive damages against her.
For her part, Judge Judy states that she has not seen the complaint yet, but that she doesn't, "owe this lady a cent." She further believes that this is nothing more than the unemployed Jones attempting to cash-in with a frivolous lawsuit.
According to court documents, the china was actually purchased for $100,000 in 2003 and the presiding divorce judge valued the items in 2012 at $125,000 and plans to order Douhit to pay Jones half, after which Jones would have no claim for the property.
The judge also stated that Jones "lacked integrity" and was "untruthful."
- "Good afternoon."
- "Tell me your name."
- "Do you take any prescribed medications, sir?"
- "Why don't you pay attention?!"
- "I eat morons like you up for breakfast."
- "Are you trying to justify to me that you are an idiot?"
- "You know what my father used to say? He used to say: Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining."
- "On your best day, you are not as smart as me on my worst day...when I'm sleeping."
- "Do I have 'stupid' written over my forehead?"
- "If you live to be a hundred, you will never be as smart as me."
- "That's bologna! It doesn't make sense!"
- "Not only are you not a very nice person, you're also a slob."