Judicial Bullies on T.V.

David Lat highlights the following video, featuring an encounter between a faux judge (former Florida Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Milian, now the private dispute resolution “judge” on the People’s Court) and a faux lawyer (a current Miami Law student). I know that this is supposed to be entertainment, but I’ve got to say, it felt like a case study in Steven Lubet’s Bullying From the Bench. Judicial temperament means never having to say you are sorry, but only because you don’t flip out on the parties before you.

Now that you are finished watching the bullying (I knew you couldn’t help yourself) click through to Lat’s thread, where the commentators have a really interesting discussion going on.

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10 Responses

  1. Stokie says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. The Judge was simply trying to teach this snotty kid some manners. Its unfortunate that it happened to him on TV, but better now when he must bear the brunt than in the future when his client would suffer because he’s a spoiled kid with no sense of how to handle himself in front of a Judge. Perhaps too brusque, but not uncalled for. They should show this video in trial practice classes in law schools.

  2. He was wrong. She was intemperate and went far beyond the bounds, demeaning him personally.

    Great video, though.

  3. anon says:

    I have no idea what the underlying legal issue is about, but this is outrageous. She, like so many other obnoxious TV judges, has denigrated the robe for money, fame and ratings. After getting sufficient releases, she proceeded to humiliate the poor law student – she promoted herself at his expense.

    If I were in his shoes I would have loudly responded with the following, which is the only way you respond to bullies:

    1. You’re an embarassment to UM.

    2. You’ve whored out the dignity of robe for fame and ratings.

    3. You are drunk with power and need to control yourself.

    Also, with this, the Anna Nicole judge and the other stories out of Florida, it’s no wonder why their judiciary has such a terrible reputation.

  4. Sam says:

    The guy is going into his third year of law school – he of all people should respect the robe – if not he is going into the profession for the money and not the law or justice

  5. Amanda says:

    You obviously do not watch the show. Of all the judges on TV she is one of the few that actually treats her courtroom as if it were a real courtroom and issues her orders under the rules of law, not her opinion. She is a lawyer and was a judge in criminal court, so she has earned the position and the respect that goes with it. It is unfortunate that the younger generation do not respect authority. Like Judge Milian has said herself, you don’t have to like her, but you have to respect the robe. He isn’t some 5 year old, he is in his second year of law school and he should be ashamed of himself, not only for his behavior but also for not having the sense that God gave a billy-goat. Most people know to get things in writing and he didn’t. Maybe he lied about being a law student, he lied about other things. It’s people like him that make the justice system look bad. It is the judges responsibility to have control of her court even if that mean teaching someone who needs to act his age a lesson.

    Note to anon – it is easier to be judgemental and to belittle a person than to understand they are doing their JOB. YOU DON’T HAVE TO RESPECT THE PERSON, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO RESPECT THE POSITION.

  6. anon says:

    “he of all people should respect the robe”

    No, he should respect the law. Too many judges give themselves too much discretion these days and it’s hurting the integrity of the profession.

  7. anon says:

    “Maybe he lied about being a law student, he lied about other things.”

    Who are you to accuse him of lying about being in law school, and lying about other things?! You don’t even know him.

    “Note to anon – it is easier to be judgemental and to belittle a person than to understand they are doing their JOB.”

    She did her job. She whored out the dignity of the profession for fame, ratings and money. She got releases from and abused some poor 2L for fame, ratings and money. The show is despicable, and apparently so are its fans.

  8. anon says:

    Interesting to see how long it takes a blog known for mature discussion to sink to the level of ATL or XOXO. Three posts by my count.

  9. Paul says:

    For someone who starts a statement of “I have no idea what the underlying legal issue is about” has a lot to say, but willing to listen as long as you agree with him.

  10. Brian says:

    Funny thing….

    Turns out young Perry Mason was not a U. of Miami law school student, but rather a janitor on campus.

    He was found in contempt later in the proceedings, recalled by the producers and successfully sued for fraud.