Judge Judy Sheindlin (a/k/a Judge Judy) has developed a new legal show titled Hot Bench, and according to a March 31, 2015 New York Times article (courtesy of Yahoo! Finance), “it’s a surprise hit.” Debuting in 2014, it’s already topping the charts as the No. 1 syndicated show.
The premise: a three judge panel hears civil cases and then retires to deliberate . . . all on camera. The panel: former New York State Supreme Court justice Patricia DiMango, Yale Law litigator Tanya Acker, and criminal defense attorney Larry M. Bakman. The viewer watches the deliberations and how each judge views the evidence and the witnesses.
The show is eye-opening in that the viewer can see for themselves that different judges view evidence and witness veracity differently. The show illustrates the truism that justice actually isn’t blind.
‘People rely too much on the judicial system to be perfectly calibrated,’ Judge Sheindlin said in a telephone interview. ‘Very often, it’s a crapshoot. I wanted people to see that when you go to court you can never be sure of the outcome. The people hearing and determining the cases bring all their history with them.’
On this blog, we have stated numerous times that justice is not always just, it is not blind, and the outcome of any lawsuit can be heavily dependent on the presiding judge. Hot Bench makes that case abundantly clear.