10 Things I learned from Judge Judy

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I have been watching Judge Judy too much in the last few weeks. It is addictive. I don’t like drama but I like learning about how everyday things you do is controlled by the law. Here is what I have learned.

  1. Judge Judy Image
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    Clean Hands is crucial for her to figure out. Clean Hands is the idea that you come to the court and you have done all the right things. The right things are following the law, and being a reasonable and responsible adult. If you don’t do that first, she will discover it and you are going to lose. She had repeatedly said that the court is not a place to get money, abuse others, or try to deny the consequences of their actions.

  2. She hates people who aren’t responsible. She tries to determine responsibility by the fact that you are on welfare, if you have a job, how you spoke to the other party, your courtroom conduct, the kind of contract you did, and many other factors. Part of the show is her yelling at irresponsible people. I don’t enjoy the drama of this. I don’t think adults need to yell at other adults to get their point across. However often they don’t seem to listen, and so I can understand why she yells.
  3. People are poor listeners. She will ask a person a question and they will go off on a tangent that is not the answer to the question she asked. I have noticed this as well. Most people don’t truly listen. They just wait for an opportunity to tell their side of the story. The show would be half or less of the time if people would listen to her.
  4. Cases are often sad. Often there is a loss of life, injury, or whatever because of the negligence of someone. In those sad cases, she yells even more.
  5. Every person that comes to her believes they are innocent. This is frustrating to watch. It is clear who is guilty when the facts of the case come out. Almost always both parties contributed to the problem, but usually, one party is more guilty than another. Rarely have I seen a case where it is so clear that only one party is at fault. I think 2 cases I have thought after the facts were revealed, wow that person did everything perfectly and often way above and beyond what was reasonable.
  6. It is better to live alone than to live with roommates. Roommates are a source of drama that you don’t need. I haven’t had roommates since college. I would rather live in the poorest studio apartment than live with other people. Living with people you love is tough, much less living with people you don’t love. I don’t think that most people have the patience to make that work.
  7. If you enter into a written contract with someone try to think of all the things you want and write it down. One case was about the service not being done in a timely manner even though the contract didn’t state that. If it is important to you, then include it in the contract. I know the next time I enter into a contract I will ask to modify it so that I have what I need as well.
  8. People value money over family, friends, and long-term relationships. It is sad when the facts of the case show that people lied to avoid taking responsibility. Often this responsibility is just a few hundred, or even thousands of dollars. Often it is an accident, and it is better to admit your responsibility than dragging the process into years and into court. I am often surprised at how little relationships mean to people. We treat others with such coldness and disdain that I wonder what they consider love to be. Isn’t love about forgiveness when the person is more important than a mistake?
  9. Common sense is not so common. Participants on the show think up the craziest ideas and theories about why they are innocent. They never stop to ask themselves if what they are proposing sounds reasonable. One person said that the other dog owner’s injuries (puncture wounds) were caused by the dog owner hurting the dog himself and trying to blame them. Fortunately, there was enough evidence to show that was a lie. People never stop to ask themselves if their beliefs sound reasonable.
  10. People want to escalate situations instead of acting as a peacemaker and finding a solution. Judge Judy often tries to use humor to de-escalate situations but it requires people who are open to learning something new. Some participants just don’t want to hear anything new, and try to argue with her. You don’t argue with a judge.

I hope that people can learn from these kinds of shows about how to be responsible and respectful. I would never go on Judge Judy. I’d rather take an L than get a W with Judge Judy.

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