A wannabe Judge Judy has landed herself in hot water after filming an audition video in her courtroom without the knowledge of litigants.
Law.com reports that the San Diego judge, who was trying out for a part in a Judge Judy-esque show, is currently before the Commission on Judicial Performance responding to charges that she failed to promote public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.
The judge has also denied that numerous remarks she made on-camera were inappropriate, saying she only wished to use comedy in her courtroom to capitalise on "teachable moments" with defendants and others in the gallery.
"Due to the desire to effect lasting change in the lives of the participants, I have found that using humor helps the participants feel more comfortable," she said.
"From my experience, the participants internalise my messages and are more likely to make lasting change when they are comfortable in the courtroom."
Despite the judge's apparent denials that she was trying to imitate the crude and cranky TV judge in order to secure the role, some of her "humourous" quips failed to impress the Commission, especially these ones:
- Telling a defendant from St. Louis, "I like the accent, it's working for me." She later defended the comment by saying she was merely trying to rebuild "the relationship between the participant and the court".
- Saying to a defendant, who told her she was doing her best to get a job, "And this is a restaurant to be a waitress where you actually get to wear clothes?" and then telling her she was wearing "hoochie shoes".
- Bantering with those in the courtroom audience about Tiger Woods, saying "I'm sure he's nice. Ask all the hookers in the nation, he's very nice to them." The judge later defended herself by saying that she often discusses "current events or other random topics between cases."
Unfortunately, the judge may not be on the bench long enough to pursue a career as the next Judge Judy. The Commission charged her in September with willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice for the filming, and also for making inappropriate remarks during that hearing and others.
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