Recently I’ve been watching a lot of Judge Judy.
Now before you judge me, remember that I live in Japan, so my legal options for watching TV online have fallen on anything readily available on YouTube (since Hulu and all other legal sites aren’t free/available in Japan). This basically means I’m stuck watching Judge Judy or Say Yes to the Dress. [For obvious reasons, my fiancé doesn’t like it when I watch Say Yes to the Dress. That show makes me crazy.]
After about thirty episodes, I started to notice how exactly you can win your case on Judge Judy. There was a pattern.
How to win you case on Judge Judy:
- Be a woman. Judge Judy hates men. Or, more accurately, she really hates what she deems as “worthless” or “arrogant” men who suck resources from their girlfriends/friends. She is much harsher to men than she is to women; women have a higher chance of winning a case.
- Do not be arrogant. Don’t strut in there like you own the place. Those kinds of people always lose.
- If you’re facing off against an ex-lover (male), try to convince her that the dad is a “deadbeat dad.” It helps if he hasn’t been paying child support. Judge Judy has been dealing with these cases for year, she has a low tolerance. If you don’t have a child together, be careful about bringing up how “worthless” he is, because Judge Judy often takes that as a lapse in judgment on your part – dealing with him.
- If you’re facing off against an ex-lover (woman) who didn’t have a job for any period of time while you were together, mention that. Judge Judy hates when welfare is spent on people who choose not to work AND she hates it when girls in a relationship (or married) don’t work because they feel like “they don’t have to.”
- Don’t lie or inflate the truth. She will find out. And she will punish you for lying. Common Jude Judy phrase: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” [at least once an episode]
- Use correct, formal grammar.
- Never say “Ummmm…” This can actually be turned into a drinking game easily. Any time Judge Judy asks the plaintiff or defendant a question and they start with “Ummm…”
She either says:
“Don’t say Ummm!”
“Ummm is not an answer!”
Basically, she really hates it.
- Bring every single document you can think of. This includes print-out copies of text messages, pictures of every object in question (even if it is something as large as a house), and insurance documents. I cannot count the number of times Judge Judy has dismissed a claim because the plaintiff or defendant did not have enough relevant documents. If you don’t bring it, she pretends it doesn’t exist. If you want your case to win on Judge Judy, be prepared.
Her favorite phrase when yelling at people for not bringing their documents: “Where did you think you were going?”
- Never interrupt her. Not even with a “Excuse me ma’am,” or a “Can I say something?” She doesn’t like that. Wait for her to call on you. Interrupting, no matter how valid you think your point is, will just cause her to yell at you.
- Talk a minimal amount.
- Talk a minimal amount unless you are answering her question or explaining something.
- When explaining things, use accurate dates, times, and locations. Don’t say “the middle of November last year,” say “November 21st, 2012.” Don’t say “we went to the bar,” say “I drove, he rode in the passenger’s seat, ten minutes to the bar.”
General rule of thumb: the more times she asks you to clarify, the angrier she gets.
- Accept her jokes gracefully. It’s what she loves to do. She will humiliate you, make fun of you, and brutally question your decisions. You’re getting paid (anywhere from $250 – $850) just for appearing on the show, you are given a free hotel room, flight, and the show pays for whatever ruling she gives (up to a max of $5,000). Quit complaining. Just pretend that you are an armature actor/comedian being humiliated on television for money.
- Don’t do pot-shots or bring up irrelevant information just to make the other defendant/plaintiff look bad. As someone watching the show, I can’t stand it. Look at Judge Judy’s face every time the case is almost done and someone brings in a “he got arrested last year for selling pot,” “he has three girlfriends,” or “he beats me” into the equation. All of those are horrible, don’t get me wrong. But start with those complaints. Don’t just bring them up at the end because you want sympathy points from Judge Judy.
General rule of thumb: She’s already made up her mind in the first couple minutes of the case. I’ve only seen one instance when she actually softened up near the end of a case when someone told her sob story, but that was because she was a minor.
- Above all: DO NOT TRY TO MAKE YOUR OWN JOKES. I’ve seen that a couple times. It’s funny, but Judge Judy just tore them apart afterwards. Let her crack jokes at your expense and humiliate you. Every joke usually increases your paycheck.
If, for whatever reason, reading this has actually made you want to go on Judge Judy, look at this link for more information to get on the show.
I wouldn’t advise it, though. That woman can be scary.
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