Randy Douthit Shares Lessons Learned From Judge Judy
Judge Judy is an American arbitration-based reality courtroom television show by retired Manhattan family court judge Judith Sheindlin. The cases are reenacted, and the parties are played by actors, with the audience deciding who’s right or wrong. Executive producer Randy Douthit shared lessons learned from the show.
1 . Be prepared for every answer. Douthit said that contestants told to “refrain from responding” often don’t understand how their answers will be used on the show. Once on the air, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a person’s question was edited or a genuine response.
- Douthit said that the “Innocent” verdict is often not what the winner was expecting. Contestants and attorneys are often disappointed when a judge finds them “not guilty” in a case of fraud or theft, he said. The verdict is innocent – but guilty parties may face civil penalties.
- Pay attention to what you say about yourself and other people — because it will be aired on national television. Randy Douthit noted that contestants would often ask how their fellow attorneys or attorneys from other firms are portrayed on the show and if others in the firm will be portrayed negatively.
- Prepare thoroughly for your appearance on the show. Randy Douthit said contestants should be prepared to answer questions about their cases, deal with interruptions from opposing counsel and not deviate from the issues raised by their witnesses. He also advised that attorneys should avoid saying things that are ill-timed or “needlessly inflammatory.”
- If you don’t bring your client’s claim to the table promptly, there may not be an opportunity to present a compelling case. Douthit said it is important to explain your position early, so the judge knows what is going on in a particular case.
- Anything can happen once you head into the courtroom, which means contestants must be prepared for any eventuality. He noted that even seasoned attorneys are not immune to surprises during their appearances on Judge Judy.
- A judge will not always rule in favour of the “winner.” Randy Douthit said that sometimes a winner may not be public knowledge until after the case airs, which can lead to surprises. He noted that contestants often ask if they were the winner while on the show.