New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Odds and Ends


January 30th, 2009

The People’s Court Wants Me

Ever wonder where shows like The People’s Court find their subjects? Well, the answer is here: They troll through small claims court looking for filings. (OK, you can learn that at Wikipedia, but stay with me on this one.)

I brought suit a few weeks ago in small claims court, only the 2nd time I’ve needed to do that in 20 years of solo practice. I paid an expert money for a review, and he never did the review. He didn’t say yes to my case, he didn’t say no, he simply put the retainer in his pocket, the records some where else, and then ignored me when I called to find out what was going on.

So I finally got his attention with a suit. (If I have to do this only once very 10 years, then I’ll count myself lucky.)

Enter, stage right in today’s mail, a letter from The People’s Court asking if the two sides would like to have Judge Marilyn Milian arbitrate our case. Lawyer v. Expert.

What do we get if we agree?

1. If I win then they guarantee payment, meaning I wouldn’t have to go through any collection proceedings to satisfy a judgment.

2. If I lose, they still pay me $250 for my time.

3. No waiting time in real court, as they set up a real date and time; and

4. Travel expenses.

What they don’t guarantee is that anyone appearing on such a show will be free of gratuitous humiliation that any judge wishes to dish out. Now I don’t know if that is the style of the show as I haven’t seen it, but if a show isn’t entertaining then the ratings go kaflooie and it drops off the air. And, frankly, I don’t feel like being anyone’s entertainment unless they are under the age of 10 and share my last name.

Why would any rationale person subject themselves to a TV court? It’s not something I can figure out.

Thanks, but I’ll pass. And besides, if it isn’t with Judge Wapner it doesn’t count.

3 thoughts on “The People’s Court Wants Me

  1. Interesting. I always wondered where these shows get their litigants from. Thanks for the info. To be honest, I have watched a few of these “judge” shows and Marilyn Milian is the fairest and most “real” judge I’ve seen. However, I agree, I don’t think I’d ever want to be put through the humiliation of being on one of these shows.

  2. well I just taped a show yesterday, yes I was the defendent. Not pleasent at all. I alway thought and still do that judge Milian is very fair. I found out though that her additude towards me me and the verdit could of and probaly was tainted by an unpleasent personal experince she had with her daughters. She tried to be fair, but truly was very one sided.
    I did feel as though I owed the plaintiff something, but the staff coaches you to go in and fight as if you feel you don’t owe dime. I went because I could not afford to pay this woman who was suing me. It seemed like a blessing, and it was, but at some cost to my morals and spirit.
    I would not do it again.

  3. Funny, we got the same thing in the mail…when we had questions to ask the producers, the answers were not quite clear…oh, the defendant loved the idea of going on TV. They were a tenant of ours that caused quite a bit of damage to our home…more then we can actually claim in small claims court where we live. Should such irresponcible people be rewarded with a chance to be on TV, get paid $250 and a free trip to NYC? Hard for me to swallow…. Can’t wait to ask the Producer’s the “tough” questions I have.