Judge Judy is a syndicated television show, on the air since 1996. Bringing courtroom reality fare back to American television for the first time since The People's Court ended its first run in 1993, the show's tagline was, "Real cases. Real people. Judge Judy."
It features Judith Sheindlin hearing small claims court cases with an award limit of $5,000 USD. She is notorious for berating litigants for the bad choices they make in their lives. Through cross-examination, she frequently exposes the lies the litigants tell her and makes a point of publicly humiliating them for lying in her court. When the litigants interrupt her, she has been known to yell "I'm speaking!", something that is uttered in nearly every episode.
Petri Hawkins Byrd, Judge Judy's bailiff, with his absolutely sedate composure, makes the perfect foil for the scalding Judy.
Although Judge Judy operates according to the principles of the American legal system, and takes on real cases, her show isn't legally a court. Technically, it could be more accurately considered a forum for binding arbitration. The people who appear on her show sign a waiver beforehand, agreeing not to pursue their matter before a real court, and instead abide by her judgement. Additionally, the producers of the show pay any judgements awarded.
Judge Judy has been parodied on Saturday Night Live, with Cheri Oteri in the role of Sheindlin. Amanda Bynes also parodied Judy on The Amanda Show, in a skit called Judge Trudy.
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