Trials of Faith

     I’m at a loss to explain why we keep hearing there’s a shortage of courtrooms in California.
     Just turn on the TV during the day. There are courtrooms and trustworthy judges everywhere!
     Soap operas are pretty much gone and annoying people arguing over dogs and damage to apartments fill the airwaves (or cable bands).
     There are more than enough judges here to solve the court crisis if we could just convince those guys to spend more than half an hour a day on the bench.
     I discovered this last week after reading a lawsuit by a producer over a new court show that debuted last week called “Judge Faith.”
     After visiting the new show’s website, I had to check it out.
     This is the astonishing statement you’ll find on the Judge Faith site: “From a Louisiana beauty queen to a Wall Street attorney to a tough New York City prosecutor, Faith Jenkins has traveled nearly every walk of life, fighting adversity every step of the way.”
     Wow!
     I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been going from beauty pageants to a Wall Street law firm.
     Really. I can’t imagine it.
     Adversity comes in many guises. And, apparently, walks of life come in very few guises.
     Judging (so to speak) from the judge’s photos, she’s held up pretty well under these hardships.
     We’re also told to “Put your faith in her AND her decisions, because she is … JUDGE FAITH.”
     The capital letters are on the web page. I’m picturing her bailiff shouting the name at us.
     Naturally, I had to sample some episodes. So I went to my TV and found myself watching (in progress) something called “Hot Bench.”
     I kept watching because I assumed people would soon be taking their clothes off (though I was kind of wondering why this was on a regular channel).
     If you haven’t seen this program, picture this: a blonde, a brunette and a lecherous-looking guy in robes standing around a table.
     OK, maybe he wasn’t lecherous-looking, but he was standing (not sitting) there with a blonde and a brunette on a program called “Hot Bench.”
     The robes had to be coming off soon.
     Imagine my disappointment when, after a commercial, the three of them appeared behind a courtroom bench to render a verdict.
     Then another case began – a woman complaining that after she co-signed on a car loan for a friend with lousy credit, the friend stopped making payments and the plaintiff had to pay for the car to protect her own credit.
     It wasn’t exactly a difficult issue – but apparently it required a three-judge panel. I have no idea why.
     My favorite part was when they went into their chamber to discuss this – standing around the table – and the guy judge, after saying they should award the car to the plaintiff, said “We don’t have the jurisdictional basis for that.”
     A TV judge show has jurisdiction?
     Apparently what he really meant was that they couldn’t award more than $5,000 (which I’m pretty sure the show’s producer pays). Justice only gets served if it’s not too expensive.
     I got around to watching a couple of episodes of “Judge Faith” next. Aside from the courtroom audience getting to laugh and applaud, it seemed strangely similar to all the other judge shows.
     Favorite line from Judge Faith on one of the episodes I watched: “I see a lot of deadbeat dads come through this court.”
     This was after two days on the air.
     The woman packs a lot of hardship into a short period of time.

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