Don’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining by Judge Judy Sheindlin, published January 1997 by Harper Perennial.
Read: January 2016
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: “Can we get some reality in here?” asks Judy Sheindlin, former supervising judge for Manhattan Family Court. For twenty-four years she has laid down the law as she understands it. If you want to eat, you have to work. If you have children, you’d better support them. If you break the law, you have to pay. If you tap the public purse, you’d better be accountable. Now she abandons all judicial restraint in a scathing critique of the system – filled with realistic hard-nosed alternatives to our bloated welfare bureaucracy and our soft-on-crime laws.
OK, I need to preface this review by saying I LOVE Judge Judy. I’ve been watching her TV show for literally years, I love how feisty she is and how she takes no crap from anybody, and 9.5 times out of 10 I agree with her position (the other times, I disagree with the law, which she is bound to abide by, but that’s another story). Last Christmas (yes, this review has been stewing for 7 months…), my Dad got me a copy of each of Judge Judy’s books, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into them.
This book focuses on the American judicial system, and serves as Judy’s rant against lazy people, those who refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities, and areas where “the system” lets good people down. Seeing as I’m based in the UK, my knowledge of the American legal system is basically founded on her show, so I can’t speak to that directly, but there are many similarities between the US and UK system, and either way this gives you an insight into some of what goes on. Generally, I find her views to be common sense, so they weren’t earth-shattering, BUT she speaks from experience (including providing anecdotes), and has a fantastic way with words, cutting through all the BS.
Now, I don’t know if I could ever find fault with this wonderful woman, but that being said there are times when she comes across as self-righteous, and a little arrogant. I’m assuming the fact that, as a female, she passed the bar exam in 1965, became a prosecutor in the family court in 1967, was appointed a Judge in the criminal court in 1982, and supervising Judge of the family court in 1986, before going on to star in her own TV show, where as-of 2012 she was raking in $45 million annually for 52 days work per year. Well, that might have something to do with it.
Can I justify the amount she earns? No, not really, but on her show she gives the impression that she hasn’t lost touch with reality, which is something. I was hoping for a personal-development-book-with-bite when I got my hands on this, perhaps her others are more suited to that purpose, because this is a non-academic critique of the legal system, written for the lay person. As it was released in 1997, some of the content is a little dated, but I was surprised by how many of the overarching values still hold true. I would love a more academic text by Judy, as well as up-to-date revisions of her books – 20 years is a long time for views and opinions to change and develop.
Overall, this book didn’t blow me away, but it was entertaining and enjoyable for the most part, and one that a Judge Judy fan will definitely want to have in their collection.
“Dead beat mothers should pay up just like dead beat fathers.”
“If I am on my game, a male delinquent will find his time in my court to be the 2nd worst experience of his life – circumcision being the first.”
“Criminals are the loudest when insisting on their rights.”
Have you read anything by Judge Judy, or do you plan to get your hands on this book? Let me know in the comments!