Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Jun 19, 2007 08:04 pm CDT
Move over Judge Judy. A new star may be rising from the ranks of state-court jurists to compete for reality show television ratings.
Larry Seidlin, a Miami area judge who gained at least 15 minutes of fame when he tearfully ruled on competing claims for Anna Nicole Smith’s body after her death, has called it quits and will leave the Florida bench on July 31. According to the Miami Herald, “Judge Larry” may have talked in April with television producers about launching his own show.
His resignation letter cites a desire to spend more time with his family, the newspaper says, and “pursue the many opportunities that have been offered to me outside the judicial system, and I have disregarded until now.” These “varied” opportunities “all share in common a further commitment to helping my fellow citizens through roles in the educational system, the media and nonprofit organizations,” the judge writes.
A former taxi driver in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Seidlin “certainly seemed” to be angling for his own television program, as a gossip column claimed at the time of the Anna Nicole matter, says Fox News. (Seidlin may have talked with a Fox division in April, according to the Herald.)
The judge, Fox writes on its website, “frequently threw out comedic one-liners; sent the courtroom into bursts of laughter by calling lawyers nicknames like ‘Texas’ and ‘California’; badgered attorneys with repeated interruptions about bad grammar and questionable strategies; interrogated witnesses himself; and even made broad, bold declarations such as ‘I am the trier of fact’ and ‘We are here on a search for the truth.’