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)RUH[DPSOHFRXUWURRPUHDOLW\VKRZVDOVRNQRZQDVÂłV\QGLFRXUWV´ÂżFWLWLRXVO\UHSOLcate a courtroom setting, presided over by a robed member of “the judiciary.â€? In fact, many RIWKHVHÂłV\QGLMXGJHV´KDYHQHYHUPDGHDMXGLFLDOGHFLVLRQEHIRUHWKHLUÂżUVWWHOHYLVLRQ case.16 Those who have been judges often do not behave as if they are subject to an ethical code of judicial conduct.17 By using the look and feel of a courtroom, these shows attempt to convince viewers that The judiciary’s traditional they are watching authentic trials involving response to misinformation or actual litigants.18 In reality, these cases are criticism in the media – has proven picked for their entertainment value.19 Unlike an actual proceeding, trials can last no ineffective in preventing a decline more a few minutes.20 The rules of evidence in the public trust. or for that matter any law itself has little import to a syndi-judge in deciding the case.21 Regular viewers come to believe that judges are “vocal, active, and opinionatedâ€? on the bench, a view that is not shared by those who do not watch syndi-court shows.22 The participants in these syndi-courts are assigned roles in a morality play, where the only “judicialâ€? determination is who is good and who is evil. The true judicial role of applying the law to factual circumstance is completely lost in what can be called “a ‘Trojan horse’ packed with an army of misperceptions.â€?23 Media distortions are not limited to entertainment programing. Television news, which averages 64 seconds on a news story during a thirty-minute news broadcast,24 both simpliÂżHVDQGVHQVDWLRQDOL]HVFRXUWURRPSURFHHGLQJVDGGLQJVLJQLÂżFDQWO\WRSXEOLFPLVSHUFHStions of how courts operate.25 Both radio and print organizations – which at one time provided detailed and accurate descriptions of courtroom proceedings – in response to the changing media environment no longer provide such coverage, focusing instead on the entrainment value of the courtroom proceeding.26

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16. The following shows had â&#x20AC;&#x153;syndi-judgesâ&#x20AC;? who had never served on the bench: Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Court with atWRUQH\DQGIRUPHU1HZ<RUN&LW\PD\RUDQG&RQJUHVVPDQ(G.RFK  Eye for an Eye with attorney and former prosecutor â&#x20AC;&#x153;Extreme Akimâ&#x20AC;? Anastopoulo (2004-11), Moral Court starring â&#x20AC;&#x153;Judge Extreme Larry Elder,â&#x20AC;? an attorney and talk-show host (2000-01), Texas Justice with attorney Larry Joe Doherty (2001-05), and La Corte de Familia (Family Court) (2000-05) / Cristinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Court with attorney Cristina Perez (2006-10). Judge show, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_show (visited April 6, 2012). 17. See Erika Lane, &XUUHQW 'HYHORSPHQW  7KH 5HDOLW\ RI &RXUWURRP 7HOHYLVLRQ 6KRZV Should the Model Code of Judicial Conduct Apply to T.V. Judges? 20 G EO. J. L EGAL ETHICS 779 (Summer 2007). 18. ,G. at 780. 19. ,G. at 780. 20. ,G. 21. ,G. at 783. 22. Kimberlianne Podlas, %ODPH -XGJH-XG\7KH(IIHFWVRI6\QGLFDWHG 7HOHYLVLRQ &RXUWURRPV RQ -Xrors, 25 A MER . J. TRIAL A DVOCACY 557, 558 (2002). 23. Kimberlianne Podlas, 3OHDVH$GMXVW<RXU6LJQDO+RZ7HOHYLVLRQÂśV6\QGLFDWHG&RXUWURRPV%LDV2XU Juror Citizenry, p. 21 (2001). 24. Limor Peer, Ed Malthouse, Mary Nesbitt, Bobby Calder, 7KHORFDO79QHZVH[SHULHQFH+RZWRZLQ viewers by focusing on engagement, MEDIA M ANAGEMENT CENTER NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY p. 46 (2007). 25. S URETTE , supra 45. 26. Richard L. Fox, Robert W. Van Sickel, and Thomas L. Steiger, TABLOID JUSTICE: C RIMINAL JUSTICE IN A N A GE OF M EDIA F RENZ Y p. 6 (2d ed. 2007).

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Profile for The National Judicial College

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

Profile for njcmag
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