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Hot Bench

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While I don't want to fall into "looks may be deceiving" mode, the court show bailiffs as a group don't look like they could deal with a real threat. Sonia doesn't look physically capable of controlling a violent incident, the skinny 150 pound red haired bailiff on another court show I can't remember at the moment doesn't look like he could handle any violent situation. Byrd on JJ though does look like a grizzled old guy who could do what needs to be done.

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This judge has GOT TO GO.  Fighting with her fellow judges and BULLYING to the point of "Don't lecture me Don't lecture me!" Insisting that HERS is the only valid, correct opinion, despite evidence to the contrary (Really? Imaginary coyotes in the mountains of California?  I beg to differ!)  Seriously, if you MUST have 3 judges, find someone else.

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This show is growing on me. I find the case variety more interesting than JJ and enjoy that some of the rationale and that indeed there is rationale for their decisions is given.  

 

I think they may have shortened their deliberation process a bit possibly due to viewer complaints.  It has a good pace. 

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The male judge really pissed me off today.  There was a case involving a woman accusing her neighbor's pit bulls of killing her sheep, and the judge said he didn't want to her any of the sheep owner's testimony about how the sheep died, because she isn't an expert.  She lives in the country, she said she knows exactly what boar killings look like, she knows what coyote killings look like, and she said that she knew when coyotes are in the neighborhood because all of the neighborhood dogs start barking.  The judge was a total asshole, and he just shut down the entire testimony.  The other judges weren't letting him get away with it.

Edited by Rick Kitchen
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I think they may have shortened their deliberation process a bit possibly due to viewer complaints.  It has a good pace. 

 

There was a case today where they went to the "back room" and spent a longer time than usual and got a little more worked up than usual.  That was more interesting, seeing how they arrived at a verdict.  I'd rather they lengthened those deliberations more often!

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Can someone tell me if it is a legal matter (as in a crime) to answer your phone and have a conversation with someone, only to find later the 'someone' was a prison inmate calling you with a contraband phone?  This judge Bakman hollered "You're breaking the law speaking on a burner phone!".  Come on, I don't believe that for a minute.

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"You're breaking the law speaking on a burner phone!".  Come on, I don't believe that for a minute.

Maybe he watches too much CSI?  Prepaid anonymous cell phones on their own are not illegal. 

I really am getting to not like this guy and his stupid eyebrow looking through glower thing he tries to do.  Who plucks those arches in anyway? The Joker?

Edited by zillabreeze
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Well, the INMATE would be breaking a law/prison rule to be using an illegal cell phone in the first place, but a free person shouldn't be held in contempt of law for answering his phone!

 

His little 'glower' thing is getting old to me, too, zillabreeze.  And when he gets his way, he cackles!

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I was shocked at his condesciention (sp?) when he lectured one of the other judges on circumstantial evidence. She is also a judge with presumably roughly similar experience. He does seem like a jerk.

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DoctorK-I was astounded at the tone he took with the other judge. It was very "let me dumb this down for you little lady". He's damn lucky he didn't talk to me that way. He has mighty high opinion of hisself, but I'm not feeling it.

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My issue with him, in addition to the crazy eyebrows, is his propensity to side with male litigants. I don't think the two female judges are slanted toward women, but he seems a bit misogynistic. And he's definitely condescending.

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It comes on at five where I live, which is when they used to air my old JJ episodes. The old JJ episodes now air at noon, and new JJ episodes air at six.

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I enjoyed the ka-BOOM case today, the pistol that "blew up" (and I put that in quotes because the evidence presented by the plaintiff did not tell us most of the pertinent information about the incident). It is unbelievable that when the plaintiff first sued the store owner, no one had the pistol examined by a gunsmith. The cause could have been a bad cartridge (too much propellant, oversize bullet, among other possibilities), it could have been the pistol (incorrectly reamed chamber, a malfunction that caused the pistol to fire out of battery), it could have been the plaintiff's negligence (maybe having the barrel blocked, firing a squib round where the bullet never left the barrel and he fired another round without clearing the barrel). So many possibilities and no one examined the pistol? The expert was only shown pictures and could not tie the accident to the defendant. Not that the defendant was any prize, I completely believe that he lied about a lot of things. The gun store executive was as bad - on the one hand, his store never sold reloaded ammo, but he produced a consignment agreement with the defendant to take and sell reloaded ammo. The plaintiff was right though after the case when said "don't buy reloaded ammo". I say that as someone who when I was competing reloaded and shot up to 5,000 rounds a year. No serious shooter I know would accept reloads unless from someone that they knew really well. There is a bit of a quibble on the terms "reloaded" versus "remanufactured"; generally remanufactured is produced commercially on automated equipment, with lot number tracking, manufacturer clearly identified, and a corporation with liability insurance. Reloaded usually means an individual using manual equipment and their ammo is as good (or as bad) as their diligence and experience.

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I thought the gun store executive was awful.  The defendant was proven a liar, though.  Did the plaintiff ever show any injuries/medical report?  A squib can be a dangerous thing, I've seen it in action.  When you hear that 'pft' , you STOP.

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Oh, boy!  A new word, "discriminant".  What a terrible nanny, they should have fired her LONG before they did.

What a nasty little bitch she was.  I only have a Dog Nanny, but no way I would have cut that much slack.  I wanted to slap the smirk right off her face.  She was late 20 something times and no showed for 8?  Are you kidding me?  These people have to go to work-that is why you have a JOB.  I'll bet the defendents bosses were thrilled with all of the tardiness.  Severence pay?  Really? Who do you think you are, some CEO with a golden parachute?  Please bitch, get over yourself.  And no doubt from the smirky face, she probably did treat the kids like crap.

 

I must be a hardass, but when it's my checkbook-three strikes, you're out.

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The two women are growing on me, but eyebrow dude needs to go.  Is his neck f-ing broken?  Why the hell can't he sit up straight and look people in the eye?  Yech.

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Yep and the texting while driving. My nosiness also wanted to know what kind of crap Nanny Dearest was nuking and giving the kids.  There is a reason Nanny Cams are such a big business.  If I had young un's, there would be a cam in every room.

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well, Judge Tanya Acker got a little respect from me on the 'sploding gun case.  I like a woman that knows her way around firearms.  Judge Judy would have literally lost her damn mind.  But what I do know is this- you buys the reloads, you takes your chances.  It's a pretty much a hillbilly thing to do. 

 

Not a gun expert, but my Lady Smith has fresh name brand bullets, out of the fresh package.  If you come through my door in the middle of the night, it will NOT play out well for you.  No reason to get all sue me, sue you crap about it.  Buying reloads is like buying recap tires.  Don't come crying to me when shit hits the fan.

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I liked Judge Alex, too. I just wish they had given him two cases per half hour. It's near impossible to make a cell phone or rent case interesting for that long. IMO, that was the downfall, he was otherwise pretty likeable.

He did seem embarrassed by that "vote on the outcome, and you'll receive 'valuable offers'" thing they were schilling . Wonder what happened if you "voted" - I bet it opened the floodgates of hell for spam and/or telemarketers!

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Sonia should probably have her own thread. This is the General talk thread after all. :)

 

As for the rest of my post, I wasn't sure if it fit more in Episodes or here, but I think here is better.

 

Does anyone else think this show might be better if there was some randomness in the judges? Let's say they had 5 or 6 judges, and each case would have 3 of them (prepicked "Producer-Randomly"). 

 

On the one hand, we wouldn't get to know  the judges as well over a season, (and it would cost more to keep them on call). But we'd have more mixups in how the deliberations play out since the interactions would change depending on who's on the bench. 

 

I think the intended 'appeal' of Hot Bench is to use the Deliberation (and the Questioning) to show off the different personalities. By having more judges we can see the interactions pay off more, as well as different experiences. 

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I don't know when it originally aired, but I caught a case this morning in which a woman had given her son two credits cards to use for emergencies. Of course, he promptly ran up $7,500 on them. It turns out, one of the cards was for Best Buy. Who the hell has ever had a a Best Buy emergency? Well, this asshole. He'd gotten a 60 inch TV, a PS 3, and a new stereo system. Judge Acker pointed out that none of those things are necessities. The mother was a freaking idiot.

If you're going to extend credit to someone to help them out, you don't give them the freaking card. If someone can't obtain a credit card on heir own, it's usually because they've mismanaged credit in the past.

I cringe when people complain about poor people having nice shoes, cars, clothes, etc. I think it's unfair to judge someone based on a snapshot of their life. But I'm judging this ungrateful moron. You're on limited duty due to a car accident, your mom offers to help, and you use her to get expensive electronics instead of prepaying your rent, utilities, etc.? God, he was so disgusting.

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How would you make this a better show?


Sonia should probably have her own thread. This is the General talk thread after all. :)

 

 

Your wish is my command. 

 

I also moved you post from the Small Talk thread and started this one.  Enjoy.

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A variety of judges might give the show more long term appeal, what we have seen so far with the original three feels like I have already seen everything thing they have to show in terms of interactions. As someone else noted, doing two cases in a half hour rushes things, more discussion among the judges would enhance the show.

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As much as I disliked fun guy, I was a little pissed that DeMango kept attacking him for disparaging the plaintiff but didn't say anything about the plaintiff and her daughter disparaging him.

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Oh, man, this guy called Judge DiMango "sweetheart" today.  And in the coldest, slowest voice imaginable, she told him, "Don't.  call.  me.  sweetheart.  It's not that I don't like it, I just don't like it from you."

Edited by Rick Kitchen
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I want to commend the judges for treating the transexual litigant with the utmost respect. I was cringing to myself, worrying that they were going to ask her something inappropriate, but they treated her like any other litigant.

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Well, damn.  I missed another one.

That was the only remarkable thing about this case. This show isn't very good. I just have killer insomnia, and it gives me something to watch when I'm up at 3 am, trying to fall back to sleep.

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That was the only remarkable thing about this case. This show isn't very good. I just have killer insomnia, and it gives me something to watch when I'm up at 3 am, trying to fall back to sleep.

 

I agree with you that this show isn't very good.  Sometimes it seems like they just HAVE to have a contrary opinion,  just because.

 

I am SO sorry about your insomnia!  I suffered many years with it, and it only was relieved via sleeping pills.  I hate them; my short-term memory is terrible now, especially late-evening and early-morning.

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Last point is a pet peeve.  In the deliberation room, there are casebooks on shelves in the background.  These books are numbered.  If you look closely, there are books missing and they are all out of order.  I know they are just props to make it all look legal-like, but this is supposed to be a law library and casebooks would never be shelved out of order like that.  Just bugs that nobody could be bothered to get it right and put the books they bought just to look all legal, in the right order.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that.  It bugs me because it's lazy.

 

I'm getting used to the 3-judge format and I do enjoy it, but what I'm starting to realize is that it just makes them all lose credibility.  They have to have some disagreements on cases that Judge Judy or Judge Milian would cut through cleanly, it makes them seem silly.  Especially the male judge who sits further apart from the other two and gets oddly, unnecessarily aggressive when he feels like participating (like the one time he just rendered a verdict).  So I agree that this should be like a JJ appellate court, or the cases need to be more complicated than the standard.  The way it's playing out...they don't look so great, imho.

 

'Course, on the credibility front I read their bios and I think only the one in the middle was an actual judge before being on the show, so maybe that's why I'm having this reaction.

 

Also- they need to calm down with the 5-second string sound they play when shifting scenes.  They shift very quickly, especially to/from "deliberations," it's a little obnoxious.

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I am enjoying the types of cases they are doing.

 

You must admit the one about the toilet was pretty amusing.  

 

Ironically that deliberation that some of you don't like is very much like the rehash we do of all of the court cases. 

It is like they are anticipating the questions we are going to have regarding the judgements. 

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Also- they need to calm down with the 5-second string sound they play when shifting scenes.  They shift very quickly, especially to/from "deliberations," it's a little obnoxious.

 

*5 second string music* 

I agree.

*5 second string music*

The music at every transition

*5 second string music*

and every

*5 second string music*

*commercial break*

*5 second string music*

ad break, or random

*5 second string music*

pauses, is really

*5 second string music*

getting annoying.

*5 second string music into closing credits.*

Edited by Taeolas
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I am enjoying the types of cases they are doing.

 

You must admit the one about the toilet was pretty amusing.  

 

Ironically that deliberation that some of you don't like is very much like the rehash we do of all of the court cases. 

It is like they are anticipating the questions we are going to have regarding the judgements. 

I don't post much on court shows here because it's too hard to keep up.  But from what I have read, what y'all do is better.  It's more organic, and more entertaining. 

 

If the judges get to a point where they're like that, maybe I'll appreciate it more.  They should all take an improv class.

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*5 second string music* 

I agree.

*5 second string music*

The music at every transition

*5 second string music*

and every

*5 second string music*

*commercial break*

*5 second string music*

ad break, or random

*5 second string music*

pauses, is really

*5 second string music*

getting annoying.

*5 second string music into closing credits.*

I'm glad you mentioned the commercial breaks. This show seems to have way more than other shows I watch. And then they come back and go right back to commercial. I may be more annoyed because of the bevy of political ads I'm getting where I live, though.

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I hate the predetermined transitions between the judges. "Judge ridiculous eyebrows is going to ask you questions about...".   I think I'd like it better if one judge did all of the questioning and then the others just discussed the issue before the ruling. 

 

I think I'd like it even better just hearing JJ do a "think aloud" or bouncing her ideas off of Byrd.

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I have watched several episodes over the past few weeks and I think that one of the problems with the show is that the three judges clearly see themselves as competing with JJ, and they often try too hard to emulate her. Like picking one litigant to abhor and berate, sometimes to the detriment of the facts of the case. Like that case 2 or 3 weeks ago where they all decided they intensively disliked one guy, who did seem rather off-putting. However, the defendant who responded by accusing him of harassing her had a wild story about him stalking her, then having his students following her around and finally the students' relatives doing the same. She made it sound like half the town was stalking her, but the judges never pursued how ludicrous her story was and how it impacted her credibility.

 

I would say that the quality of defendants on this show seems generally superior to the ones that show up on JJ, i.e. not as many apparent rejects from a revival of Li'l Abner for coming across as acting too hillbilly. Which does not mean they do not have their share of quirky litigants and kooks.

 

Like that father yesterday who was suing because the dancing mouse he had hired for his 2-year old daughter's birthday did not show up and he had to book a replacement one during the party, meaning he missed the cutting of the cake (the agony!) and the blowing of the candles (cruel, tragic fate!!). He said at one point that the mental suffering would justify damages of a million dollars. I am sure he would gladly reconvene the Nuremberg tribunals if he could. I think that the fact that he is an older man who had his daughter late in life may have been a factor in his irrational anger.

 

And then today there was this woman who insisted that on top of the rather minor back rent amount she was asking, the defendant owed her for a missing plate (99 cents, as the Web printout she took care to bring indicated) plus matching knife and fork. She did come across as compulsive and anal-retentive.

 

But on the whole, most of those litigants are able to put three sentences together in a coherent manner, something I could not say about JJ's show. However, that balance may shift as this show finds its groove.

Edited by Florinaldo
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I have watched several episodes over the past few weeks and I think that one of the problems with the show is that the three judges clearly see themselves as competing with JJ, and they often try too hard to emulate her. Like picking one litigant to abhor and berate, sometimes to the detriment of the facts of the case. Like that case 2 or 3 weeks ago where they all decided they intensively disliked one guy, who did seem rather off-putting. However, the defendant who responded by accusing him of harassing her had a wild story about him stalking her, then having his students following her around and finally the students' relatives doing the same. She made it sound like half the town was stalking her, but the judges never pursued how ludicrous her story was and how it impacted her credibility.

 

I would say that the quality of defendants on this show seems generally superior to the ones that show up on JJ, i.e. not as many apparent rejects from a revival of Li'l Abner for coming across as acting too hillbilly. Which does not mean they do not have their share of quirky litigants and kooks.

 

Like that father yesterday who was suing because the dancing mouse he had hired for his 2-year old daughter's birthday did not show up and he had to book a replacement one during the party, meaning he missed the cutting of the cake (the agony!) and the blowing of the candles (cruel, tragic fate!!). He said at one point that the mental suffering would justify damages of a million dollars. I am sure he would gladly reconvene the Nuremberg tribunals if he could. I think that the fact that he is an older man who had his daughter late in life may have been a factor in his irrational anger.

 

And then today there was this woman who insisted that on top of the rather minor back rent amount she was asking, the defendant owed her for a missing plate (99 cents, as the Web printout she took care to bring indicated) plus matching knife and fork. She did come across as compulsive and anal-retentive.

 

But on the whole, most of those litigants are able to put three sentences together in a coherent manner, something I could not say about JJ's show. However, that balance may shift as this show finds its groove.

I agree that the litigants seem much less trashy.

 

The lady with the .99 cent plate from Ikea made me glad to be able to afford to live alone. What a nightmare she'd be to live with. Like the sucker I am, I was totally expecting this to be some fancy-dancy plate from an invaluable set of fine china. What a nutjob.

 

I'm still recording this show, but it's the last of my court shows I watch. TPC, JJ, and then Hot Bench. I still think it'd be better served by an hour-long, three-case format, like TPC has. The cases just feel rushed because of the time set aside for deliberations.

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I was really expecting some Royal Doulton Hand-Painted Periwinkles, NOT a .99 plate with matching utensils. Super nutjob, imagine the nightmare of being her room-mate!

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