Back to ComPortOne Book Reviews

ComPortOne Book Review

Don't Pee On My Leg
and Tell Me It's Raining

Judy Scheindlin with Josh Getlin

Judge Judy Scheindlin is a popular presiding judge on TV court that plays nightly in many homes. Judge Judy renders fair and just resolutions to impossible [and sometimes ridiculous] cases. She is able to stand her ground on morality and plainly state the obvious. [Well, obvious to all but the plaintiffs and defendants.] Yes, truth and justice prevail in Judge Judy's court room. She is now one of the most watched shows on TV, however, not many viewers know Judge Judy's background or have read her book - "Don't Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It Is Raining." Ah, but I have....

Judge Judy Scheindlin has served over two decades in New York City's family court system. She has seen it all and heard it all. Daily confrontations of welfare abuse, juvenile violence, neglected or abandoned children and ugly custody fights have given her uinque insights. She shares an honest and realistic approach to solving our nation's greatest ills. "The time for change was yesterday and the time to wake up is now." The problems encountered in the courtroom daily are a "mirror of what has gone wrong in America, a reflection of how far we have strayed from personal responsibility and old-fashioned discipline."

In her book, Scheindlin relates the following stories:

  • Welfare deadbeats who rip off the system and duck an honest day's work.
  • A beautiful teenage girl, murdered on her way to school, just for a pair of earrings.
  • A subway mugger who became a millionaire by suing the police who arrested him.
  • A twenty-eight year old AIDS woman who had recently given birth to her sixth child
    -- the last two born HIV positive, asking for aid to institutionalize her AIDS children.

* Scheindlin's Guide to Life is simple *

If you want to eat, you have to work.
If you have children, be prepared to take care of them.
If you break the law, it is your fault. Be prepared to pay.
If you tap the public purse, be prepared to account.

Scheindlin remarks:
On first-time offenders: "I want first-time offenders to think of their first appearance in my courtroom as the second worst experience in their lives. [You don't want to know the first.]"
On juvenile deliquency: "You're no less dead if your killer is fifteen or fifty."
On prison rehabilitation: "We do not owe them a damn thing. They broke the peace. They ruined someone's life. All we owe them is jail."
On juvenile incarceration: "The cost of custody should rest with the parents, not the state."
On legal aid lawyers: "In our country, indigent people are often given free legal counsel. That is fine and good, but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you are entitled to a free ride. Why not charge people for the cost of using a public defender?"
On the media: "Think of the sweeping changes we might trigger in public policy if the media presented the pariahs in our midst as harbingers of misery rather than as victims of some amorphous societal neglect."
On kinship foster care: "Where I come from grandparents and family members are supposed to take care of neglected children. It's an obligation, not something you do for a government paycheck."

Even if you don't agree with all of Scheindlin's ideas, you will find this book insightful and worth reading. Keep reading!

Back to ComPortOne Book Reviews
Back to ComPortOne Home Page

Copyright 1996-2001 ComPortOne. All rights reserved.
ComPortOne Home Page
Email ComPortOne