Judging the Fairs

By John Owen | Jan 05, 2012

I don't hang around the Edmonds Municipal Court, but if I did I would probably never hear Judge Douglas Fair tell a defendant:

"They didn't put me up here because I'm young and gorgeous.  I'm here because I'm smart."

I would be equally surprised if I heard  Judge Ellen J. Fair interrupt testimony to point an accusing finger at someone testifying before the Snohomish County Superior Court while chanting,  "Liar, liar, pants on fire."

But you have heard those lines repeated in televised courtroom appearances and the judge who uttered them seemed to find an appreciative audience.

She is widely known as Judge Judy and she seems to be the Queen of the Court because her televised ratings far surpass video rivals like Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mathis, Judge Alex, Judge Jackie Glass and star of rival courtroom dramas titled, "Last shot with Judge Gunn."

Now since Doug and Ellen Fair are married and pillars of the Edmonds community you could wonder why they don't have their own television shows, or at least an advice column in the Edmonds Beacon.  

After all, Judge Judy has been featured on 60 Minutes, Saturday Night Live, the Larry King Show and Entertainment Tonight.

I know what you're going to say. "Judge Judy isn't a real judge."

True,  the studio set is not an actual court of law.  

But Judge Judy Sheindin has impressive legal credentials. She  has a degree from New York Law School and spent a couple of decades as a  judge in New York's Family Court, prosecuting juvenile delinquency cases.  

She was eventually appointed supervising judge in Manhattan and heard more than 20,000 cases before she was tapped for duty as a daytime TV celebrity.

She is also the author of five books.  The first, a criticism of the family court system in the U.S. was titled, "Don't Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining"

"Judge Judy" is married to another judge,  Jerry Sheindin, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of New York.

See, they have a lot in common with Doug and Ellen Fair although, based on the local couple's  sterling reputation in the legal community, I doubt if either has ever invoked the damning legal curse:

"Liar, liar, pants on fire!"

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