Local ‘Judge Judy’ rebuked in Time magazine piece
August 20, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 12:05 p.m. Aug. 20, 2010
Judge Judith Eiler — the tough-talking King County District Court judge — has been reproached in a blistering piece in Time magazine.
Adam Cohen — a lawyer, former Time scribe and a past editorial board member at The New York Times — took Eiler to task for her brusque behavior on the bench.
The state Supreme Court rebuked Eiler in early August. Justices ordered Eiler to be suspended from the bench for five days without pay.
Eiler used to preside at the Issaquah Courthouse, but has since been reassigned to a district courthouse in Seattle. The court handles traffic infractions, small claims and some civil matters.
Cohen applauded the Supreme Court decision, but pushed for justices to do more.
“It should have pushed back against our rising smackdown culture by removing this judge running amok from her job,” he continued.
Cohen also made inevitable comparisons between Eiler and a certain former New York City Family Court judge.
“It is hard to believe TV’s Judge Judy was not a strong influence on Seattle’s Judge Judy,” he continued. “TV’s Judge Judy yells at litigants and belittles them, and her specialty is finding innovative new ways of calling people stupid.”
South King County voters elected Eiler to the bench in 1992 and re-elected her since; she faces the electorate again in November.
Eiler’s opponent, Des Moines Assistant City Attorney Susan Mahoney, pounced on the piece, and distributed the commentary to journalists.
“This is why I chose to run against this particular judge: to bring ethics and professionalism back to the bench,” Mahoney said in a statement.