JUDGE JOE BROWN
PRESIDING JUDGE: The Honorable Judge Joe Brown
Joe Brown was raised in a tough neighborhood in south central L.A. His family moved to the Crenshaw area in southwest L.A. where he graduated at the top of his class from Susan Miller Dorsey High School. In 1973 he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA. Brown worked his way through college by substitute teaching.
The city of Memphis, Tennessee then hired Brown as their prosecuting attorney. He was the first ever African-American to hold this position. Later he opened his own law practice and then went on to become a judge at the Shelby County Tennessee State Criminal Court.
In 1997, Brown presided over James Earl Ray's final appeal of his conviction for murdering Martin Luther King Jr. Brown was later deemed biased and was removed from the investigation. [Hear Judge Joe Brown discuss the case here: James Earl Ray's Undying Appeal for Freedom. VERY INTERESTING INDEED!] Notariety from this case gave Brown national fame which lead to his reality court show JUDGE JOE BROWN, beginning in 1998. This half-hour, syndicated reality courtroom show airs daily and is well into season #16.
On his show Judge Joe Brown is known for his strong opinions, his deep throaty chuckles, and his very v e r y s l o w - t a l k i n g deliberations which at times, ironically, accuse losing parties of being "fast talkers" or "smooth talkers" (a.k.a swindlers who use misleading or coersive language). Brown will typically allow litigants on his show to argue openly for several chaotic minutes before he stops them. This can result in some tense scenes in the courtroom, and all too often the baliff, "Madam" Sonia Montejano, must intervene to keep the peace. (Remember! Judge Judy doesn't even let her litigants speak to each other for ONE SECOND without threatening to have them tossed out!)