A Tale of Two Cases
Toot, Toot, Toot: Blowing My Own Horn

Crocodile Tears

One need look no further than the courtroom of Judge Larry Seidlin for an argument against cameras in the courtroom. The judge sniviled and emoted like a pro se in traffic court for the cameras today, when he gave the lifeless body of Anna Nicole Smith to the lawyer for her five-year-old daughter.

It might have been the most contrived and nongenuine audition ever performed.

The balding jurist wants his own television show. Lights, Camera, Chrome Dome So he transformed the proceedings in the Anna Nicole Smith case into the next biggest farce since the O. J. Simpson miniseries starring Lance Ito. I wonder what makeup he applied and whether he practiced his crocodile tears in front of the vanity mirror he must keep in his chambers?

Smith's various suitors have all emerged claiming to be the donor of the sperm that produced the former Playboy bunny's baby. All seem to think that having a piece of the run-down pin-up girl entitles them to manage the fortune she left to her child. And how did she come to this fame and furtune? The way many so many aging bombshells do -- she found a sugar daddy with vision dimmed enough to be blind to what Botox could not cure.  And then fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court to hold the fortune he left her when he died.

So Judge Larry had difficult decisions to make, and he had to make them in a hurry. Ms. Smith's body was decomposing as he preened.

Why televise this tawdry mess? Because we are titilated by a blonde with surgically enhanced breasts? Because we miss smarmy young gadabouts like Kato Kalen and want to see the suitors sing in this hyper-reality version of American Idol?

Televisions in the courtroom raise serious questions about public policy and a public educated in the means by which the law resolves disputes. But how do we prevent cameras from influencing the proceedings? Who to do about a man like Judge Seidlin?

The issues in the Smith case are not soul-wracking any more than the normal mayhem attendant to litigation. This judge took advantage of this case to advance his own collateral interests in a way that calls into question his fitness to serve as a jurist. I would not want this histrionic clown anywhere near a case of mine, no matter how low the stakes.

Does this judge belong on television? Perhaps. He certainly doesn't belong on the bench. Has anyone considered an ethics complaint against this nitwit? Isn't using a case as a prop for his television amibitions wrong?

Does anything go in the Sunshine State?