Credit WSJ SCOTUS correspondent Jess Bravin with the priceless quote above. One of the many small-claims court spinoffs is a show called “Judge Alex.” Well, as is the case with many of these made-for-tv court shows, the “judges” presiding over the parties are actually acting as arbitrators. Hence, the trappings of a courtroom without all the pesky rules of evidence, procedure, or decency for that matter.

Hon. Alex

Well, the “Honorable” Alex Ferrer (aka “Judge Alex”) ran afoul of his former manager for alleged failure to pay the manager the commissions purportedly owed him under the management contract. It seems that Judge Alex, who pays the bills by arbitrating disputes, has asserted that he doesn’t have to abide by the arbitration clause in his own contract with his former manager.

On Monday, SCOTUS heard oral argument in Preston v. Ferrer, cause no. 06-1463, to decide whether an arbitration clause in a contract can be enforced when a state agency arguably has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter that the parties originally intended to send to informal adjudication.

When asked whether he–a judge who most definitely allows cameras in his own courtroom–thought SCOTUS should allow cameras in its courtroom, Judge Alex responded, “I think they should,” because “[t]he arguments can be fascinating for lawyers or people who are students of the law, but for average people, they’d rather watch paint dry.

I can only hope and assume Judge Alex wasn’t referring to himself as a “student of the law,” as small-claims court (or, even worse, fake small-claims court as the case is here) is the jurisprudential equivalent of kindargarten.

*** UPDATE ***

In stark to contrast to our beloved SCOTX, SCOTUS just showed how judicial efficiency is done by issuing its opinion in Preston v. Ferrer just a scant month after it heard oral argument. Therein, the “Court ruled 8-1 against [the cheesy TV judge], holding that an arbitrator must decide the dispute.”

Thx to the WSJ Law Blog

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