Joseph Wapner
Television judge, recipient of the Purple Heart medal
Joseph Wapner
Joseph Albert Wapner is a former American judge and TV personality of the real-life courtroom-style show The People's Court, which ran in syndication from 1981 to 1993 for 2,484 episodes. On The People's Court, Wapner conducted a binding arbitration which was set up to resemble a small claims court by pitting parties, without lawyers, against each other.
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Joseph Wapner's personal information overview.
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News
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Former Cy Young winner Flanagan found dead - ESPN
Google News - over 5 years
"But we were really all in the clubhouse waiting for [famed TV judge Joseph] Wapner to deliver his verdict." In 1980, as another Orioles pitcher, Steve Stone, was on his way to winning the Cy Young, Flanagan determined the different stages of Cy: He
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Carl Gardner - Cash Box Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
... performances by a modern-day lineup that includes Gardner's son, Carl Gardner, Jr. Some group members were part of a small claims court case that was seen on the TV show "People's Court" in the 1980's when Joseph Wapner was the presiding judge
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The courtroom of hurt feelings: Television's judge shows - MinnPost.com
Google News - over 5 years
There is one judge who cares about the law — Judge Marilyn Milian, the frankly gorgeous heir to Joseph Wapner's "People's Court." She's careful to explain to her litigants what the law has to say about their case, even being cautious to identify the
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Katie Couric Should Copy Judge Judy For Daytime Ratings - The Stir (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Joseph Wapner, who you may remember from The People's Court, has criticized her courtroom demeanor, saying: She is not portraying a judge as I view a judge should act. Judge Judy is discourteous, and she's abrasive. She's not slightly insulting
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Tau Epsilon Phi, Founded 100 Years Ago at Columbia, Is Convulsed by a Lawsuit
NYTimes - over 6 years
For Tau Epsilon Phi, this should have been a year filled with pride and reflection: the fraternity, founded at Columbia University on Oct. 10, 1910, turned 100. Instead, the fraternity, whose alumni include Dr. Jonas Salk, Benny Goodman, Red Auerbach, George Stephanopoulos and Joseph Wapner, a judge made famous by the television show ''The People's
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BOOKS OF THE TIMES; A Woman's Undying Gift To Science
NYTimes - about 7 years
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS By Rebecca Skloot Illustrated. 369 pages. Crown Publishers. $26. The best book blurb I'm aware of came from Roy Blount Jr., who said about Pete Dexter's 1988 novel, ''Paris Trout'': ''I put it down once to wipe off the sweat.'' I'm not sure I know what that means. Was the sweat on Mr. Blount's forehead? On the
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Let's Take It Outside
NYTimes - over 7 years
IT all started pleasantly enough: Boy meets Girl. Girl visits Boy's apartment in Greenwich Village, near New York University, where they are students. Boy and Girl hang out on his fire escape one night, enjoying a smoke and solving the world's problems in the way that only two people whose combined age is under 40 can. At some point, Girl needs to
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TELEVISION; Don't Mess With the People's Judge
NYTimes - over 10 years
WHEN Marilyn Milian was a law student at Georgetown University 25 years ago, she and her classmates instantly fell in love with a legal series that had just begun running on television. The show was ''The People's Court,'' and its simple premise -- quick and dirty justice served up for mass consumption -- became must-see TV. ''We were just like,
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BLACKBOARD: Anniversaries; Past Times At Hollywood High
NYTimes - over 13 years
One began as a school for California farm children, turned into a launching pad for stars like Lana Turner and Mickey Rooney and now operates year-round to accommodate 2,700 students representing 20 languages. The other, created for stage children in New York, counts Milton Berle and Elliott Gould among its early graduates and still considers an
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COMPRESSED DATA; Web Site Challenges Chat-Room Status Quo
NYTimes - over 16 years
Few marketing gimmicks challenge the status quo as much as im-ur.com, the brainchild of Jonathan Shem-Ur, an Israeli former journalist turned Web entrepreneur. In a twist on the traditional chat room, Mr. Shem-Ur is producing a site with 4,000 discussion areas, sections where anybody can post opinions, offer advice and engage in debate on assorted
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Cablevision Responds To Charges by a Rival
NYTimes - almost 20 years
The battle between Cablevision Systems and the Classic Sports Network over the nostalgia sports market is getting so hot that a vintage judge -- Earl Warren? Joseph Wapner? Pigmeat Markham? -- might be required to resolve the dispute. On March 17, Classic charged before the Federal Communications Commission that Cablevision's Rainbow Programming
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In This People's Court, Only One Opinion Counts
NYTimes - almost 20 years
IN THIS ERA OF SENSITIVITY training, repressed memories and the ''abuse excuse,'' the formula for creating a successful daytime television series usually includes a stream of maladjusted adults, a ready supply of double-talking psychological ''experts'' and a smarmy, hyperkinetic host prepared to treat his or her guests' every quirk and
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AT THE BAR; Elitest Yale Breaks Precedent and Invites a Symbol of Populism to Preside at a Legal Rite
NYTimes - almost 26 years
As one would expect from Yale Law School, the lawyer chosen to preside over the annual Thomas Swan Barristers' Union mock trial finals has always been some titan of the bar or bench. Past judges include Edward Bennett Williams, Arthur Liman and A. Leon Higgenbotham Jr. But tonight in New Haven, the proletariat meets the elite. Oyez, oyez, oyez! All
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Inquiries Held Blocking Aid In Crime Cases
NYTimes - almost 27 years
LEAD: Thousands of crime victims who may be entitled to compensation for their suffering are not receiving it because the New York State board that awards benefits conducts inadequate investigations, a state legislative panel has concluded. Thousands of crime victims who may be entitled to compensation for their suffering are not receiving it
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THE LAW; For the Record
NYTimes - about 27 years
LEAD: Ambiguity of the Law Ambiguity of the Law The following excerpt is from ''American Lawyers'' by Richard L. Abel (Oxford University Press, 1989). Mr. Abel is a professor of law at the University of California at Los Angeles. All law is inescapably two-faced. It reproduces and justifies existing inequalities and injustices; yet it also embodies
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'People's Court' Finds Itself Before the Dock
NYTimes - over 27 years
LEAD: A man who lost his case on ''The People's Court'' is suing Judge Wapner. A man who lost his case on ''The People's Court'' is suing Judge Wapner. Louis De George, a plumber and electrician from the Van Nuys area, had agreed to let Judge Joseph Wapner settle a dispute with his landlord on the courtroom television show. After the judge rejected
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THE LAW; At the Bar
NYTimes - over 27 years
LEAD: ''There are two things wrong with most legal writing,'' Fred Rodell of Yale Law School wrote more than 50 years ago in an article entitled ''Goodbye to Law Reviews.'' ''One is its style. The other is its content.'' ''There are two things wrong with most legal writing,'' Fred Rodell of Yale Law School wrote more than 50 years ago in an article
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At Publishing Convention, Booksellers and Hype
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: It is six years since the nation's book publishers and booksellers last met in Anaheim, and the industry has undergone major changes since. It is six years since the nation's book publishers and booksellers last met in Anaheim, and the industry has undergone major changes since. The most important has been a wave of merger and consolidation
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CALIFORNIA'S PRIVATE TRIAL SYSTEM SEEMS SETTLED IN
NYTimes - almost 31 years
A private judicial system that is expeditious and expensive celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and by all accounts it has become a way of life for retired judges, major law firms and clients who shun publicity. ''I use the system as often as I can, '' said Dennis M. Wasser, a Beverly Hills matrimonial lawyer. He estimates that roughly 25
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Joseph Wapner
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2013
    Age 93
    Wapner's tenure on the program made him the first jurist of arbitration-based reality court shows, what is now a most popular trend in the judicial genre. Until the summer of 2013, Wapner also held the title of longest reigning arbiter over The People's Court.
    More Details Hide Details However, by completion of the court show's 2012-2013 season, Marilyn Milian captured this title from him and became the longest-reigning judge over the series. Five years after presiding over the The People's Court, Wapner returned to television as a judge on the nontraditional courtroom series, Judge Wapner's Animal Court, lasting for 2 seasons (1998-1999 and 1999-2000).
  • 2009
    Age 89
    On November 13, 2009, in honor of his 90th birthday on November 15, Wapner made a one-time-only return to the court show, acting as a guest judge, presiding over a case in the current Marilyn Milian era of The People's Court.
    More Details Hide Details Wapner has authored two books, A View from the Bench and Judge Wapner's Guide to Small Claims Court. He appeared in the second episode of Sliders as himself, in an alternate world where the Soviet Union has conquered the USA. The People's Court is instead a criminal court that hands out long prison sentences, and he is referred as "Commissar Wapner" rather than judge. On August 9, 2008, Wapner appeared as Judge in a Major League Baseball on Fox Pregame People's Court parody segment called "The Players Court".
    He and Judith Sheindlin of the television court show, Judge Judy, were the only two television jurists who have received the honor as of 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Wapner was critical of Sheindlin.
    On November 12, 2009, Wapner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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  • 1993
    Age 73
    After 12 seasons on The People's Court, it was announced that Wapner was not invited back to the court show in 1993, when the ratings had dropped to an all-time low.
    More Details Hide Details Wapner has stated that he was told years later that the show didn't want to hurt his feelings; however, he has stated that this is exactly what the show did. Wapner has also stated that he wasn't notified when the producers decided to revamp the series. He has stated he holds no opinions on the People's Court judges who succeeded him as he never watches the program.
    After a 4-year hiatus, beginning in 1993, The People's Court returned to the air in 1997, though without Wapner, and still runs today.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1986
    Age 66
    On June 27, 1986, Wapner appeared on the Tonight Show to hear a case of David Letterman vs. Johnny Carson over alleged damage to the headlight of Letterman's pickup truck when Carson had the truck towed to the studio.
    More Details Hide Details Wapner ruled in favor of Letterman, granting him $24.95. During 1999–2000, Wapner served as the national spokesperson for Singer Asset Finance Company, L.L.C., a specialty finance company, appearing in national television commercials and print ads. Since around 2010, the soda company Rocket Fizz has marketed a "Judge Wapner Root Beer" drink, featuring the slogan "I sentence you to drink my root beer." Wapner has been active in Jewish causes, including sitting on the board of a Jewish school.
  • 1981
    Age 61
    Wapner presided over The People's Court from 1981 to 1993, a total of 2,340 half-hour segments.
    More Details Hide Details On the show, he ran a respectful, serene courtroom and was known for his stodgy, easygoing manner. On the series, he conducted a binding arbitration which was set up to resemble a small claims court by pitting parties, without lawyers, against each other. The legacy of the show's high popularity has led to myriad other similar syndicated courtroom shows, such as Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown among others.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1979
    Age 59
    He retired from the court November 16, 1979.
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  • 1975
    Age 55
    Wapner was President of the California Judges Association in 1975 and 1976.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 49
    While serving on the Superior Court bench, Wapner also served as Presiding Judge in 1969 and 1970.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1959
    Age 39
    Appointed by Governor Pat Brown to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959, Wapner served 2 years before being elevated to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he served for 18 years before retiring.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1919
    Born
    Joseph Albert Wapner was born November 15, 1919 in Los Angeles to Jewish parents.
    More Details Hide Details His father, Max Wapner, an attorney, immigrated to California from Romania, while his mother, Fannie (née Friedman), was from Russia. He has a younger sister, Irene. Wapner attended Hollywood High School and dated actress Lana Turner once while in high school. Wapner is a graduate of the University of Southern California (1941) and the USC Law School (1948), serving in World War II in between. Wapner was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star while serving in the South Pacific in Cebu. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army as a Lieutenant.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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