For the first time ever, TV favorite Judge Judy filed her own lawsuit against someone. Judith Sheindlin filed suit yesterday against a Connecticut personal-injury lawyer, alleging that he used her image without authorization in advertisements that falsely suggested she had endorsed his firm. The lawsuit filed in federal court seeks more than $75,000 in damages from Hartford attorney John Haymond and his firm; Sheindlin says any money she wins through the lawsuit will go toward college scholarships through the Her Honor Mentoring Program.
The lawsuit says that without Sheindlin's permission, Haymond's firm aired television ads combining footage from Judge Judy along with clips showing Haymond and his daughters. It says the advertisements aired in Connecticut and Massachusetts during broadcasts of her show, and continued even after Sheindlin's producer told the firm in March 2013 that use of her image was not permitted. In a statement, Sheindlin says the unauthorized use of her name and image is "outrageous" and requires action, adding, "Mr. Haymond is a lawyer and should know better."