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Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining Hardcover – February 7, 1996

175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For the past 10 years, Sheindlin has been the supervising judge for Manhattan Family Court, with a reputation for cutting through judicial and bureaucratic obfuscation. Joined by Los Angeles Times correspondent Getlin, she continues her outspokenness in this hard-hitting book, whose title is obviously chosen with malice aforethought. She considers our society to be in trouble because we have infantilized part of it "by shifting the emphasis from individual responsibility to government responsibility." After giving an overview of "our crumbling system," she discusses the cost to taxpayers, then examines underlying reasons for "the lack of responsibility and honesty in American society." Her prescription, offered without any detailed plan of implementation: self-discipline, individual accountability and responsible conduct.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

As a New York City prosecutor and judge, Sheindlin has spent more than 20 years in court with juveniles, both delinquents and objects of delinquency, and parents and custodians who are, lamentably often, delinquent themselves. With Los Angeles Times' correspondent Getlin's able help, she shapes the lessons of her experience into an argument in 10 punches. Each of the 10 is a chapter made up of anecdotal evidence of the abuse of crime and civil-procedural victims, not just by their assailants but by social welfare systems that also victimize taxpayers because of their exorbitant costliness. Besides decrying particular scams and abuses (bad foster care, child custody battles, judges who decide on political rather than human considerations, private social service providers who fleece public funds, miscreants who claim they themselves are victims, etc.), Sheindlin sees American society as having got offtrack. The answer to the messes of urban crime and welfare dependency, she claims, is "self-discipline, individual accountability and responsible conduct." Demand that people behave and make the consequences of misbehavior onerous, she says, and good behavior is surer to follow than if offenders continue to be treated as if they were greater victims than their prey. An old song, you may say, but seldom has it been as powerfully sung. Ray Olson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (February 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060173211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060173210
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judith Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy (born October 21, 1942), is an American lawyer, judge, television personality, and author. Since 1996, Sheindlin has presided over her own markedly successful syndicated reality courtroom series, Judge Judy. Sheindlin passed the New York Bar examination in 1965, and became a prosecutor in the family court system. In 1982 Mayor Ed Koch appointed her as a judge, first in criminal court, then later as Manhattan's supervising family court judge in 1986.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People don't like Judge Judy because she's a "b" or a tyrant. As an ER doctor, I can tell you that what she really is: fed up. Both of us are tired of the vast amount of human garbage we deal with on a daily basis. What is the common factor amongst all these people?

The unwillingness to take *personal responsibility* for your own life.


This book is a great collection of situations and solutions for those who cannot manage to wade through the mire of moral choices they are faced with. It's also immensely amusing and right on target.

You will find yourself nodding and laughing. Perhaps you will even wonder why this has to be written down in a book...when it's all just common sense. This is a great present and a quick read. Read her other books as well.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jack Guthrie on August 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
To sum this book up in one sentence is reality with no excuses allowed. This book chronicles Sheindlin's experiences as one of NYC's top family court judges. Sheindlin gives the lowdown on how those who have appeared before her always try to find a scapegoat for their misfortunes and shortcomings. However, Sheindlin is no fool because she can see these people for what they are. Most of them are just ordinary people who fail to take responsibility for their mistakes. People who constantly blame society for their own problems. People who run the gamut with excuses for everything that has gone wrong in their lives without once looking at themselves. From deadbeat dads to irresponsible moms and everything in between, Sheindlin can tell the truly misfortunate from the con artists. I couldn't put this book down. It was such an awesome piece of work. I totally recommend this book to anyone. After reading about Judge Sheindlin's 20+ years as a lawyer and judge, you'll see why it's titled "Don't Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining."
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Vegan on July 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Judge Judy, once again, tells it like it is. If you've seen her on TV then you know exactly that she's no pushover. A lot of "bleeding hearts" would never agree with her statements, but I was pleased to read that someone has the courage to stand up and say that things need to change. Being a family court judge, she's seen it all. Women abusing the welfare system by having numerous kids, men hiding from paying child support, people on welfare refusing to work on the basis that it is "below them" and so many other mini case studies fill this book.
I say "Judge Judy for President!!"
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sweetcheeks McMuffin on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
OK, for anyone out there who is tired of people who make excuses, people who can not take responsibility for their own actions, and people who use and abuse the system, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!

Judy Sheindlin takes the same approach in this book as she does on her TV show. No punches are pulled and no one is spared as Judge Judy lashes out in a strong argument against the types of people mentioned in the above paragraph.

For instance, Judy insists that America's legal system must crack down on juvenile offenders, especially the repeat ones. Many Americans, myself included, are fed up with the way criminals have life easy, and people that make their living as parasites off of a welfare system that taxpayers fund.

This book may cause some readers to write to their Congressman and demand that as an American citizen, and honest, hard-working taxpayer, these criminals (I'm encompassing all the people in Judy's book) must be stopped and common sense must have a place in the life of government and society.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that I am in complete agreement with Judge Judy. She is a tough talking, no nonsense, commom sense oriented individual, who believes in personal responsibility and acountability. What you see on the television screen, if you watch her show "Judge Judy", is what you find between the cover of this book.
The book covers a variety of social issues in the context of her legal and judicial experience, and she does a full court press in giving her opinions. Not given to judicial restraint, she speaks out on those issues to which her nearly quarter of a century experience as a judge has entitled her. I only wish that she were running for public office. She would certainly have my vote.
The only issue that I take with the book is that it is really not a cohesive entity. It is a somewhat disjointed collection of essays or opinions on various social issues that repeatedly came up during her years on the bench. There is no attempt to put them together into a broader context, so that one segues into the next. This is the one shortcoming of the book. Nonetheless, it is still an interesting read.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James Paris on March 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I don't normally read books that are ghostwritten. This one, however, was not only informative but wildly entertaining. See Judge Judy skewer self-proclaimed victims, lazy attorneys, callous bureaucrats, unwed teen mothers, craven foster parents, and in general anyone who while serving themselves degrades the lives we all lead in this land of ours.
The only negative I can think of is that, too often, points that need more detail end up as truncated sound bites. By making her points as succinctly as possible, Judge Judy has justifiably won for herself quite a following -- although the book's trenchant style is not dissimilar to her TV appearances, so I can't blame the ghost writer. I guess I'm just too much of a detail wonk to feel comfortable with short shrift on major subjects. Give me facts, footnotes, and all those other scholarly trappings that take me beyond the level of the merely anecdotal.
But this book is not meant for people like me, though I can enjoy it as much as anyone. Judge Judy's elevation of COMMON SENSE to a principle of jurisprudence is guaranteed to make you think, even if it doesn't satisfy all bases.
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