BY DANIEL KUSNER
You almost expect Judge David Young to slam down his gavel and yell, “Listen, Mary!”
His syndicated courtroom show premieres Monday on KDFI. And it’s built on the same platform as Judge Judy’s.
“I admit, there’s a little Judy in there. But I’m more compassionate than she is,” Young said earlier this week in a telephone interview. “A lot of these programs show judges yelling for yelling’s sake. Instead of pulling people apart, I’m hoping to bring them together.”
Young came to national attention in 2005 during the trial of two America West airline pilots, whom he sentenced to jail time for attempting to operate a plane while intoxicated.
His history of being tough on addiction garnered him three awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Young attended Tulane University and the Miami School of Law. He also served as Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County under Janet Reno. He lives in Miami with Scott Bernstein, a his partner of 12 years who also happens to be a judge.
“I go to Dallas every year,” Young says. “My partner’s cousin sits on the Dallas board of DIFFA. She had a daughter who died of AIDS. And last year I bought a jacket.”
During his 26-episode inaugural season, some of the small claims cases Young ruled on include a bi-racial lesbian couple suing their landlord for a security deposit, a gay rap group suing a promoter over contract dispute and dog owners suing veterinarian for poor care.
Since we had the judge on the phone, we put the diva to the test:
Some cases have surfaced where people are getting arrested for not disclosing their HIV status.
David Young: Those cases could be tried as attempted murder. But I would look at contributory negligence.
Are people taking proper precautions?
Have they asked?
Have they been tested?
Have they thoroughly investigated the situation?
Or are they partially liable for contracting the disease?
It happened in my family. My cousin died of AIDS. She had four sexual partners in her entire life. The second guy she ever slept with was an intravenous drug user. She had no idea about it. They were a couple, and they had unsafe sex. And lo and behold, she got HIV and got AIDS.
She was an upper middleclass Jewish girl. She was engaged and she gave it to her fiancé, who is thankfully still living.
People have to take personal responsibility for their actions. And if they don’t, shame on them.
I know at least two people who were in long-term — in what the other partner supposed was a — monogamous relationships. And they contracted HIV.
And in that situation, I think the law would definitely apply. But in a casual sex situation, if you’re not protected, you’re just an idiot. And you have a death wish.
TUNE IN: “Judge David Young” begins airing Sept 10 at 1 p.m. KDFI.