Judge Hatchet Job

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I saw a case involving this judge that I think made the wrong decision. Are these cases based in law or is this all dramatics? In this case a woman who ran a small room for parties such as small weddings, anniversaries and the like, had rented out a room for an anniversary party to this woman and her husband. Renter put down a non-refundable deposit that would have been refundable if she had canceled the party with sufficient notice, which wasn't given. Renter (obviously lying and can't get her story straight) claims that it was the caterer's suggestion to charge people a fee at the door to enter the party to help the renter defray the cost. I've never heard anything more preposterous and neither did the judge. She couldn't understand why anyone would just have people walking in off the street to pay some money to attend an anniversary party. Renter also said she gave flyers to the caterer to "give out to her friends." What a farce.

Well, what happened is that the caterer claimed that the renter canceled the party and never showed up. Renter said caterer canceled the party because of some electrical problem that shut down the hall and other business in the building a week before. Caterer says that it is untrue because she was there all day and that the other stores were operating the prior week and all had electricity. Credability of renter is shot and we think that we know which way judge will rule.

Well, what the decision hinged upon was some explanation that the renter couldn't hold the party because renter wanted to serve alcohol. No problem right? Well if she wanted to charge guests at the door then they couldn't hold the party because the caterer didn't have a liquor license to serve alcohol but the guests could bring it and use it if they didn't charge at the door. When the judge asked the renter how many people were at the party the renter said around 80 and stated that she only printed 20-30 flyers. I wonder how many people she expected to show "at the gate." Seemed nominal.

Anyways, the judge decides in the favor of the RENTER!!!! WTH????? She bases her decision upon the fact that the contract between the parties did not contain any provision for how alcohol would be treated and that since it didn't say that the renter could not charge a fee at the door then the contract was deficient and the renter was entitled to her entire non-refundable deposit back. WOW. What a farce. I'm wondering whether "Judge Hatchet" is another daytime soap in the guise of a minority woman playing "important high justice" and showing how far we have traveled as a society. Pah, the public doesn't need this garbage.
These made for TV judges aren't exactly the real deal. Judge Judy's cases are usually pretty easy and she actually does get the law correct. J. Hatchett (I saw the show once) is almost like an Oprah meets the courtroom type of show. The two cases I saw, one of them involved taking this young kid on a field trip to meet Evander Holyfield and give him hope and make him afraid of the streets. I wonder how much of the show is histrionics and practically staged contestants, sorry, I mean litigants. ;)
Judge Hatchet's The Law

I've watched many Judge Hatchet episodes. What she knows about the law won't fit on the end of a pin and get this, I'm not even an attorney, yet I know more about the laws governing her cases than she does and my knowledge is limited to what I've read about in Newspapers and Magazines, so evidently Judge Hatchet doesn't even read her local paper.

I'll give you one example.

In a recent case a woman brings a 2,000.00 law suit against the owner of a night club for medical expenses incurred when she slipped and fell in front of the bathroom. The woman claimed there was a rug in front of the bathroom that was not secure and it tripped her. What was the bar owner's defense? The woman had too much to drink in his bar and so her fall was her own fault!

I was initially laughing at the bar owner. His admittance that he allowed a woman to get so drunk at his bar that she fell flat on her face was not boding well for him legally. The law is clear that bar owners are liable when they allow patrons to drink in excess. It is the bar owner's responsibility to cut the patron off if they are drinking too much.

The bar owner and the plaintiff both agreed that the plaintiff was served four Long Island Ice Teas!

I thought for sure the bar owner was going to get a lesson from the Judge concerning his professional responsibility to not allow patron to get so drunk at his bar that they become a danger to themselves or others. Hatchet didn't even come into the ball park.

When the bar owner brought forth his star witness, a bouncer who testified that after the woman fell she went back to the bar and was served more alcohol I thought for sure the bar owner was dead meat. Here's a woman that the bar owner claims she's so intoxicated she can't even walk and yet, after she falls, the bar tender recklessly serves her more alcohol!

When the testimony was done I waited for Hatchet to lower the boom on the bar owner. Instead she proclaimed that she was not convinced the owner of the bar was liable for the fall because the woman was intoxicated, completely forgetting HOW the woman ended up intoxicated in the first place!

I am still laughing about this. Hatchet dismissed the case saying it was the woman's own fault.

Anyone who reads the newspapers in the last 10 years or so should know that bar owners are liable when they allow their patrons to over drink in their establishments! Is Hatchet THAT far out of the main stream?

I know it's a silly television show, but I find it reprehensible that Hatchet could make such an horrible mistake and leave thousands of bar owners with the impression they can let their patrons drink and drink until they are falling down drunk and are not liable for the consequences!

Not in this day and age.
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