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Jim Harbaugh on 'Judge Judy': A Legal Post-Game Analysis

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on June 07, 2013 10:58 AM

In case you missed it, Jim Harbaugh appeared on "Judge Judy" this week, but he didn't get a word in. Instead, the San Francisco 49ers coach sat silently on the sidelines with his dad Jack -- in the front row, no less -- as his favorite TV judge laid down the law.

Judge Judy's version of the law, anyway.

Jim Harbaugh is a die-hard "Judge Judy" fan, as the NinersNation blog explains. Here's what he and his dad got to witness, and how Judge Judy called it in three game-changing moments from this week's show:

Friends with benefits? Eew.

The most dramatic reactions from both Judge Judy and Jim Harbaugh came after the litigants in the first case revealed they'd been "friends with benefits," allegedly since they were 12. The camera cut away to Harbaugh, who seemed to find it icky; Judge Judy, however, found it reason enough to question whether the lady's alleged "loan" to her former live-in guy friend should be repaid or forfeited. (A written and signed IOU may have helped.) It should also be noted that Judge Judy's latest book is a guide for unmarried grown-ups "living together with benefits." We're only guessing, but this probably includes a legally binding cohabitation agreement.

Fumble!

The defendant in the second case flippantly told Judge Judy, "I don't know about California law, but I know New York state law." (The show is taped in California.) Judge Judy smirked and replied that she too was from New York state, and she'd passed the bar in New York state. So don't go telling Judge Judy (or any other judge, for that matter) what the law is. Because in Judge Judy's court -- and because the show is technically an arbitration -- whatever she says, goes. (Unless it's outside the scope of whatever the participant agreed to in his reality TV show/arbitration contract, but that's only ever happened once.)

Evidence fail.

Note to future "Judge Judy" litigants: If you claim a live-in ex-con boyfriend stole your stuff (and your friend's stuff too), as the guy from New York insisted was the case, then file a police report and bring it with you to court. A police report -- which can later be revised, if needed -- is often crucial in Judge Judy's courtroom, and in real life, to prove that something bad happened to you. And as seen in this case, failure to file a police report when you're claiming stuff was stolen can prove to be a losing strategy.

While Jim Harbaugh's "Judge Judy" cameos were brief (the coach got several close-ups, but he was never identified on TV), he also got to "have a nice lunch" with Judge Judith Sheindlin, and played cards with her in her chambers ("She won," Harbaugh said). You can hear more from Harbaugh in this clip from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area:

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