Let the record show that Judge Marilyn Milian returns to the courtroom of “The People’s Court” as the longest judge to preside over the highly rated courtroom series. Milian continues to resolve complicated cases with a no nonsense approach while offering sound legal knowledge to all of the litigants that appear before her. Milian’s mission is to peel back the layers of each case to uncover the truth. Reflecting on over a decade of dockets, Milian relishes the venue of small claims court acknowledging that for most litigants their case is not about the money but about the principle. As a result Milian often resorts to a little “rough justice” in determining the outcome of these emotionally charged cases.
Judge Milian is proud to be the first Latina Judge to host a nationally syndicated television court show. In the courtroom, Milian often uses phrases recalled from her Cuban grandmother when addressing litigants. Milian is awed by the history of “The People’s Court.” Milian fondly remembers watching the series with her fellow law students at Georgetown, “Everything stopped when the show was on. We all gathered around the television in the lounge and if you told me then that I would be sitting on the bench of ‘The People’s Court’ I would have said you were crazy.”
Judge Milian has enjoyed major media exposure including a appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Rachael Ray,” “Steve Harvey,” “Katie,” “Anderson Live,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “TMZ,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Judge Milian and her family appeared in the SKETCHERS “Nothing Compares to Family” advertising campaign in 2010. Judge Milian is a sought after legal expert appearing on many news outlets including FOX News, CNN and HLN. Milian is a sought-after interview subject and has been profiled in numerous publications, including a feature in The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Miami Herald, People, People en Espanol, Entertainment Weekly, InTouch, Elle, Vibe, Latina, Vanidades, Catalina Magazine, Florida International Magazine and Glamour, among others. In addition Judge Milian has appeared on several episodes of “George Lopez.”
Originally from Queens, NY, Milian moved to Miami with her family when she was eight years old. Milian received her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, where she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade average. She then attended Georgetown Law School, where she earned her law degree and graduated cum laude at the age of 23.
Milian spent a year working at Harvard Law School, where she served as director of training for the Guatemala Project. She was responsible for training the Guatemalan trial judiciary, defense and prosecution bar in investigatory and trial techniques.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Milian to the Miami Circuit Court in 1999, where she served in the Criminal Division. Prior to that, she spent five years in the Miami County Court in the Domestic Violence Court, Criminal and Civil divisions. She was appointed to the County Court by then-Governor Lawton Chiles. Before serving in the County Court, Milian worked from 1984 to 1994 as an Assistant State Attorney for the Dade County State Attorney’s Office, personally appointed by Janet Reno.
Judge Milian is involved in many community and philanthropic organizations. Milian was the 2010/2011 spokesperson for the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) campaign and an Embassador of South Florida’s After-School All-Stars program. She served on the Board of Judges for the Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund. Milian is a sought-after speaker well known for her dedication to the Hispanic community and a strong voice against domestic violence. Milian has served as emcee for countless charitable causes, including March of Dimes, The Lighthouse for the Blind, The Latino Commission on AIDS, The Miami-Dade County Teachers Awards, Hope for Vision, and the South Florida Children’s Home Society. She was an honorary host for National Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger’s annual celebration of the South Florida Inner-City Games. Milian and her family are actively involved in supporting Southern Florida’s Children’s Cancer Center’s Summer Camp, hosting “Camp Court” mock trials of camp counselors by the young campers.
Off the bench, Judge Milian leads a satisfying fun filled life with her husband John Schlesinger, a Circuit Court Judge, and their three school-aged daughters Cristina, Alexandra and Sofia. When asked how she balances it all, Milian relates to all working mothers, “You have so many plates in the air, all at once, you have to stand the sound of one breaking once in awhile.”