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As Professor Reuben told NPR, “The private judge’s decision is technically just a recommendation, although that recommendation is almost always accepted by the court.”The points to one celebrity whose public image might have been saved had she hired a private judge: Paula Deen, the celebrity chef whose empire crumbled, P.
Interestingly enough, Pitt used this same secret weapon in 2005, while divorcing Jennifer Aniston.
The two hired Jill Robbins—who practiced family law for 14 years and is one of many California judges to trade the exhausting, public sector for the lucrative, private alternative in the past 25 years.
Although private judges typically charge more per hour—from $300 to $1,000—the streamlined divorce process with a private judge means clients might pay less in the long run than what they would pay in legal fees for a protracted public hearing.
The private-judge hearings are also less expensive for the public—as clients rather than taxpayers pay for private judges.
The big difference is that it happens in private.”Robbins, who decided Pitt and Aniston’s divorce, wrote a report explaining that private judges “are a by-product of the myriad difficulties practitioners and litigants face in accessing an overwhelmed judicial system.” Private judges are arranged by attorneys, and the price is split evenly between clients.