Monday, September 30, 2013

Prepare For Your Date in Court

Amid all the clutter of last week's fall debuts, there was one debut you might not yet have caught, but might want to take note of:  the new syndicated half-hour daily courtroom show Paternity Court, and particularly its impressive judge, Lauren Lake.

Originally from Detroit, Lake was already an accomplished TV talking head -- you might have caught her on The View, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, etc. etc. etc -- by the time she co-founded the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network to foster positive portrayals of women.  She's been
featured all over the newsstand, in articles in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Essence and Jet, and in 2009 wrote a book, Girl! Let Me Tell You, to empower single women to strive for what they deserve.

All this to say that while some people seem to get afternoon shows just by virtue of being a celebrity mom -- ahem! -- Lake has a point of view and a mighty accomplished background.  Of course, as a TV judge, a gal also has to have the legal credentials -- and this one has many.  She earned her law degree at Wayne State University, and is a member of the New York, New Jersey and Michigan bars, with concentrations in family, criminal and entertainment law.  Now, Paternity Court combines all of her areas of expertise, as the feisty-yet-fair Lake, herself a mom, uses her sharp wit to help litigants resolve legal issues involving paternity using DNA results.

On the eve of the show's debut last week, Must Hear TV caught up with Lake to find out just how she plans on making her Court-room a place we all want to visit.

Must Hear TV:  Your background includes expertise in several different areas of law. What made you interested in paternity?

Lauren Lake:  I've been a practicing attorney for 18 years concentrating in family, entertainment and criminal law. I have represented families in disputes involving divorce, child custody, visitation, matrimonial and paternity. I am passionate about children and believe it is in their best interest to know who their parents are.

MHTV:  In the past, when we've seen the subject of paternity addressed in daytime TV, it has been on some of the cheesiest shows, where paternity testing is used for shock value, and to incite guests to arguments and violence. How will Paternity Court differ in its approach?

LL:  Paternity Court combines science with the law. We don't just use the DNA results for shock value. We use them as a tool to empower families with the truth. Additionally we add the legal component and I am able to counsel litigants on the legal rights and ramifications associated with those results and then help them figure out how to move forward in their lives. We also offer counseling to our families after each show and provide them with counseling resources in their home state.

MHTV:  What has been the most inspiring case you've encountered so far regarding paternity testing? What has been the most inspiring case you've encountered for the show?

LL:  I find most inspiring cases to be the ones where I see men come into the courtroom wanting desperately to be the father of a child. Our show is about more than "dead beat" dads. It's about helping men become better fathers and empowering families. I am also inspired by the courage of our litigants who come into our courtroom and share their shame and secrets in a quest for the truth and to break the cycle.

MHTV:  What advice would you give to a child who wonders about his or her true father, in terms of getting tested? What advice would you offer to a woman who wants to prove paternity? Or to a man?

LL:  I would advise them to be open about their concerns with all parties involved and voluntarily submit to a DNA test.

MHTV:  You must be familiar with the many "judge shows" currently on television. Is your own style of mediating similar to any of the judges we're familiar with from those shows?

LL:  We definitely respect the court shows that paved the way for us. I believe I am a blend of feisty and fair. But ultimately I am focused on empowering families to be better and stronger.

MHTV:  In the end, what message do you hope that Paternity Court will convey?

LL:  No matter the secret, shame or the struggle, honesty and truth are the tools you need to begin again.
A father's presence in a child's life is priceless. Knowing who we are and who we belong to should never be taken lightly or for granted.

Monday to Friday
Debuted September 23
Check your local listings for air times

No comments:

Post a Comment