Fabulosity, Judicial Divas, Lawyerly Lairs, Money, Real Estate, Reality TV, Television

Lawyerly Lairs: Judge Judy Parts With Pricey Pied-à-Terre

Judge Judy makes partners look like paupers.

Don’t pee on her leg and tell her it’s raining (affiliate link). Instead, relieve yourself inside the powder room of Judge Judy’s former pied-à-terre.

Maybe it has a gold-plated urinal? If it doesn’t, it should. Isn’t $8.5 million for two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms a bit steep?

Also steep: the $17,411 a month in common charges. That’s right, common charges, maintenance — not the mortgage, not the real estate taxes.

But the Honorable Judith Sheindlin, better known as “Judge Judy,” can afford it. How much does she make a year? And just how fabulous is this judicial diva’s former courtroom in the sky?

Some player haters might try to dismiss Judge Judy as a mere entertainer, but she actually has real-world legal chops. After graduating from New York Law School and passing the New York bar exam, Judith Sheindlin worked in-house at a cosmetics company, served as a prosecutor, and spent more than a decade as a state court judge, hearing both criminal and family-court cases.

After publishing a bestselling book and retiring as a family court judge, Judge Sheindlin became “Judge Judy,” in September 1996. Her show became a huge success, and her compensation grew accordingly. According to the latest Am Law 100 rankings, average profits per partner at Wachtell Lipton, the most lucrative Biglaw firm, clock in at just under $5 million a year. Judge Judy reportedly earns nine times as much — a cool $45 million, up from an earlier $15 million.

And she’s not just rich; she’s also respected. As we recently noted, Judge Judy ranked #28 on a list of the most trustworthy celebrities. The nine sitting members of the U.S. Supreme Court came in between #36 and #88.

The Sherry-Netherland, at 781 Fifth Avenue.

Let’s focus on her riches. Judge Judy recently sold her magnificent Manhattan apartment for a profit, as reported by the New York Observer:

Her Honor (the woman, not the woman’s 150-foot yacht) picked up the two-bedroom co-op on the 11th floor of 781 Fifth Avenue back in 2009, paying $6.75 million. It was a healthy discount off the nearly $8 million ask — and a massive break from the original $15 million price tag the co-op was sporting back in 2008. But what goes around comes around and Judge Judy also got less than she wanted, settling for $8.5 million though she was originally asking $9 million….

The unit is sited on the “most desriable southwest corner” of the tower, according to the listing (the notoriously tight-lipped Corcoran Group — we consider ourselves lucky to get a no comment — brokered the sale; Deborah Grubman and David Dubin had the exclusive) and boasts two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a small accessory room on the tenth floor. (Official documents classify the 6.75-foot by 15-foot room as a maid’s room, but the listing, perhaps bowing to New Yorkers’ declining interest in live-in help, calls it “storage/home office with a full bath.”)

That room sounds nice enough. Being Judge Judy’s personal assistant counts as employed after graduation, right?

But Judge Judy, during her time in the building, probably didn’t need much household help. Because apartments at 781 Fifth Avenue are housed inside the Sherry-Netherland, a full-service hotel, residents have access to such amenities as twice-daily maid service and the concierge desk. The abundant services explain the sky-high monthly maintenance — and are a big draw for celebrity residents like Judge Judy and famed litigator David Boies, who bought an $8 million apartment a few years ago.

Now let’s take a look at the apartment that Judge Judy just sold (to Bernard and Joan Spain, successful businesspeople turned philanthropists)….

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