Judge Larry Seidlin, with his distinctive Bronx honk, down-to-earth approach and plain language, is as much a part of the show in Broward Circuit Court as the case he is presiding over.
Seidlin is hearing arguments over the status of the earthly remains of recently deceased tabloid fixture Anna Nicole Smith. But arguments over child custody and paternity have made their way into the courtroom.
Some legal observers, and even one of the participants, say Seidlin has allowed the proceedings to become a circus.
He bristled at that accusation Wednesday in court.
“Don’t use that term. It turns me off,” Seidlin scolded a lawyer. “There is no circus here, my friend. … There’s nothing circus. If you want to say circus, say circus equals attention.”
CNN’s senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin sharply criticized Seidlin for allowing lawyers to squabble for days followed by dramatic but marginally relevant testimony.
“This may be the most ridiculous legal proceeding I have ever watched,” Toobin said. “This judge is one of the least competent judges I have ever seen. He is letting this thing meander all over creation, mostly because he seems to enjoy being on television.”