Another Miami judge is about to join the ranks of television’s celebrity judges. Thanks to the recommendation of Judge David Young, a former Miami judge with his own televised courtroom show, Sony Pictures will debut the Judge Karen show this fall on either CBS4 or My33.
Judge Karen Mills-Francis, or Judge Karen, as she is fondly called by friends and family members, is a Miami-Dade County judge who has sat on the bench for over seven years. The
show, produced by Sony Pictures, is described as bringing “edgy justice and flair to daytime court television.”
With her blonde hair and affinity for jewelry and well put together outfits, Mills-Francis’ syndicated court show is slated to premiere Sept. 8.
Young, an openly gay judge who landed a show because of his flamboyant personality, is a respected Miami-Dade County judge who served as an assistant state attorney under Janet Reno. Young’s own courtroom show premiered Sept. 10, 2007 to American and Canadian audiences.
While in preparation for his premiere, Young advised the Sony executives to take a look at his fashionable and outspoken colleague. From then on, it’s been a whirlwind ride for the judge who said she is “old enough to know better, but too young to care.”
Mills-Francis, whose roots come from Miami Beach, got her start as a public defender in the juvenile sector. Seeing the same youth day after day and knowing that they didn’t have any place to call home, she opened up her home to many children to help them get their lives in order.
“I believe mother is more than a noun,” she said. “It’s also a verb.”
Mills-Francis has also used her maternal skills to guide adult defendants in her courtroom.
“I believe I have a multicultural perspective on things that has helped me to interact with many different people” said the judge who is fluent enough in Spanish to travel to Argentina, Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico without the use of an interpreter.
Mills-Francis’ multicultural approach to justice and her upbringing in hugely diverse Miami just may set her apart from other television court judges.
Mills-Francis said she hopes to be the kind of TV judge who calls things like she sees them while holding people accountable for their actions. Chief among her courtroom goals is compelling people to be better and do better for themselves.
When Mills-Francis isn’t bringing justice to the masses, she does her part working with several child advocacy programs, including the Whyspers Program for Girls, The Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) Program, the 5000 Role Models Program, the Roving Leaders Program, and the North Miami Athletic Program for boys.
“My ultimate goal in life is to be remembered a hundred years from now,” Mills-Francis said. “I want it to be said that I had a lasting impact on people.”
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Judge Karen Mills-Francis