By Rose J. Reeder
Sunday night on "Hot Talk" Hot 105 FM in South Florida, Professor Chief Jimmie Brown hosted a special guest with exciting news to share with the South Florida community. For several months there was a buzz about a pending opportunity for another judge to gain television fame with their own show. This news became official approximately two weeks ago.
The Honorable Karen Mills-Francis will star in her own court TV show called "Judge Karen". Having inked a Sony Pictures television contract with 90% of the show sold in the US market(s), "Judge Karen" will debut this fall.
Mills-Francis is currently a county court judge. In 2000, she became the second black woman in Florida's Miami-Dade County to run for judge and beat the incumbent administrative judge. She retained her seat in 2006 against opposition while four judges lost their seats that year.
Mills-Francis is the first Black judge from the South Florida area to have a nationally syndicated show. "Judge Karen" will hear small claim matters and will air on the same channel as Judge Hatchett and Miami's own Judge David Young.
Judge Mills-Francis' last day to hold court in Miami-Dade County is May 23, 2008.
Born and raised in Miami, Mills-Francis graduated from Miami Northwestern High School. She earned her undergraduate degree at Bowdin College in Brunswick, Maine and got her law degree from the University of Florida. Judge Karen is also the cousin of and grew up with Chief Jimmie Brown's wife, Michelle.
Mills-Francis did her tour of duty with the Miami-Dade public defender's office before going into private practice. Early in her career, Mills-Francis became a certified foster parent and has cared for foster children in her home. She also volunteered her services to the guardian ad litem program and continues to mentor children in foster care. She has served as a role model for "at risk youth" in the Miami area.
Mills-Francis has a reputation in the legal community for being smart, running a tight ship and using humor to put people at ease.
Mills-Francis shared with the "Hot Talk" listeners that she will start filming in New York the end of May. She estimates she will be in New York 8 weeks out of the year with Miami as her base. She did not yet know which South Florida television stations picked up her show but Chief Brown will share that information with Hot Talk listeners as soon as it becomes available.
We look forward to the debut of "Judge Karen" and watching her "do her thing" on national television.