Order in the court! Hot Bench is ready to head back to trial with the returning judge Michael Corriero, as well as new comers Rachel Juarez, and Yodit Tewolde as season nine gets underway. In the series, produced by Judge Judy‘s Judge Judy Sheindlin, the trio preside over small-claim cases before delivering a verdict to the plaintiffs and defendants — as well as viewers at home. Michael, Rachel and Yodit shared what’s in store for the nail-biting new season, including what they’re most “excited” about in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.
“I believe we have an opportunity to attract an even wider audience with the addition of Judges Tewolde and Juarez,” Michael shared with HL about his new colleagues. “Their personalities and experience reflect the freshness of youth, each with their own distinctive voice and perspective which influences the tone of the show, presenting an exciting new dynamic,” the Manhattan native added.
“What makes Hot Bench ‘Hot’ is the peppering of the litigants with tough questions in order to get at the truth in a dispute. In the new Hot Bench, the judges are free at the end of the first round of questioning to jump in with residual questions without abiding by any strict order,” he explained about what makes this season juicier than any other.
Rachel and Yodit fill the seats previously held by former cast members Tanya Acker and Patricia DiMango. Before joining the show, Yodit had previously put her legal knowledge to use as host onThe Grio TV’s Making The Case, along with being a contributor on America’s Most Wanted and Court TV. Her resume outside of TV is also stacked, having served as a law clerk in the 19th Judicial District Court and working as an Assistant District Attorney with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
“The law chose me. I’m an advocate at heart. I’ve always rooted for the underdog, something I inherited from my parents. There’s no better way to advocate for those without a voice than knowing the law,” she said to HL, adding why she wanted to join Hot Bench.
“It’s the perfect blend of all the experiences I’ve had in the legal field, from prosecutor to defense work, to media, I’m able to provide a unique perspective to the bench, but more importantly, educate the viewers,” Yodit — who is mom to her one-year-old golden doodle, Miles — shared.
Like Yodit, law was also a lifelong goal for Rachel. “I wanted to be a lawyer from the time I was very young – about six years old…I loved the idea of taking a set of facts and putting them together in just the right way – into a ‘story’,” she recalled.
The busy mom-of-three also shared why she was so thrilled to join Hot Bench. “As my career has progressed, my favorite thing about being a lawyer has become the opportunity to learn new things. Not about the law, but about life and the world around us,” she said to HL. “Hot Bench takes that to the extreme – we get cases about everything one could imagine – palm trees, hair extensions, motorcycles, tattoos – you name it.”
Hot Bench season 9 is airing now — check local listings.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.