Did anyone else see today's episode of Judge Judy? The first case involved a someone hiring a "consultant," but I missed the name of the consultant and the publisher. The defendant was a "publishing consultant" who charged the plaintiff to help him "launch" his writing career. Even before he had found a publisher, she was talking about turning him into a "brand name," etc. What is a "publishing consultant"? Is that some kind of overpriced publicist, or is it a way of acting as an agent but charging a fee without actually being an agent? Sounds weird, whatever it was, and he paid $2,500 for what sounded like a lot of hooey.

The plaintiff is a psychiatrist who had written a book about one of his patients. He attended a "publishing event." While there, he met someone who told him she could help him get published. Besides her fee, she managed to get him to pay $5,000 to write a chapter in a book by a publisher he had never heard of. He was interested in doing so because celebs such as Dr. Phil were going to be in the book. (BTW she said it wasn't a fee; he was actually agreeing to buy 1,000 copies of the book. Riiight.) The trick, however, was that there were to be three other chapters by non-celebs like the plaintiff, and the defendant got a fee from each of them for the "privilege" of appearing in this book. It sounded like there was some kind of conflict of interest.

Dr. Judy did give the plaintiff a hard time for forking out all that money to write a chapter in a book by a publisher he'd never heard of, but she also raked the defendant over the coals quite a bit for not revealing all aspects of her agreements to the plaintiff.