Judge Marilyn Milian commands control of the courtroom, resolving complicated cases with a straightforward approach and offering sound legal knowledge to all of the litigants that appear before her. Milian gets to the heart of each case to determine the underlying issues and uncover the truth. She describes herself as a "human lie detector" and will admonish a lying litigant when necessary: "I wouldn't believe you if your tongue came notarized."
The first Latina judge to host a nationally syndicated television court show, Judge Milian is proud of her Cuban heritage and often uses phrases from her grandmother when addressing litigants. Milian is awed by the history of The People's Court. She fondly remembers watching the series with her fellow law students at Georgetown: "Everything stopped when the show was on. We all gathered around the television in the lounge, and if you told me then that I would be sitting on the bench of 'The People's Court,' I would have said you were crazy."
Milian is a sought-after interview subject and has been profiled in numerous publications, including features in The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Miami Herald, People, People en Español, Entertainment Weekly, InTouch, Elle, Vibe, Latina, Vanidades, Catalina Magazine, Florida International Magazine and Glamour, among others. In addition, she has appeared on several episodes of George Lopez.
Originally from Queens, New York, Milian moved to Miami with her family when she was eight years old. Milian received her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, where she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade average. She then attended Georgetown Law School, where she earned her law degree and graduated cum laude at the age of 23.
Of Cuban descent, Milian is fluent in Spanish. She spent a year working at Harvard Law School, where she served as director of training for the Guatemala Project. She was responsible for training the Guatemalan trial judiciary, defense, and prosecution bar in investigatory and trial techniques.
In 1999, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Milian to the Miami Circuit Court, where she served in the criminal division. Prior to that, she spent five years in the Miami County Court in the domestic violence court, criminal, and civil divisions. She was appointed to the County Court by then-Governor Lawton Chiles. Before serving in the County Court, Milian worked from 1984 to 1994 as an Assistant State Attorney for the Dade County State Attorney's Office, personally appointed by Janet Reno.
Judge Milian is active in many community and philanthropic organizations. Milian is the spokesperson for the FBI's Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) campaign and a board member of South Florida's After-School All-Stars program. She served on the 2008 Board of Judges for the Talbots Women's Scholarship Fund. Milian is a sought-after speaker, well-known for her dedication to the Hispanic community, and a strong voice against domestic violence. She has served as emcee for countless charitable causes, including The Lighthouse for the Blind, The Latino Commission on AIDS, The Miami-Dade County Teachers Awards, Hope for Vision, and the South Florida Children's Home Society. She was an honorary host for National Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger's annual celebration of the South Florida Inner-City Games. Milian is actively involved in supporting Southern Florida's Children's Cancer Center's Summer Camp, hosting "Camp Court" mock trials of camp counselors by the young campers.
Out of the courtroom, Judge Milian leads a hectic life with her husband, John Schlesinger, a Circuit Court Judge, and their three daughters, Cristina, Alexandra, and Sofia. When asked how she balances it all, Milian relates to all working mothers: "You have so many plates in the air, all at once, you have to stand the sound of one breaking once in awhile."