*Judge Patricia M. DiMango has become a national celebrity. With Tanya Acker and Michael Corriero, DiMango is one of three judges presiding on “Hot Bench,” the popular syndicated court show.
DiMango recently spoke exclusively with Michael Reel of Reel Urban News about the latest chapter in her life.
“Being on ‘Hot Bench’ is probably one of the most exciting things to happen to me in my life, other than becoming a judge.”
Judge DiMango, a former New York prosecutor, recalled, “I initially started off as a criminal court judge sitting in the lower court handling misdemeanor cases and from there I was ultimately led to the New York State Supreme Court where I handled major felony offenses.”
DiMango made her reputation by presiding over high-profile trials, often involving crimes against children and hate-crime murders.
DiMango was appointed as a judge in New York City’s criminal court system by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. DiMango was the first Italian-American woman to serve in that position. “Any time they label you as the first of something it truly is an honor to break through a barrier and pave the way for other individuals. Judgeships are not easy to get. Nominations for judgeships are not easy.
“When I was first appointed by Mayor Giuliani to the criminal court, there had been no other Italian-American woman to ever sit in all five boroughs in the criminal courts’ history and when I was elected to the Supreme Court Brooklyn Kings County there had never been an Italian-American woman nominated or elected for the position.
“Not only was I very proud, of course my parents were extremely proud, but the Italian-American community was really thrilled to see we had a representative on the bench – an Italian-American woman.”
Judge DiMango was ultimately appointed as Administrative Judge of the Supreme Court Criminal Term in Brooklyn. “I had no idea this is where my career would ultimately take me,” said the judge. “I was hoping to rise within the court system and became an administrative judge, which I ultimately did.”
Judge DiMango has gone from New York’s courts to presiding on “Hot Bench,” which upwards of 3.3 million viewers enjoy every weekday.
Judge DiMango enjoys her relationship with Acker and Corriero, with whom she served on the bench in New York City. “Judge Corriero I know from when I was a prosecutor in New York and of course Tanya Acker when I arrived here,” explained DiMango. “It’s just amazing how we have come together, individuals who respect each other’s opinions, we respect each other’s knowledge of the law and we rely on one another to help us reach what we hope is a fair and reasonable verdict.”
DiMango recently learned that appearing on “Hot Bench” is not all law and order. The three judges were recently immortalized with caricatures on the wall of New York’s swanky Palm restaurant. “Everybody who goes to the Palm is going to see us. Being on the bench is just being on the bench. I’ve done that. But this kind of lifestyle and notoriety – where can you get that other than a job like this? It’s just amazing.”