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The Miami-Dade Circuit Court seems to have become a prime location for TV talent scouts. First, it was Judge Marilyn Milian, who became a celebrity after being approached by NBC producers in 2001 to take over the “The People’s Court.” Now, Judge Alex E. Ferrer, the associate administrative judge in the court’s criminal division, is answering the scouts’ call. Ferrer was contacted by 20th Television Inc., the domestic syndication unit of Fox Entertainment Group. The company wants to develop a new court show and air it for the fall 2005 season. The show, whose name has yet to be determined, would feature Ferrer presiding mostly over small claims disputes. The show brings with it a career change for Ferrer, 44, who decided last week to withdraw his application for a vacant seat on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami. Ferrer will be dividing his life between his family in Miami and a production in another city, possibly New York or Houston. The location has yet to be determined. Ferrer seems unfazed by the prospect of commuting hundreds of miles to work. “I do not make changes just to make changes. I make changes because I think they are worth making,” he said. “And this is one that I am absolutely thrilled about.” The Cuban-born judge came to the United States with his family when he was 10 months old. At 19, he joined the Coral Gables Police Department. He worked full-time as a police officer while attending college and law school. After receiving his law degree, he worked as an attorney, specializing in civil litigation. He handled commercial, personal injury, medical malpractice defense and wrongful death cases. At age 34, he was elected to the bench, becoming the youngest circuit court judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit. He kept the designation for about five years, until Milian became a Miami-Dade circuit judge. Ferrer said that many things attracted him to the TV offer, among them the educational and entertaining value of the shows. “The courts-show genre is probably the most vibrant one in daytime television. It continues to do well. I think people like the educational side, but they also like to see justice done,” Ferrer said. “I think people have an innate sense that justice should be done. and they like to watch that to happen.” For producers, Ferrer embodies all of the necessary ingredients to make a successful court show. He has “a commanding presence and charisma, an expanding knowledge of law, well-defined values, on-camera experience and a no nonsense approach to his rulings,” said Robb Dalton, president of programming and development at 20th Television, which also distributes TV courtroom shows, “Divorce Court” and “Texas Justice.” “Life is full of decisions, and if you want to sit back and not take any risks, well, you can do that in life. It is a risk-reward type of analysis. You look at what your risk is and you look at what the possible and potential benefits are,” Ferrer said. “When I looked at it, I said, ‘You know, I don’t think I am going to fail.’”

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