Judge Dana and Judge Keith Cutler are perhaps one of our all-time favorite couples. If you haven’t seen them on television on their hit series, Couples Court with the Cutlers, you’re missing out! Not only have the Cutlers been together for over 30 years but together, they have surely built an empire. We had a chance to speak with America’s favorite law duo, The Cutlers. Trust us when we say you don’t want to miss this!
When did you both know that law would become such a big part of your lives?
As kids, we each wanted to grow up and become a lawyer. We knew that lawyers worked a lot of hours, helped people, and did things in the community. But neither of us anticipated that our careers would take off as they have done, with bar presidencies, national recognition, awards, and so forth. We were focused on the day-to-day grind of practicing law and representing clients. We looked up and the law had become an integral part our lives.
I see you are the first married couple to preside over a TV courtroom show. What made you all want to go through with this and combine love and law on television? And are you able to separate work from your personal lives?
The concept of using a husband-and-wife team as judges for a courtroom show was already in place by the time we were contacted. When we were asked if we would be interested in doing it, we weighed the pros and cons of getting into the entertainment business, and the impact it would have on our family, our law practice, and our lives in general. In the end, the concept was really intriguing to us and it seemed like it would be right in our wheelhouse – combining our years of experience as a couple with our years of experience as lawyers.
Couple’s Court features real people who are oftentimes going through very emotional and traumatic times in their lives and turning to you two for help. What is that responsibility like?
As lawyers, that is what we have done throughout our entire careers. Clients come to us with problems and crises, many times at a critical and emotional low point in their lives. They’re depending on us to use our skills and resources to provide solutions. That is what we do on Couples Court with the Cutlers as well. The couples appearing in our courtroom want us to use our experience as a couple, along with our legal training, to help them navigate through an extremely emotional situation to reach a resolution. It is a heavy responsibility and one which we do not take lightly.
Based on the situations you have witnessed in Couple’s Court, is there any advice you’d like to share with couples? Are there avoidable situations you see happening regularly?
Social media is great, it’s wonderful. It has enhanced all of our lives in ways we never imagined. But it also makes it so easy to reach out and “test the waters” a little bit and makes it so easy to get caught up in sticky situations and get caught. For the vast majority of the couples appearing in our courtroom, a huge part of their problems involve one person’s use (or misuse) of social media. What one person sees as harmless flirting, their partner sees as the initial stages of cheating. So, our advice to those in a relationship would be to keep your social media usage in check, chill out with sending half-naked pictures of yourself to people you meet online, let that ex remain in the past, and fully appreciate the person you’re with.
When you aren’t filming the show, what do your everyday lives look like?
When we are not taping, our everyday lives look very normal. We get up and go to work every day at our law firm; we grocery shop, go to the cleaners; we sweep, vacuum, do dishes; we hang out with friends, go to the movies, go to church. We pretty much do the same things that we have always done, and that most people do…and we watch Couples Court with the Cutlers!
Dana, you’re a wife, mother, TV personality, and one of the first African American women to be elected President of The Missouri Bar! Could you tell us what it’s like wearing so many hats? How do you balance it all and remain sane?
I don’t know that I truly balance it all, and the sanity part is up for debate. But I think, for me, I just try to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. I don’t really look at it like, “Wow, look how many hats I wear.” It’s more like, “Today, I need to get this done,” so I do it. “Tomorrow, I need to get this done,” so I do it. Also, it has been a tremendous blessing to have such great support from my better half, my family, and my law firm. There’s no way I could have done any of this without their support.
Keith, you were the first African American to be elected as the President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Young Lawyers Section; how would you describe the overall experience?
It was a very positive, memorable experience. Leading any organization has its challenges, of course; but overall, my tenure as President was great. I got to work with some wonderful people, some of whom have become my friends for life. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
You two have been together for over 30 years; what advice could you offer our audience? What do you believe is important in being able to have a relationship last as long as yours?
Having common values, common goals, and enjoying each other’s company. If you don’t like being around the other person, and you’re not going to the same place in life, that can be problematic for a relationship. Now, you may not always agree on how to get where you’re going, but if you can usually agree on where you’re going, and you enjoy being together while you’re trying to get there, the chances of having a long and wonderful relationship will be that much greater.
Couples Court with the Cutlers can be watched
nationwide; go to couplescourttv.com to find your local listings.
Featured Image: Orion Television | all images provided by BECK MEDIA & MARKETING