Who Is Judge Mills Lane?

It's not likely that Judge Mills Lane is intimidated by many people that come before him on his television courtroom.

It's not likely that Judge Mills Lane is intimidated by many people who come before his television courtroom. He's a former Marine and NCAA Welterweight Boxing Champion. As a boxing referee, he oversaw 101 championship matches. He was the referee that disqualified Mike Tyson is his heavyweight championship match for biting the ear of Evander Holyfield.

Judge Lane said on his website that he "still gets a kick out of the excitement that is generated by a big fight, rubbing elbows with those who I consider to be some of the greatest athletes in the world."

When he was younger, it may have not looked to those who knew him that Lane would become a judge or box. His grandfather founded the largest bank in Georgia. His father owned an 1,100 acre plantation, and Lane could have had his choice of either career.

He had other ideas. After joining the Marines he won the welterweight championship before being honorably discharged. In 1960 he won the NCAA championship and barely missed the Olympic team. His amateur record was 60-4.

After being paid $10 to referee a collegiate match, he discovered he liked that as well.

A man with more than one interest, Lane graduated from Utah's College of Law in 1970. He worked for the Washoe County District Attorney's Office as a trial prosecutor. He became a deputy sheriff in 1979 and was elected District Attorney in 1982 and District Judge in 1990.

He carried his tough, no nonsense attitude he may have obtained from boxing into his legal career. Judge Lane was nicknamed "Maximum Mills" for his tough penalties. He has carried that attitude into his television courtroom. The show debuted April 30, 1998.

"There is a right," Lane said. "There is a wrong, and each of us has choices... On this show we will always reward people who make the right choice."

Lane always has a way of getting to the bottom of the matter. One show a woman sued a neighbor for allowing her dog to be attacked by the neighbor's dog. Judge Lane asked the neighbor if the plaintiff's dog had been on a leash, if that would have stopped the attack. She admitted it might not have.

"Ladies, I want to be able to call you ladies," he admonished both litigants.

Judge Lane doesn't have much patience with those who don't give their best.

"I'm old," he said on his website. "I'm bald, and I'm short, not only in stature, but also in patience with those unwilling to give their best effort. And I'm not talking about boxing. Life's nothing but one continuous battle from start to finish."

The plaintiff was awarded $318 for an attack.

Judge Lane has been profiled in "People," "Sports Illustrated," and was in a story in "Esquire" of the "100 Best People."

His website also has a boxing game, called, "Let's Get It On," which allows people to safely take out their frustrations.

Maybe everyone could learn from Judge Lane's attitude of never giving up in life from start to finish.

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