Hot Bench Judges

Who are the Hot Bench Judges?

Hot Bench Show is a modern court show presided by Judge Michael Corriero, Judge Rachel Juarez, Judge Yodit Tewolde, and Bailiff Sonia Montejano.

The show launched on September 15 2014 with Judge Judy Sheindlin as the producer. As of September 2022, the show has had over 1530 episodes and 9 seasons.

Normally, litigants appear on the show with their cases after dropping their actual lawsuits where the three judges act as an arbitral tribunal. The judges dispute the merits of the case between themselves and later render a verdict.

Hot Bench Judges Cast

The cast of Hot Bench consists of Bailiff Sonia Montejano, Judges Michael Corriero, Rachel Juarez, and Yodit Tewolde.

Judge Michael Corriero

Michael Corriero joined the Hot Bench program in 2016 replacing Judge Larry Bakman. Michael is the chief judge of The Hot Bench show.

Before joining Hot Bench, Judge Michael Corriero was a prosecutor in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Frank Hoganas. Frank was a criminal defense attorney and judge in New York.

For 16 years, he presided over Manhattan’s Youth Part, a special court he established in the New York State Supreme Court to focus attention and scarce resources on young offenders prosecuted as adults under New York State’s Juvenile Offender Law.

Judge Michael Corriero
Judge Michael Corriero

The Youth Part, led by Judge Corriero, established a model for mobilizing and coordinating therapeutic and social resources for minors convicted in adult courts. He left the bench in 2008 to become the Executive Director of “Big Brothers Big Sisters” in New York City.

In 2010, he established the New York Center for Juvenile Justice to “promote a comprehensive model of justice for minors that treats children as children and responds to their misconduct with strategies designed to improve their chances of becoming constructive members of society.”

Michael Corriero graduated from St. John’s University College with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in social science. He is an alumnus of St. John’s University School of Law.

Judge Rachel Juarez

Judge Rachel joined Hot Bench in the fall of 2022 in its ninth season.

Rachel Juarez has participated in a number of high-profile cases during the early stages of her career. She has represented high-profile clients such as Samsung, Google, Trust Trust Company of the West (TCW), and Mattel among others.

In 2016 Judge Rachel co-founded a family law practice that focuses on representing high-net-worth and high-income individuals in difficult divorce and other family law disputes.

Juarez was appointed as a Temporary Judge by the Los Angeles County Superior Court Temporary Judge Program after several years of managing her own legal company.

Before joining Hot Bench, Judge Rachel was a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s President’s Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession.

Judge Yodit Tewolde

Judge Yodit Tewolde joined Hot Bench in the fall of 2022 together with Judge Rachel replacing Judges Patricia Dimango and Tanya Acker. She is a well-known criminal defense attorney with her legal expertise has been featured on many tv stations.

Judge Tewolde previously hosted “Making the Case,” a nightly criminal justice show on BNC, (now The Grio TV). As she is not new to court and legal shows, Tewolde was the perfect match for Hot Bench judge.

Tewolde was a morning anchor for Court Tv as well as a host-contributor on “America’s Most Wanted”. She frequently appears on Fox News, CNN,  HLN, and MSNBC to provide legal analysis on well-known legal cases.

Yodit Tewolde
Hot Bench Judge Yodit Tewolde (SRC; Instagram)

Tewolde graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Communications. She has a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty.

Bailiff Sonia Montejano

Sonia Montejano is the bailiff for the Emmy-nominated court show Hot Bench.

She went to California State University Los Angeles and later graduated from Rio Hondo Police Academy when she was 21 years old.

Her strong sense of justice and gender equality led her to begin her law enforcement career at the Los Angeles County Marshal’s Department. She retired from LASD after serving for nearly 20 years most recently as Senior Deputy.

While she was Senior Deputy, she became involved in various courthouse operations at the Beverly Hills Courthouse where producers of “Judge Joe Brown” noticed her. Montejano was the Bailif of Judge Joe Brown show until its end in 2013.

Hot Bench Salary 2023

Hot Bench Judges
Hot Bench Judges Rachel Juarez, Michael Corriero, and Yodit Tewolde

According to various reports, the judges on Hot Bench are paid according to their experience, expertise, and rank. As the panelists are real judges and attorneys, the Hot Bench judges earn a salary ranging between $110, 000 to $180, 000 annually.

Hot Bench Judges Spouses

  • Michael Corriero – N/A
  • Yodit Tewolde – N/A
  • Rachel Juarez – Rob
  • Sonia Montejano – Hector

Hot Bench Judges’ Age (2023)

  • Michael Corriero – (78-79 years old, 1943)
  • Yodit Tewolde – 40 years old, December 10, 1982
  • Rachel Juarez – (btwn 40-50 years)
  • Sonia Montejano – 56 years old, June 5, 1966

Hot Bench Previous Judges


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