The surprising strategy Judge Judy used to negotiate her $47 million salary

This is how Judge Judy became one of the highest-paid stars on daytime TV

Judy Sheindlin, more commonly known as "Judge Judy," is a force to be reckoned with, and not just in the courtroom.

According to a transcript obtained by The Hollywood Reporter of testimony given as part of a lawsuit filed against CBS in 2016, the TV judge takes a no nonsense approach to getting what she wants.

In fact, she says that she achieved her stunning annual $47 million salary by refusing to engage in salary negotiations with CBS executives and simply stating what she wants. Sheindlin detailed how every three years, she sits down for a renegotiation with the network, and brings an envelope that contains a card with her demands written on it.

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"We go to the Grill on the Alley with the president of the company," she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We sit across the table, and I hand him the envelope and I say, 'Don't read it now, let's have a nice dinner. Call me tomorrow. You want it, fine. Otherwise, I'll produce it myself.' That's the negotiation."

Understanding the unique value that she brings to the table, Sheindlin makes no apologies for demanding the salary she deserves.

"They pay me the money that they do because they have no choice," she says. "They can't find another one. They've tried to find another Judy."

And this Judy is of the highest paid stars on daytime TV. The New York Post reports that Sheindlin's show airs 260 original episodes per yer, is sold internationally in 150 countries and brought in $244.7 million in ad revenue for CBS in 2016. Most recently, the 70-year-old sold her entire 10,400 show archive back to CBS for roughly $95 million. As a result, CBS now has the option to sell the show to streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.

Judge Judy
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Sheindlin's method of proving her worth, rather than negotiating around it, is precisely what personal finance expert Ramit Sethi says he would advise any professional looking to increase their salary to do.

"It's easy to tell your boss you've done great work and that you deserve a raise," writes Sethi. "But when you actually prove it — and explain how your work translates into more profit or savings for the company — you'll instantly grab your boss' attention."

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