A multi-faceted woman, Cristina Perez is a successful lawyer, Emmy-winning television personality, radio host, entrepreneur/business owner, national author and columnist, and devoted mother and wife. The daughter of Colombian immigrants, Cristina was born in New York. Growing up, she lived in many areas ranging from one of the poorest neighborhoods of New York City, to the big city of Guadalajara, Mexico, to the border town of San Ysidro, California to Hartford, Connecticut, and then back to California, which she has now called home for over twenty years.
As a young girl, Cristina was exposed to all walks of life and cultures. She watched her parents struggle with racism, finances, and adapting to the U.S. culture with a foreign language. Cristina learned to speak English around the age of 10 and mastered both languages. She credits her family’s guidance and desire to remain close to their heritage and culture for her personal and professional achievements.
In 2006, Cristina made her English-language television debut on Twentieth Television’s first-run syndicated “Cristina’s Court.” In its debut year, “Cristina’s Court” became the second highest-rated new show in U.S. syndication. In 2008, “Cristina's Court” won the first-ever Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Legal/Court Show. In 2009, “Cristina’s Court” won a second consecutive Emmy Award in the same category. The Emmy wins are the first-ever for a FOX daytime show.
Cristina brings to her show a fresh way of connecting with people. Cristina is the ultimate crossover host, who while being a hip, professional, multicultural woman, always seeks to introduce traditional values into the lives of people young and old. Consequently, she appeals to young and old audiences everywhere.
With a passion for law, family and culture, Cristina was the first television judge ever to crossover from Spanish-language to Englishlanguage television. In contrast to her tough persona, Cristina doesn’t wear “rubber gloves” in her courtroom. She has the unique ability to connect with her litigants on a very warm and personal level by sharing her wisdom, background and moral beliefs with everyone who stands before her.
“Cristina’s Court” consists of small claims cases but focuses on conflicts and legal arguments between celebrities, families, couples and other relationships in turmoil, including friendships, business partnerships and relationships between co-workers.
Cristina is also known as the enormously popular host of the Spanish language television program “La Corte de Familia” (Family Court) which aired nationally and internationally in fifteen countries on the Telemundo Television Network/NBC (2000-2005). Cristina was the first female Judge-Actress to air on a nationally syndicated Spanish network series.
The program appealed to viewers of all ages. The show was the second highest rated daytime Spanish language program in the U.S. The show re-enacted the courtroom drama offamily law related claims.
Cristina made her television debut on the program “La Corte Del Pueblo” (People's Court), which aired locally in Los Angeles on KHWY Channel 22 (1999-2000). The successful show re-enacted general small claim matters and allowed, for the first time, cameras to enter the judicial arena and bring the drama of legal battles to the Spanish language viewer.
Cristina utilized “La Corte de Familia” and “La Corte del Pueblo” as vehicles to raise consciousness in the Latino community. The success of each show lied on the fact that each celebrated the strength of culture and the importance of family. It also reminded viewers, of all ages and ethnicity, not to forfeit their culture and the great lessons learned from our ancestors to make it in the United States. It is reliance on these lessons which she believes are key ingredients to become successful in life.
Cristina believes that quality advice is one of the most valuable gifts any parent can give to their child. Cristinaturns to her parent’s wisdom every day by reflecting on the dichos (proverbs) that were passed down to her. In her debut book Living By Los Dichos (Simon & Schuster/Atria), Cristina shares those that have most powerfully influenced her life. Anyone who is looking for guidance – whether they are about to leave home for college or are about to get married – will find what they are looking for in this book. Dichos transcend age, race, and religion to provide just the right answer at just the right time.
Cristina shows how proudly embracing your roots and staying true to your identity will guide you down the right track.Dichos have directed Cristina through her toughest challenges and led her to success.
Armed with the life changing lessons learned from her parents, Cristina is a leader in the communityand is committed to community awareness. Cristina has worked to make a difference in her community on every scale. She is an active member and leader of several community and legal organizations.
Cristina frequently lectures and speaks at seminars sponsored by public/community associations, law schools and professional organizations. She is also frequently featured on radio and television shows. Cristina serves as a Special Host on the nationally syndicated show “Conexion Thalia” (ABC Radio Networks), co-host of weekly segment “Sex In The News” (Playboy Radio, “Afternoon Advice,”Sirius Ch. 198) and served as a weekly Attorney Co-Host on Radio UNIVISION and W-RADIO 690 AM in Los Angeles, California.
In 2007, Cristina was named as one of America’s ten most inspirational women (Siempre Mujer magazine; special introduction by Hillary Clinton). She is currently the Los Angeles County BarAssociation Spokesperson for the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (a position formerly held by Judge Wapner) and was the 70th Anniversary Honorary Chairperson for the Lawyer Referral and Information Service. In 2005, Cristina was selected as a California’s “Woman of the Year” for her community activities and was named one of America’s top 10 “Latina Advocates,” for making the world a better place for women and Latino’s rights, by the national magazine LATINO LEADERS (National Magazine of the Successful American Latino).
In March 2010, Cristina's second book "It's All About the Woman Who Wears It: 10 Laws for being smart, successful, and sexy too" was released by Celebra/Penguin Books. The book draws upon Cristina's personal set of "laws" which address universal issues that women struggle with such as finding strength in oneself, relationship matters, taking risks,balancing career and family, and learning to live with your decision. Cristina uses personal stories and real cases from her show 'Cristina's Court' to help describe the ten laws.
Cristina received a Juris Doctor degree from Whittier Law and two Bachelors of Arts degrees from UCLA. She is the founding partner of Perez Gonzalez, A Professional Law Corporation. The law firm specializes in counseling clients in areas of corporate/business and civil law as well as professional immigration and nationality Law. She and her family reside in Los Angeles.
Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
• Board of Trustees, Trustee, Padres Contra el Cancer, 2004-present
• Chair, Curriculum Center, American Immigration Law Foundation, 2006
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