Court Rules Against Judge Alex

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against the star of the syndicated TV show "Judge Alex," saying that an arbitrator must decide a fee dispute with an attorney who is claiming 12 percent of "Judge Alex's" earnings.

The 8-1 decision came in a lawsuit by Alex E. Ferrer, a former Florida Circuit Court judge who decides minor civil disputes as a form of TV entertainment.

Ferrer refused to pay a management fee to Arnold Preston after the two men had signed a contract that called for arbitration of any disputes.

Ferrer says Preston is not a licensed talent agent as California law requires.

Preston sought the money by starting a proceeding with the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles. Ferrer filed a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, seeking to invalidate the contract for the fees. Ferrer went to court when the labor commissioner said she lacked the power to block the arbitration.

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