April 3, 2012
2012 LECTURE SERIES JUDGE MABLEAN
Mrs. Mablean Deloris Ephriam was born on April 23, 1949. She served as the judge on the courtroom series, Divorce Court from 1999 to 2006. She was replaced by Judge Lynn Toler. On Divorce Court, Ephriam was humorous and usually had the audience laughing, with her noticeably quirky voice and shocked reactions, by the ex-couple's outrageous behavior. Since Lynn Toler has replaced Ephriam on Divorce Court, ratings for the court show have since dropped 20% for the 2006-2007 seasons. She made a short appearance in the film adaptation of the play Diary of a Mad Black Woman, portraying (fittingly) a judge. She also portrayed the same character in both Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes to Jail.
Ephriam is a native of Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Although she had never actually served as a judge before Divorce Court, she has had plenty of experience in and knowledge of the law. She started her law career as a correctional officer in the Women's Division of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She attended night classes at the Whittier Law School, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1978. In 1982, she opened her own law practice, dealing mainly with personal injury and family law cases. In 1999, when Divorce Court was revived, she was chosen to become the show's presiding judge.
Ephriam's trademark phrase on Divorce Court was "Look deep before you leap," advising would-be newlyweds to