TikTok sensation 'Judge Heela' offers expert conflict resolution advice

Brooklyn judge Heela Capell has found a huge following across multiple social media platforms, posting videos where she's giving guidance on successfully resolving conflicts without having to go to court to do so.

The basis of the guidance comes from years on the bench as a judge with Kings County courts.

"There's situations on the bench where you want to employ certain techniques, and sometimes you do have to run through things that might be helpful to both sides and different techniques," Capell said.

She adds, "I think that that's sort of the purpose of the videos, too, is that some of these techniques are not intuitive, and we don't see them everywhere. But if we hear it enough, if we hear the concept of active listening if we hear the concept of knowing you're why or being able to listen to the other person while staying in your own power, that sort of becomes innate after a while."

It was during the pandemic that the idea to connect with the public in a unique way came about.


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But Capell had to first get permission from the New York State Court system to ensure she was not violating judicial etiquette. She is currently a civil court judge in Brooklyn.

"I did contact ethics and get the okay before I ever started anything.  Sometimes people will ask me questions directly. What do I do about a situation like this? Their sibling, family, you know, definitely spouse and partner questions, child-parent questions," Capell said.

TikTok is where "Judge Heela" -- as she's known-- has attracted the largest audience. 200 posts and counting. All were recorded from her home. She says her family has been supportive of her social media celebrity, knowing she's simply trying to help others.

"Remember, as judges, we need facts from you and if you don't feel comfortable, and you don't think that we care, you're not going to give us what you need for us to make a decision for you that's in your best interest. So that was part of the mission as well," Capell said.