Nothing is known about the judge's life before or as the outbreak started.
Carl and Sophia Grimes arrive to the hearing only to find a long line of people in front of the building. As the hearing begins, both Hershel and Carl make their cases before the judge. Hershel complains how he acquired the walkers at great expense for his show, and that Carl shouldn't be above the law because of his father. Carl explains his reaction, and tells those present that, while the dead might be a novelty to them, he remembers how dangerous they are. Carl doesn't regret what he did, and invites the people to punish him if they see fit, but forgive him if they, like him, believe that a world where the dead are entertainment isn't the one his father fought for. Before the judge can make a ruling, Maggie interrupts the hearing and briefly talks to the judge, after which the judge rules that Carl won't be punished, but must bring back a walker for Hershel on his next run to replace the walker he killed.