The cases shown on Judge Judy are arbitrations, not litigations, but they are real, and the decisions made on the show are legally binding.
Judge Judy is not Judith Sheindlin’s first entry into the television space, and it will certainly not be her last.
However, Judge Judy may always be her most popular show. There are many aspects about the show that may be different from what viewers expect, but the cases are real, Judge Judy really is a judge, and her decisions are legally binding.
About Judge Judy’s shows
There is no denying that Judith Sheindlin, or as fans know her, Judge Judy, is a formidably accomplished woman.
Judge Judy made her first debut on a television show during a 60 Minutes segment, and it did not take long for her to get her very own show after that.
Judge Judy aired its first episode in 1996 and concluded in 2021. However, this is not where Judge Judy’s television ventures end.
In addition to starring in her own Judge Judy show, she is also the producer of another courtroom television show called Hot Bench.
This show has been on the air since 2014 and Sheindlin has recently agreed to a new venture with the rebranded Amazon Freevee for her new shows, Judy Justice and Tribunal.
Is Judge Judy real?
Judy Sheindlin may have many other ventures outside of her original show, but Judge Judy remains one of the most well-renowned syndicated court shows to this day.
In fact, the show proved to be so popular that a Reader’s digest pole from 2013 determined that Americans trusted Judge Judy more than they trusted any of the United States Supreme Court judges at the time.
Part of what makes Judge Judy so entertaining to watch is Judge Judy’s straightforward and witty remarks during the hearings in every episode.
Furthermore, even though this is what attracted so many fans to the show initially, it is also what has made so many viewers sceptical of whether the show is real or not.
Fortunately for fans of the show, its tagline : “The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final” rings true for the most part.
The most important things to consider about most courtroom television shows are that they are not real courtrooms and that they feature arbitrations, not trials.
However, with that in mind, Judge Judy practiced as a judge for many years in real life before she retired and started doing the show.
She arbitrates real cases on the show in the same way that a small claims court would. When all is said and done, the verdicts on Judge Judy are legally binding, which is all that really matters at the end of the day.
What is arbitration?
When people agree to be on Judge Judy, this means that they submit to having their case arbitrated instead of going to court.
This means that Judge Judy listens to both the plaintiff and the defendant’s side of the story, without the help of having lawyers present, and then she comes to a decision based on this information.
In a litigation hearing, both sides would have to go to court and pay legal fees. It is also rare for these kinds of arbitration cases to be appealed, but it is not impossible.
Is Judge Judy really a judge?
Judge Judy started her career as a prosecutor in the family court system and quickly made a name for herself with her sarcastic and blunt personality.
This was also obviously not just invented for the show. In 1982, the former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, appointed her to a criminal court judgeship.
Judge Judy retired from her position as a practicing judge shortly before she signed on to do Judge Judy, and she technically plays the role of an arbiter on the show, not that of a judge.
How are the cases chosen for the show?
To find cases for the show, the producers look through all of the real cases that are set to appear in small claims courtrooms across the United States.
The producers then approach the people involved in these cases to ask them if they would like to appear on the show instead of taking their cases to small claims court.
What may shock fans of the show, though, is that although these cases and decisions are 100 percent real, the show pays to have the people featured in them flown out to California to appear on the show.
Once they are there, they have to sign many legal documents which essentially grants Judge Judy the legal right to preside over the cases as an objective third party.
|Watch Judy Justice on Amazon Freevee