Judge Wapner. You could say that he was the spark that led to the abundance of ‘celebrity’ judges. Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Judge Hatchett, Judge Maybelline; the list goes on and on. TV Court shows that give us a glimpse into the courtroom. It is good that we see at least a part of how the justice system works, but do you think watching a television show means that you know the law?
What we see on court shows is television-entertainment. What we don’t see is actual courtroom cases. Every courtroom based TV show carries a disclaimer that the parties involved have dismissed their cases opting to have them settled on the show. Since they are not being settled in an actual courtroom, you are not really seeing the whole picture, just a glimpse that has been recorded and edited to result in ratings.
Some people watch the various court shows and suddenly think that they know the law from that one little edited glimpse. What you don’t see is the research done into the cases. And you definitely don’t see the research done into the applicable laws. It’s like picking up a book and reading the preface and assuming you know everything about the book. You are missing all of the plot twists and surprises that propel the story forward from beginning to end.
So if you think that you know the law from watching Judge Judy, think again. All you know is the complaint and the ending. You really don’t know everything that went into reaching that judgement.
This is why attorneys are so vital in our lives, they know the law. They read the book and follow the plot twists and surprises to the ending. They understand how we are affected by the law even when we do not.