Like many other Massachusetts residents, you may enjoy watching daytime court television shows, such as The People's Court or Judge Judy. While we at the law offices of Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, also find these shows entertaining, we know that they represent merely a slice of what actually goes on during the civil litigation process.
As Business Insider explains, many people are attracted to court TV shows because the litigants are often eccentric or seem highly volatile, and the cases tend to be on the outrageous side. However, if you are preparing to sue someone in small claims court or you find out that you are being taken to court, you should understand that the process is likely to be quite different than it is on television. The judges in these shows are legitimate judges, but they arbitrate the decisions, rather than have cases decided by a jury. The cases are also real, rather than made up for television as some people believe. Additionally, litigants do not have lawyers present, and the shows, rather than the losing parties, pay the settlements.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a juicy story on a daytime court television show. However, you should be informed when you prepare to go to court; therefore, it is important to understand that these shows do not paint a complete picture of what goes on in the courtroom. Our website explains in further detail what you can expect during the legal process, as well as the types of cases that fall under the civil litigation category.