Americans just can't get enough courtroom drama, as is evidenced by yet another addition into the daytime court show fray. Former judge and prosecutor Kevin Ross adjudicates real cases, in which he tries to show litigants alternative ways of dealing with their issues and make them consider the consequences of their actions.
Cuban-born Alex Ferrer -- a former police officer, trial attorney and criminal court judge -- presides over a charged courtroom where he hears landlord disputes, complaints from consumers and other small-claims cases.
Judge Greg Mathis is unlike most adjudicators you'd see in a courtroom. The former Detroit-area district court judge infuses his court sessions with a generous dose of humor as he listens to diverse litigants plead their small-claims cases in his TV courtroom. A regular segment, Ask Judge Mathis, features the judge answering viewer questions to advise people with legal situations that they face. Prior to entering the legal world, Mathis was involved with gangs and spent time in jail as a young man before turning his life around.
This courtroom series stars former family court judge Judy Sheindlin. Each episode finds Judge Judy presiding over real small-claims cases inside a televised courtroom. Her no-nonsense, wisecracking approach has been unsuccessfully copied by other TV court judges.
Faith Jenkins' life has taken her on a path from being a Louisiana beauty queen to Wall Street attorney and a tough prosecutor in New York, and now she brings her justice background to television as the star of her own court show. The no-nonsense judge presides over arbitration-based cases that are presented by defendants. As in most courts, televised or otherwise, some cases are straightforward while others have some twists to them.
A judge hears small-claims cases in this series that served as a template for several similar courtroom series. The litigants in the case agree to drop their lawsuits and have the case heard on the show. Since the show is not a real courtroom, the decision is simply binding arbitration the litigants agree to abide by.
Many popular court shows are on TV. How can the genre improve? How about using a three-judge panel? That's the concept of "Hot Bench," created by Judge Judy Sheindlin. After hearing each case, the judges discuss it among themselves before rendering a verdict. The jurists are experienced civil litigator Tanya Acker, New York State Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango, and former criminal defense attorney Larry Bakman. The show's title comes from a term describing a court action in which a judge frequently interrupts lawyers with questions.
The venerable courtroom show takes a look at real-life divorcing couples. The soon-to-be exes tell their stories to the judge, who gives the ruling and settles all the usual -- and unusual -- divorce issues by the end of the episode. This is the third incarnation of the show titled "Divorce Court," with the first having premiered in 1957.
Different than other court shows, "Lauren Lake's Paternity Court" acts only on family issues. There are no battles over rent money or damages caused by a car accident, these emotional cases can have life-changing consequences for participants and sometimes new beginnings for individuals. While most suits relate to a child's paternity -- including deadbeat dads and DNA-test determinations -- others involve things like grandparents fighting for visitation rights. Lake's lengthy legal career has specialized in family law, making her a natural fit for this court.