Reality TV court series and movies cases mimic the real proceedings of a judicial process. However, they can never imitate a real court proceeding. There are many factors that cannot allow the two to rhyme in all aspects. Below are the differences you will notice between a real court process and an acted one.
1- Trial Period
In an acted court process, an omnipotent judge normally delivers instant justice to anyone he or she is found at fault. For instance, they can punish the complainant instead of the defendant if it turns out that the complainant also engaged in a crime. However, in real life courts, judges do not deliver instant justice. They have to undergo procedures before producing the verdict. On top of that, a complainant cannot be punished in the same court proceeding which she filed. Also, a witness cannot be punished in the same proceeding where she was testifying. If the judges think a complainant or a witness is guilty of a crime, they can order they be investigated, or a tried separately.
In movies, the perpetrators normally confess their crimes to everyone’s shock in open courts. They have them punished accordingly on the spot. However, in real-litigation, the self-incriminating evidence is not admissible in court in general course. It may sometimes be allowed after following certain procedures which cannot take place in the same session as seen here.
3- Instant Justice
In movies or TV court series, the judges instantly deliver their verdicts in grand speeches. However, in real life, judgments are reserved for quite some time after both the parties are heard. Sometimes they can take months or years before delivering their verdict. They may also write very lengthy judgments, and exchange drafts before delivering their verdict if they are many. All these may take a long time.
4- Judges’ Behavior
In movies or TV court shows, judges bang their gavel saying “Order! Order! “. That rarely happens in real courts. Real judges are mostly busy with other things rather than minding the people around. They always do multi-tasking with lawyers. Listening, questioning and writing down. Mostly it is all about giving next hearing date. In movies and TV court shows, judges are seen to wear that “no-nonsense” face. They are portrayed as harsh and non-remorseful. In the real courts, judges are even lenient and soft than the lawyers. They protect parties from being harassed by lawyers and even express how they feel to the parties. Judges are also humans who live in the same environment with all the parties in the court.
5- Lawyers’ Behaviors
Lawyers normally shout loud in court fictional cases. In reality, they are very humble with judges, and if they shout at witnesses other parties, the judge usually asks them not to pressure on the witnesses. All lawyers are obliged to follow a certain professional code of conduct and while presenting clients in the courtroom. Another very common behavior with layers in TV shows is cracking jokes by providing sarcastic and or funny examples. In the real court presentation, that does not happen. Also, there is usually, nothing like long, interesting stories of examples and forms of sarcasm by lawyers. Normally, the expected answers are the brief Yes or No. According to Virginia’s Judicial System, to shorten the presentation time, real court questions are designed to be answered by short statements.
It should be understood that the court cases seen in movies will ever be exaggerated than the real ones in all aspects to make the episode interesting. Also, they cannot go through a rigorous process before being ruled to avoid boring viewers. Lastly, acted court proceedings will ever have drama to spice them, unlike the real courts.