Please do NOT think that "TV Court" resembles real court at all. As a Judge I am furious that TV stations put such garbage on the air and am frankly appalled that Americans as a group think this resembles real Court.
Judge Judy and Judge Jerry (Peoples Court) are arrogant jackasses. A real Judge acting that way would face discipline in most states. I know several of these folks have been real Judges which makes it more inexcusable. Mills Lane is basically an online clown. I don't think Joe Browne in any way resembles what we expect to see in Judges. Etc Etc. (The closest to judicial demeanor I have seen on these shows was Judge Wapner, formerly of People's Court, and now on Animal Court. The ONLY commentator on these shows with marginal intelligence and accuracy is Harvey Levin, a real lawyer, who does have some good commentary on the People's Court.)
These court shows have created a very real problem in real court, because litigants are starting to think court is a free for all where arguing and rudeness is allowed.
If you even think this resembles real Court, please take a week and go visit some real courts. It's less exciting, but you will correct your misconceptions quickly.
In real Court, Judges do not abuse litigants. Most Judge also LISTEN more. No real Judge would allow the level of talking back you see on these fake shows - it would land litigants in jail.
To answer your other questions:
1. Why do some judges accept a notarized statement from a witness (that is not present) and others do not.
A notarized statement doesn't mean anything. It's a letter.
The fact one gets a seal on it doesn't change much. Most
courts do not admit them, as the author cannot
be cross-examined and observed for veracity. Some small claims
courts do allow litigants to use them (which is why you see them
on the TV shows) but in general their credibility is minimal. If
the person was THAT good a witness, you'd subpoena them.
2. Why are some recorded conversations accepted when the person is not aware of being taped, and others not. I have watched cases where the judges decision was based on this.
In many states it is a crime to record a conversation without
3. Why do the judges permit clients to come into court dressed inappropriately or am I just being old-fashioned?
In real courts, especially criminal ones, the normal dress
Real Court is NOT like these shows nor is it like L.A. Law. In fact the show that most closely ever captured real Court was probably NIGHT COURT, which although a comedy, had elements of real arrairgnment court in it. Harry Anderson closely exemplified many of the elements a real Judge needs - firmness but common sense and compassion, and yes, some humor at times. And Picket Fences (Ray Walston) ha
seems to have been casual for years. As a rule, small town
civil courts seem to be more formal. Some Judges are strict
on this. I'm not (as long as a person has shoes and somewhat
modest attire) but if a person is unkempt, he creates a bad
image that certainly will hurt him in many courts. Some Judges
put more weight on this than others. But only an idiot would
not dress nicely for court; in some Courts it's a problem.
Unfortunately many people don't think about their appearance.