Judge Judy's son, fellow judges dish on why audiences love TV courtroom drama: Instant accountability

The judges cite relatability, speedy justice and a no nonsense take as reasons for why so many people tune in

 The three judges who deliberate cases on "Tribunal Justice" tried to pinpoint why American audiences are so captivated by TV courtroom drama.

Streaming now on Amazon's Freevee, "Tribunal Justice" features a panel of three judges, Judge Patricia DiMango, Tanya Acker, and Adam Levy. DiMango is a former New York State Supreme Court Justice, Acker served as Temporary Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and hosts The Tanya Acker Show podcast, and Levy is a former district attorney in New York’s Putnam County. Levy is also the son of Judge Judy, who helped create "Tribunal Justice."

The trio, who collectively adjudicate real cases on the show, agreed that three is not a crowd.  

I love it," DiMango told Fox News Digital. "I think we relate well to one another. There's a different energy coming, coming from each of us at different times, which I think is a wonderful balance. Everybody can't be attacking someone and yet everybody can't be, you know, too mellow. And I think we all have a good sense of where we should be in each particular case. And I think we work really well together." 
Judge Tanya Acker, Judge Patricia DiMango, Judge Adam Levy pose in blue robes

Adam Levy, right, is Judge Judy Sheindlin's son, and stars with Judge Tanya Acker and Judge Patricia DiMango in the new series "Tribunal Justice." (Michael Becker/Amazon Freevee)

"Adam brings a new, fresh approach to the bench," DiMango said. "Tanya and I are continuously growing in the positions that we're in. I didn't think it was possible to have, after 20 plus years on the bench and in the court system, to continue to grow."


"I think it's really great for me to have other decision makers with whom to bounce around ideas to second guess and challenge one's analysis," Acker agreed.

For over 20 years, millions of viewers ate up Judge Judy's no nonsense attitude and religiously tuned in every week to hear her witty retorts and swift judgments. It was one of several courtroom shows to have such a string of success and a faithful following. The "Tribunal Justice" judges weighed in on why audiences are so captured by the TV courtroom. And they suggested it has more to do than with just the personalities on the bench.

"They bring finality right away, which I think is important," DiMango said of TV court cases. "I think people want to see cases resolved. I think also we're living in a society where people are not held accountable for their actions. And I think the type of bench that we are, particularly, Judy, I'm the same way. I was always that way. We hold people accountable for their actions and their behavior. And I think people want to see that it gives them some satisfaction. 

Judge Judy sits on the stand

Judge Judy Sheindlin is known for her tough but fair approach to justice.   (Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)

"You're always yelling at the TV, but here you could see somebody yelling at what you're yelling at or be or responding in reacting to those types of behaviors," she added. "So and I also think that they love in our case, they love the deliberation process. Like what goes on behind the scenes? I think no matter where you are in life, you know, you like it's like a voyeurism almost. You like what's going on back there that I don't know and I want to know. And how will that help me in thinking and learning. And we are educational. We do explain things. We do teach." 

"So people come away from these shows with like little mini lawyers almost," DiMango said. "And I think they love that. I think people like to learn. I think they like to see justice. And I think they like to see it's swift and fairly. And I think we give them all of that." 

Acker added that the TV cases are enjoyable to watch because they're so relatable. 

"All of these problems, everything that people see on these court shows, somebody has lived that," Acker said. "Everybody has a relative or a friend or an ex who borrowed some money and didn't give it back. And then part of the reason was, 'Well they didn't really need it, I needed it more.' Everybody has had a nutty landlord or nutty tenants, a nutty boss or a nutty employee. We really show the full gamut of actual lived human experience. And I think what people really like is that they're able to see that experience processed by people who are just going to call things as they are more often than not, and who are in a position to make some common sense judgments and determinations that people don't always get in real life." 

People who have never experienced court don't realize how long of a wait it can be, or some of the things people can get away with, Acker intoned.

"They don't have time to call out every liar," she said of judges. "They don't have time to give sanctions every time or get everybody a talking to… And so I think that some really horrific things happen in other courtrooms where decision makers don't always have the time to parse through all of the madness and where people...you can go to court and have to spend a lot of money defending against something that's entirely made up or prosecuting something where someone is denying liability and they know they did that thing that you're accusing them of." 

"So I like the fact that for the people who can end up on our show, they get quicker justice than they might otherwise," she added. "

courtroom and gavel

Inside a courtroom with gavel in view.  (iStock)

Like DiMango, Levy suggested that the TV courtroom's instant accountability has attracted audiences. Because above all, he said, what people are most interested in, is justice.

"I think that everyone from their everyday lives - they have experiences with neighbor disputes," he said. "They have contract disputes, real estate, landlord, tenant, unfortunately, assault issues, used car scams, credit card scams, you name it. Everyone has these experiences every day. Those are the type of cases that we handle on 'Tribunal.'" 

He continued, "People want to see justice. People want to see the right thing happen. And unfortunately, we see it now, perhaps more than ever before. People have lost faith in that institution, the judicial institution. They've lost faith in the courts because, unfortunately, as I've seen over my career in 25 years, judges don't always do the right thing. Lawyers don't always do the right thing. Politicians don't always do the right thing. And there aren't enough people holding their feet to the fire to make sure that they're held accountable when they do the wrong thing."

Children may think they can fool their parents, but imagine how much more of a task it would be with a mom like Judge Judy. Levy recalled how his mom's matter-of-fact attitude translated to home life, and credited her parenting style with turning him into the judge he is today.

"I became the cross-examiner that I am because of her," he said. "Growing up, whenever I was a little off, if I told a lie, if I tried to cover something up because I did something wrong, she always knew. She knew. And it wasn't just that she had that sixth sense, which she did, but she was able to ask a series of questions that ultimately I was unable to answer." 

"I would get all confused, and she knew that I was lying," he continued. "I knew that I was lying. I've just been able to translate that into my own style over the last 25 years. And the other thing that she taught me is someone has to take control of the courtroom. And typically it's the person who is most prepared, will control their space within the courtroom. And that's what I do."

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