Like talk shows, the procedure of court shows varies based upon the titular host.

In most cases, they are first-run syndication programs.

In the mid-1930s, the Hauptmann trial sparked an upsurge of fascination with dramatized court shows wherein trials and hearings were acted out.

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In these programs, testimonies were limited to the most captivating, explosive portions of the original case.

Though there was risk of libel and slander suits in producing court case recreations, this threat was commonly sidestepped by taking from trials of the distant past, with the original participants dead.

Prior to 1936, there were only 2 major radio court shows, The Court of Human Relations and Goodwill Court.

As television began to transcend radio, the previous era of radio broadcast court programming had waned.

By the late 1990s, however, arbitration-based reality shows had overwhelmingly taken over as the technique of choice within the genre, the trend continuing into the present.

Dramatizations were either fictional cases (often inspired from factual details in actual cases) or reenactments of actual trials.

The roles of litigants, bailiffs, court reporters, and announcers were always performed by actors and actresses.

While some of these court shows were scripted and required precise memorization, others were outlined and merely required ad-libbing.

Widely used techniques in court shows have been dramatizations and arbitration-based reality shows.

The genre began with dramatizations and remained the technique of choice for roughly six decades.

From the cases they felt would make for captivating television, they derived ideas or simply cases to recreate.