The program was first broadcast in september 1996. It was immediately a great success and is in the first years also broadcast in a number of European countries, including inNetherlands. After a number of years the Dutch channels stopped broadcasting of the programs, but the program still exists in the United States. Sheindlin concluded In 2013 an agreement with CBS to at least until 2017 to continue the program. 
The success is primarily due to the person of Sheindlin, a judge who began her legal career with covering of Affaires concerning divorce and child custody. Her no-nonsenseapproach of the complainants and defendants is very direct and leaves no room for ambiguity.
In the business being treated is not officially spoken right; the participants have agreed to an independent arbitration in advance and with the outcome. The same formatapplies to the Dutch television program the moving Right of the NCRV.
The program is still fairly popular on American television, with more than nine million viewers daily, though there is also criticism of a judge Joseph Wapner, among others already in 1981 on television came up with a similar program, The people's Court. He has criticised the style of the program, which in his opinion does not match at all with the way American courts cases.