I have been called upon to do my civic duty. My country needs me. I have been called to Jury Duty.
This is new to me. Anybody got any advice? Any idea what I’m in for? Cool Jury Duty stories?
FWIF, I’m going in on January 10th. If anything interesting happens, I’ll let you guys know after the fact.
Bring a book. Unless you actually manage to get picked for something interesting, you are probably in for several hours of mind-numbing boredom.
My last jury experience:
8:00 - Arrive, sign-in, sit down and wait.
8:30 - Clerk tells us what to expect.
9:00 - Watch two videos of 1) Basic jury stuff, and 2) A judge thanking us for doing our duty.
9:30 - 11:00 Wait
11:00 - Clerk takes 20 of us (not me) to neighboring city for jury pool there.
12:00 - 1/2 hour lunch
12:30 - Wait some more.
2:00 - Clerk informs us that an upcoming civil suit is going to be selecting a jury. Lawyers for both sides come in and brief all of us. This was mildly interesting.
2:30 - Wait some more
3:00 - A number of us (not me again) selected for interviews on civil case (Case settles out-of-court that night).
4:00 - Go home.
Yes, absolutely, bring a book as suggested.
Also something to snack on.
The only time I was called for jury duty (in Gaithersburg, Maryland), I waited 5 hours as 47 people were gone through and the jury and alternates were filled up with only three people left in front of me.
I get called up for jury duty once a year.
I always brought a book, a magazine, a crossword puzzle book (with extra pencils), and lots of quarters for the coffee, soda and snack machines.
And in every case (no pun intended), I was sent home after lunch, since the afternoon cases were either settled out of court or postponed.
And ya know, I really DO want to serve. My luck, if I brought nothing to do, I would sit all day with nothing to do.
Or do like me: Take a week off work (my employer’s “can’t fail” jury-excusal letter somehow never made it to the clerk" and take the opportunity to see the legal system outside TV.
I wonder if courtrooms in New York and Baltimore are really these beautiful oak-and-leather affairs… here in King County they’re awful veneer, recessed lighting, and mid-range office furniture.
Yeah, bring a book. Something weighty, Russian, and waterproof (hafta leave the building for lunch, and it rains a lot here).
Me, I watched the film Twelve Angry Men three times in the week before the trial. And I got a simple whiplash case. Shoot. But it (the film) was an excellent tutorial in persuasion.
I’m glad I served in that silly little trial. I know I helped keep a shyster and his dimwit client from fleecing a little old lady in a Cadillac for $85,000 in injuries from a 2-mph bumper tickle.
Despite the fact that I had three bleeding-hearts on the jury who wanted to give $60K for “future distress”, I also had one wonderful 85-year old lady named Gladys, who didn’t say much until the final vote. Her statement was something like this:
“well, I know whose car hit whose. But I got in a traffic accident once and hit my head on the windshield. This lady’s purse, you remember, didn’t even fall off the seat. I spent a week in the hospital, and my insurance paid for the damage to my husband’s car.”
And she straightened up and jutted out her chin.
“…But I never sued anybody.”
What sort of incantation did they use to summon you?
The very lightest and fluffiest of incantations. Including bunnies and puppies and dasies and such. I’m easy to summon.
Thanks guys. I hadn’t thought it’d be dull. I’ll bring a book. I wonder if I brought Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book” how that would affect things.
I have been summoned for Grand Jury duty in the City of New York.
Three hours a day.
For one month.
This is going to be interesting.
Acutally, I have a friend who did that, and it was a great time. The grand jury tends to see much more meaningful cases, and you decide on charges for many, many cases. It feels much more like you are actually making a difference than humdrum civil cases.
Her grand jury pool was for drug crimes. They got a reputation for being “hard”, meaning they actually demanded legal proof that a crime had been committed (NOT illegal searches) before they would agree to charging the defendants.