Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh, NOW I get why people hate lawyers.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was one of those happy Americans selected to report for jury duty.

This was my first time getting a summons, and I was kind of excited, except I wasn't going to be in the criminal courts, which kind of put a damper on my thrill ride.  But still! Jury duty! I'd hold the fate of someone in my hands! Do you understand how much a bossy, controlling person would enjoy that?

Ah, if only it was so sweet.

I got to the courthouse at 8:20am.  As an attorney, I am allowed to bring my cell phone to court.  But, because I am a rule follower [except for posted speed signs and evidently, from my driving record, those No Turn On Red signs], and jurors are not allowed to have cell phones, I did NOT bring my cell with me.

I was pretty much the only one who didn't.

I brought my newspaper, a notebook [I'd spend my time writing! In longhand! Like the pioneers!], a bottle of water and not nearly enough Motrin.

I ended up at a table with 3 kind of older men.  Two of whom would not stop talking.  To me.  About cars.  And delivering stuff.  And cars.  And their kids.  And the new diets they're trying.  And cars.  And their jobs.  And cars.  And how many times they've been on jury duty.  And property issues.  And cars.


We spent the morning waiting to be called.  There were only 2 cases that needed jurors.  We all had fingers crossed that we'd be out of there by lunch.


I went to lunch and sat alone, enjoying the quiet.  And the lack of talking about cars.

Back to the jury room. 

At which point Jury Overseer dismissed half the group, since one of the cases adjourned for the day. 

I was not lucky enough to be in that group.

The two talking guys were, though.  And Fake Sleeper?  Started laughing about how they wouldn't stop talking to me.  I almost punched him.

We sat back and waited to be called down. 

You know what's awesome about being in the courtroom either as an observer or as an attorney?  You get to see everything that happens [it's actually pretty entertaining - I highly recommend going, but go to a criminal trial.  A LOT of stuff goes on there.  Opposing counsel arguing for evidence to be brought in or kept out, families giving each other the evil eye, attorneys gossiping about everyone in the courtroom.].  The juror room?  NOTHING HAPPENS.  You wait and watch the clock and wait some more. 

As noted, I wasn't going to be in the criminal courts.  I figured [rightly] that this would be an insurance issue.  Is there anything more dull?  Maybe a property issue.  Maybe.

We were FINALLY called down to the courtroom for jury selection.  I kept tensing up as the clerk called names and questions were asked of potential jurors.  I kept looking out the window and at the clock, hoping that the jury would be selected soon, before finally giving up and reconciling myself to the fact that I would have spent the entire work day in jury duty - and make $25!  WOOHOO!

At which point my only prayer was that I wouldn't be selected.  During a break, a couple of people and I were discussing whether or not we'd be selected.  The guy said he'd tell them he was going to wear his iPod.  The woman said she worked checking disability claims.  We all hoped we wouldn't be picked.

They were picked. 

One after the other.

And they were kept on the jury.

And I escaped, having done my civic duty by showing up and sitting around.


  1. I totally would have fallen asleep. I can't even make it through 1/2 of church.
    Don't even get me started on LofR. Wow.
    I think I would want to Tina Fey-it and wear a costume if I ever get called for duty.

  2. Letmepeeinpeace (Kris)June 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    So friggin' funny. I had jury duty last year and thought it was like a reality show- except all the contestants were hoping to be voted off. ;)

  3. I've done jury duty once. The case took a week. A doc who abused one of his patients. I'll never ever do it again, I'll lie to get out of it. I hated the moral dilemma - a.k.a. we knew the guy did it, but the prosecutors didn't prove it.

  4. I'm afraid of the jury duty karma coming my way. I got selected 3 times all while I was out of state at school so I didn't have to go. Since I moved back almost 4 years ago I've watched friends get selected 2 or 3 times. Me? 0.

  5. I figure my jury duty karma is almost up too. I've never even been called to report. (And now, by saying this, I suppose I'll have a letter waiting for me in the mail today.)

    One of my friends had to report a few months ago. They asked her if she had a problem sitting in judgment over others. She replied "No. I do it every day on Twitter." It's among my favorite things ever!!

  6. I was chosen for jury duty three times.

    Each time, they never kept me on because of my answer to their question, "do you think you can tell someone is guilty by looking at them?"

    "hells yeah."


  7. I went on a grade five field trip yesterday. With a long bus ride. I honestly can't decide if my day was better or worse. It might have been a tie.

  8. I can't even comment on this. I'm afraid the gods of fate will realise I'm hear again and send me a new summons.

  9. if you commit a felony in your past they never pick you for jury duty....just a thought......I will not disclose or admit to anything hahaha

  10. at least you escaped! and maybe you should have faked sleeping too. sounds like that dude knew what he was doing.

  11. Andygirl - I swear, I was tempted but figured they'd know I was faking.

    LLA_Princess - Ah, I'll have to think of which one I'd like on my record!

    Karen - I know. I'm terrified of another.

    Allison - Yours was worse. Hands down.

    Empress - I LOVE YOU. That's awesome.

    Audreya - I love that! I think the thing that pissed me off the most was that I was not on Twitter that whole time.

    Hutch - oooh, you'd better be careful with that - I think it's coming up.

    Mommakiss - That sucks. I think that would be the hardest part of jury duty, sticking only to the facts presented.

    Kris - I wonder if more people would want to be on if it WAS a reality show.

    Lady Estrogen - I was very, very tempted to wear a costume. Very.

  12. terrifying isn't it... a jury of our peers... aren't peers people who want to hang out with us, regardless of it being in a courtroom.

  13. You have to give props to fake sleeping guy, that takes some skill. I bet he works on that a lot.
    I've always wanted to serve on a criminal trial too. No dice. Only hung out, like you, and got sent home.

  14. I've never been summoned for jury duty, but Husband and I sat in court for a week during his personal injury suit (yes, he's one of those people). Worst week of my entire life. Ever. I still don't know how I sat there with my mouth shut while perfect strangers called my husband a drug addict and a malingering sack of shit. And our lawyer? I'm pretty sure he took a payoff from the other side to throw our case under the bus. He did such a piss poor job there was no doubt what the verdict would be.

  15. oh, civic duty. gotta love it. makes me want nothing LESS on this earth than a jury of my "peers."

  16. I guess that's the plus point of living where I live. No such thing as jury duty. All the idiots, er, sorry, judges, get to decide people's fates.

    Faking sleep is actually very hard to do. Props to Fake Sleep Guy.

  17. ok, I'll try again. :)

    I love Jury Duty, I know, I know..but I do. I love being in a courthouse,(the ones in PA are so pretty!) and when i did my internship with my local DA office, I just enjoyed every minute of it.

    I never get picked :( , I think I have to stop telling them about my memberships in the Law & Order Fan clubs, *I'm so lame* LOL


  18. I was called for JD in Detroit set for the day before I was to fly away to California forever, on a case where the plaintiff who had already received an insurance claim payout from the defendant's bosses insurer was sueing the driver personally at that point. And I was an attorney who managed insurance claims for a large delivery company. The Judge was unswayed by the financial dilemma of missing my flight the next day in order to leave that hellhole. (probably should not have called it a hell hole)

    LongShort: Sure I had to wait all day to be dismissed, but as the last potential juror on the block with two seats left to be filled, I took great delight in announcing what I did for a living and that I unequivocally considered this case to be a clear example of double dipping to bilk the system, but they could put me on that jury if I hadn't already tainted the jury pool already.

    I was dismissed.

  19. Come on. They're ALL guilty.

    At least of something.

    They just got caught for this one thing.

    But really?


    (p.s. I've never been picked to sit on a jury. duh.)

  20. I can't write longhand anymore. I need a computer. I would have made a terrible pioneer. That, and I'm really lazy.

  21. Like the pioneers. Great line.

    Favorite part is guy pretending to be asleep and then giving you grief for having to endure the blowhards. Might try that technique at dinner tonight.

    Came here from Lori's. Good stuff. Like your voice.

  22. Hey, don't know if you saw this, but Lori Dyan gave you an awesome shout out.

    WEll deserved and true.

    And I agree with what she says.



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