Monday, June 7, 2010

The Most Dreaded Duty of All

I'm on telephone standby jury duty.  New York State doesn't have blanket excusals from jury duty these days for certain professions, and my number literally is up.

I escaped today, and I'm not needed tomorrow, but I'm 150 names away, and they grabbed about 700 for tomorrow, so I figure I'm going on Wednesday at the very least, longer if I get picked (and I have a habit of getting picked)

The jury pool rooms have free wireless now (I confirmed that with my phone a few months ago).  So now I'm busy putting together a bag of reading material:

Maximum PC
Mac Life
Some recent Pathfinders
Loading up my iPad with some PDFs to review

I'm sure I'll be bloggin' from the jury pool as I wait.  JoetheLawyer probably
does this crap for a living ;)


  1. Pretend you're at a LARP and you're playing Attorneys & Asylums. You can get xps for eating awful vending machine food and avoiding surly denizens. If you are elected foreman, you level up!

  2. I spent a couple years clerking for a judge, and probably saw 30-40 jury trials. I'm kinda weird in that I found them interesting. Even the juror selection process. Connecticut is the only state in the US with individual questioning of jurors, rather than questioning them in a pool. Though the questions were usually the same litany, the answers were interesting. I must have seen, no exaggeration, over 750-1000 people questioned as potential jurors. It never got boring.

    I never did a jury trial though. When I practiced I did a lot of family law, some criminal, some municipal and zoning work, and now I work as a mediator. After all that, I can't say as I ever want to do a jury trial. Too much work, and at the end its a crapshoot anyhow. People are too unpredictable and base their decisions on bullshit stuff.

  3. I've served on thrre juries in my life:

    first was a criminal case - I learned 20 years ago jurors are just as dumb as everyone else, and secret ballots only work in movies. After I asked for the penal law to be read to us again, we convicted on the top to charges.

    second was a civil case... we found fault and they settled 5 minutes later... we never got to damages

    third time I was already a cop - civil case - we were hung and I got chastised by the judge because, and I quote: "it is my understanding that you are an officer of the law... it is your job to meld minds and create an attitude of conformance. What do you mean the jury can't come to decision? (imagine all that with a southern drawl but in a nyc court)" Really great time I had the last round..Dismissed WITHOUT the thanks of the court.

  4. I've never had to serve in an actual jury, but a defense lawyer friend occasionally asks me to serve on a mock jury for clients of her she's defending, to try and get my feedback about how believable I find them to be. Definitely a weird gig. Good luck!


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