Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jury Duty

Some time early last spring I was summoned for jury duty, but being a teacher (or full-time student) I was allowed to push my service out to the next school break.  I postponed my service until the Monday after I'd get back from Europe--two days ago.  Sure enough, right before leaving for Europe I received a summons for July 13th.

I didn't have to go in on Monday.  Per the instructions I called back on Monday night and was instructed to go in yesterday.  I was there by the 8:00 report-in time.  By 11:30 I still hadn't been called in to sit on a panel, so I was released for lunch until 1:30.  At 3:00 they started sending us home, and I was in the first group to go home.

I'm still not used to being back in the Pacific time zone.  I got less than 3 hrs of sleep Tuesday night, which made sitting around the (uncomfortable) jury room even more difficult.  When I got home I went straight to bed.  My part-time boarder came in some time in the early evening, so I was up for an hour or so for brief conversation, and then back to bed until a reasonable time this morning.  I finally feel alive.

And that is why there was no blogging yesterday!


PeggyU said...

Did you ever figure out the lawn mystery? That's what I want to know!

Steve USMA '85 said...


Ellen K said...

Lawyers don't like teachers. Teachers ask questions and score answers. Once I was called for a large jury pool for some big felony case in downtown Dallas. Got there at 8, read a book until 11:30 watching people being escorted to the various courtroom. We were dismissed for lunch. Came back at 12:30. More sitting and waiting. Finally there were only four of us left. And we were all teachers. I asked the bailiff about it and she said "oh yeah, lawyers hate teachers."

Pseudotsuga said...

Ah, Jury Duty!
I'm been summoned 3 times in the past 10 years or so, but I've only made it to the jury selection process once, and never into a jury itself.
It's like being the bridesmaid but never the bride...;-(

Darren said...

Nothing definite on the lawn mystery.

I was called on a panel once for a 3 Strikes case. The defendant was a prisoner in Folsom Prison and was caught with drugs in his cell. On the several-page survey they gave us prospective jurors, I identified that I was former army, that I'd kicked soldiers out of the army for drug use/possession/dealing, and that I had a friend who was a cop. I still had to go through a couple of pass-throughs before I was finally "thanked and excused" from that particular panel.

Steve USMA '85 said...

There was once an informal, un-scientific poll on an Army Officer's group I am in. The 200+ members are from across the Country and from ~22-85 years old.

None of us have ever been accepted to serve on a jury.

Something about Army Officers that are an immediate turn off to defense lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Trial lawyers are looking for gullible, easily malleable people they can sway to their side. Anyone who shows any savvy or spark of inciteful questioning during voir dire will get struck.

LeftCoastRef said...

I must invalidate your "lawyers hate teachers" claim. I too, was summoned for Jury Duty in March. But my district has a policy that if we postpone to a "student-free time", they will pay us the current substitute teacher rate. Thus, I postponed for the Week of June 15. I did not have to report Monday, but on Tuesday, it seemed there were 300 potential jurors in the assembly room.

[First I apologize - this may be TL:DR]
At about 11:00a, they began calling numbers for the 3 trials they were selecting for. I was on the 3rd list, and told to report after lunch. They then notified us that afternoon that they were not completely ready to start selecting jurors, so they swore all of us in and told us to report the next day at 1:30p. At that time, the random draw placed me in seat 8 to begin the panel selection process. I have no Law enforcement relative, no military service, no experience with courtrooms at all. I just happen to teach Science.

On Friday when they completed the panel, I was still #8. We began the trial the following Monday. It went 13 days total (selection days counting). If they really don't like teachers, it was not evident from either of the lawyers. In fact, MY thoughts are they WANTED a Science person who would be looking to make logical, rational decisions based upon fact, not some willy- nilly emotional thought.

Anyway, Mr. RotLC, glad you were able to be dismissed and get some rest. I got >$1500 for my troubles. :-)

Darren said...

My district would never pay us like yours does. You'd be amazed at what we're expected to do for no additional money.