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Jury Duty



I was supposed to appear for jury duty at 7:30 a.m.. I arrived and was parked (three blocks away) at 7:25, and there was a line of at least 200 people wrapped around the courthouse. Another 50 arrived soon after, and we all stood out in the cold. It was very much like a security line at a busy airport. I was inside the building in the jury assembly room by 7:55.

Sit and wait. At 9:15, we watched a video about the great satisfaction we would feel by performing our civic duty. All I was thinking about was if I might be excused in time to make it to my appointment at the Apple store! I worked on paperwork I brought with me, for an hour and a half, then read my book.

10:00 The first group was called. I was not in this group. I began chatting with the man next to me. He is a trained chef, and we began to talk about food, restaurants, and before I knew it, it was 11:00. Our names were called, but the courtroom was not ready for us, so we were excused until 1:45. I cancelled my appointment at the Apple store and rescheduled for 6:50 that night.

I drove home (30 minutes), let Luigi out, and had lunch. Soon it was time to go back.
We reassembled in the jury assembly room, and I chatted with my new friend until they FINALLY called us into the courtroom at 3:00. What a fulfilling, productive day we were having.

The judge told the 80 of us that this was a civil case, and would last three weeks! Then he heard everyone's hardship stories, and let a few people go. I was NOT one of them. Apparently he thought my interns and my clients with PTSD could survive without me for three weeks, and that it would be no big deal to lose three weeks of income. But the county will pay me $15.00 a day! Whoo Hoo!

We were excused for the day at 4:30. I got home a little after 5 to let Luigi out before my 5:30 clients. Then I hightailed it to the Apple store, but you read THAT saga yesterday.


Back in the courtroom. We heard a little more about the case and met the parties in litigation. The primary person involved is a well-known Italian fashion designer, married to a minor celebrity suing a construction firm after fire damage repair.

They called up the first 18 people. I was in this group. We were all asked our name, city of residence, occupation, who we live with, their occupation(s), if we had ever served on a jury, criminal or civil, did it reach a verdict?, highest level of education, were we ever involved in a lawsuit?, did we have any family or friends involved in a lawsuit?, did we have any experience with the people involved in the case?, did we recognize anyone on the list of 28 witnesses?, did we think we could be fair and impartial, etc. etc. etc.. They made it through the first 8 potential jurors before we took a break. Eventually we finished all 18, and then the attorneys asked more questions of some. Only 4 of the 18 of us had no blatant reason we should be dismissed. I was a shoe-in for this jury. BOTH attorneys liked me. I could tell. (In a criminal case, I am usually excused because of the stereotype of liberal therapists.) Finally, we broke for lunch. I brought my lunch, and sat outside with my new chef friend.

At 1:45, we reconvened, but the attorneys and judge were all in chambers. Thy sent us back into the hallway for 10 minutes, brought us all back in, and told us the case had been settled. We were ALL excused! YAY! Now I have 6 hours of supervision to make up on Friday!

Comments (1)


Welcome to our "California Tax Dollars" at work!!! You got lucky they settled BEFORE the 6 week trial began! I have served on 4 juries and it always amazes me the time spent, with that being said.......I will STILL choose OUR system over all others. Now if we could just figure out HOW to speed up those attorneys!

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