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12 Defenses in Favor of Jury Duty

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by bubbyjoysandoys 6 Comments

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Several weeks ago, I had Jury Duty. Now, while many people try really hard to get out of their civil obligation to show up for jury duty when called, I did not. In fact, not only did I not try to get out of it –beyond the postponing of it several times until it was a week when it was not inconvenient — I actually was hoping secretly that I would be accepted by the court.

I don’t have little kids at home, I have a job that allows me flexibility and time off for Jury Duty, and I’m a Middle-Ager who loves to do fun things.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that. By “anyone” – I refer to my friends, relatives, work colleagues, acquaintances and all the people who I bragged to about jury duty. I followed the party line of jury duty goers before me, and bemoaned my obligation.

“Oh well…I have jury duty. What a bummer!”

Why not? It got me sympathy and lots of other benefits.

So since the judge told us that we can write about, talk about, and blog about the experience AFTER the case is over, here goes:

Here are 12 defenses in favor of Jury Duty – which after you will read them, you will be like me: loving it, wanting it, bragging about it, and even admitting how happy you are that you went.

1. When you go to jury duty you get to take off from work and not feel guilty for it. True, many companies don’t pay for missed days because of jury duty, but still the idea of missing work with a simple 2-word excuse (‘Jury Duty’) and receiving an understanding “Ahhh…yes….that’s fine…” is actually very encouraging.

2. When you go to jury duty, you learn to speak in double negatives. Case in point: note the first paragraph above.

3. When you go to jury duty, you get to listen to a bunch of boring speeches with half an ear. From the beginning of the process where you are in this large holding room (admittedly kind of suffocating), you have a series of speakers who orient you to the process. Most of the stuff they are telling you is common sense, repeated many times, and not that important or relevant…plus they are mildly entertaining the way they say the information, so you basically can space out.

4. When you go to jury duty, you get to take care of a lot of paper work. During the break times where you wait to wait some more, you have paper work that you have brought along with you and you feel really good to have accomplished all that paper work. You can clean out your purse, organize your folders on your laptop, and answer emails. The court even provides computers for those who did not bring their own laptops.

5. When you go to jury duty, you get to be in the same room with people from all cultures of the world. When you are not looking down at your computer or paperwork, you could find yourself staring involuntarily at people seated around you.

6. When you go to jury duty, and you are called to the court room, you get to hear many entertaining, funny and strange excuses that people give to the judge. These excuses span the exaggeration spectrum from “I am scheduled to go to Paris tomorrow,” to “I really don’t speak English very well, so I wouldn’t be good…” (spoken in perfect English).

7. When you go to jury duty, you get to have fun and talk a lot about baseball during breaks. While the judge admonishes jurors not to talk about the case with each other, he does permit the jurors (and even suggests it to them) that they talk about the Dodgers or any other baseball.

8. When you go to jury duty, you get to become less naive and realize that lying by witnesses on the stand is common. 

9. When you go to jury duty, you get to deliberate and even bond with people (several of them also grandmothers and mothers-in-law!) who you’ve never met before this case.

10. When you go to jury duty, you get to feel as if all the books and movies you’ve seen about court cases, are really the way it is. It makes you feel as if you are on a movie set.

11. When you go to jury duty, you get to exercise self-control and refrain from talking about the case with anyone outside the courtroom.

12. When you go to jury duty, you earn $15 per day (past the first day) plus mileage. And you even get a letter from the judge on Court stationary mailed to your home, several weeks past the case.

There you have it: The 12 Defenses in Favor of Jury Duty. I guess I’ll have to wait a whole year to be called again. Oh well….

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6 Responses

  1. Good post, good points. I’ve served once- years ago when I had kids at home and was teaching full-time. It was actually a hardship because the hours and commute were longer than if I was working. Other times I’ve been excused or now where we live you call the night before and I haven’t been needed. In NJ it’s every 3 years. Guess your obligation is bigger in CA. Despite the grumbling, I do feel it’s really important for everyone to serve. If we value our rights and the justice system, we need competent jurors. I always say: imagine if you or someone you know/love was on trial, wouldn’t you want someone like you to be judging you? I wish a better system could be figured out– seems it wouldn’t be that hard– where they don’t take mothers with kids at home, etc. Hey, ask any grandmother to figure it out!

    • OmaOrBubby says:

      Thanks Lisa. Yes I think in earlier
      years, they would let people off
      if they had little kids at home.
      Or other hardships. Nowadays they
      have become stricter and really
      only excuse people for extreme or
      medical reasons.

      Re calling every night for one week,
      I did that and was told each night
      I don’t have to go, but then Thursday
      night I heard “please report tomorrow
      at 7 am.” Many are rejected and sent
      home the first day but I was
      called to a 3-day case. Yay!!!

      It’s really true about the reality
      that we have a fair judicial system
      and it may be inconvenient but hey
      if we stop doing our civic duty,
      we lose out as you point out.

  2. I find this so funny because I *always* wanted jury duty. Then the one time I had it, a wacky tax crusader entered the courthouse, handed out fliers to one and all, and tainted the jury pool for the day, effectively shutting down the system for that one day. Darn! I anxiously await another notice. 😀

    So nice to “meet” you. Thank you for stopping by my blog. (And yes, my oldest grandson turned 5 in June and his brother turned 2 in June.) I look forward to getting to know you!

    • OmaOrBubby says:

      Oh no! That’s hysterical about your jury duty non-experience as a juror, but funny experience with that wacko tax guy! Oh well….hopefully (!!) you will be summoned again soon. Nice to meet you too! 🙂

  3. Shaindy says:

    I had a co-worker who also loved jury duty. She was so upset when her case “only” lasted 3 days, but we were relieved to have her back!

  4. OmaOrBubby says:

    Thanks Shaindy! I think that’s how my co-workers (and my boss!) felt when I returned after 4 days on jury duty – even though I was like “Oh well….the fun is over…”

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