An unwritten rule about blogging is that if you’re called to jury service, you’re required to write about it. Yesterday was my first day at the Henry Mosk Criminal Court Building in downtown Los Angeles, and this is my post.
1. Show up late. The summons tells you to arrive at 7:30am, and to even allow enough time to get through security. However, they don’t really start checking names until at least 8:30am. So, sleep in, and grab McGriddle before schlepping it to the Court House.
2. Bring a book, a pad of paper, and if you’re bringing a computer, bring an extra battery. If you’re not assigned a jury pool, you could be in the holding room until 5:00pm, where there’s no wireless internet access and only a handful of power outlets. (to be fair, there’s a half dozen computers set up with paid web services). Now’s a good time to enjoy that old timey print.
3. Dress Appropriately. When you receive your summons in the mail, scan your juror i.d. badge and make it into a t-shirt. Show that you’re proud to serve on a jury! (you can see my t-shirt above… if you want to be a little more subtle and avoid possible contempt charges by a less humorous judge, you can make a golf shirt instead)
4. Be careful what you buy. If you grab a grande vanilla peppermint latte* from the Starbucks just outside the jury holding room, be advised that if you’re assigned to a jury pool, you may have to toss it before even sipping off the foam. That said, you may just want to bring a thermos so you don’t have to ditch your $3.90 when the judge is ready to see you.
5. Don’t want to serve? Shut the f up! (whoops – forgot it was the holidays) When the judge asks if there’s a reason you can’t serve, don’t think your time is more valuable that anyone else’s, even if you’re a doctor, teacher, student, or have a vacation lined up. The judge won’t care, and, frankly, its your civic duty. If you only want poor people with a bad education to serve on a jury, then I look forward to seeing what the verdict will be the next time you’re falsely accused of a crime or have to sue someone who may need some suing. (5000! wrote more about these people last year).
*Thats four pumps vanilla, two pumps peppermint. You’re welcome!