Jury Duty, Westside Style

I don’t know what jury duty is like in downtown L.A., but it isn’t half bad in Santa Monica. I was a little grumpy at being pulled in from “up to twenty miles away”, but it turned out to be a fairly pleasant day. The courthouse had a huge jury assembly room with TV and reading rooms. There were cubicles for laptops and free wi-fi, where I happily set up camp for the day. There’s the Promenade and beach to kill that 90 minute lunch break at in one direction, and Main Street in the other. And on one wall, there’s photos of famous people who have served as jurors, which included Weird Al, Harrison Ford and, ironically enough, Judge Ito.

I had jury duty last Monday, and had a really positive experience of it. Under the “one day or one trial” system, I only had to go in that one day. I never made it to a jury panel, and ended up just hanging out until 4pm, working remotely or surfing the Web. I was actually disappointed that I didn’t get to serve though, since I was kind of looking forward to actually learning about the civil dispute system in reality (instead of, say, on the many many episodes of L.A. Law I watched as a teenager.) Maybe next time, I’ll get picked – so long as it isn’t the sort of week at work that it’s been for, oh, about two months running.

Anyone else done jury duty at Santa Monica and not had a good experience? Or has anyone been able to compare the experience at different courts? Is it different downtown that it is on the Westside?

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6 Replies to “Jury Duty, Westside Style”

  1. this past Thursday I served my one day at the Torrance courthouse. no jurors were needed at all, so everybody just hung out till 3:30. we had gotten out early (11:30) for lunch, too. I saw a few computer stations and folks with laptops but am not sure if there was wifi or not.
    earlier I had a bad feeling that I would get picked, so I had already resigned myself to it. so when I didn’t, I was a tad disappointed, mainly because I figure that means I’ll probably get picked the next time, but I got over it. the gentleman tending to us had a good sense of humor so overall it was a surprisingly pleasant experience.

  2. The first time I was called to jury duty was to the Santa Monica Courthouse, although when I arrived I was told we were being moved to the Culver City courthouse. At the time, I’d just moved to Hollywood, and was told that I should change my address with the DMV so the next time I’d be called to a closer court.
    But I do remember the Santa Monica jury holding area to be nicer than anything downtown or Culver City.

  3. I served this week as well, in the West LA courthouse. The jury waiting room didn’t have wireless (or a bathroom – it’s a trailer, so you had to go next door for that, and it was a one-seater) – but I can’t complain, because they dismissed the whole pool at 10:00 am, giving us credit for our day. And the lady in charge was funny and nice – it was all really pleasant (except for the bathroom.)

  4. How do they figure out which courthouse you go to? I’m in north Venice, but I’m assigned to Torrance in a few weeks. The Santa Monica courthouse is way closer, especially considering traffic on the 405 in the morning.

  5. When my husband and I moved to Agoura Hills, he immediately got called for jury duty for the Malibu courthouse. I can’t WAIT to be called for jury duty at the Malibu courthouse. Maybe I’ll get to sit for Paris Hilton’s trial – hahahah! GUILTY!

    Sorry, I am easily amused.

  6. I “served” at the Hollywood court house a week or so ago. I meant to blog about it as well but never did. I was there for 2 days. There wasn’t a spot in the bathroom left to tag. Every free space was pretty much taken up with every defendant, witness, former juror, and friends of defendants and witnesses “gang” name. No free internet. Although you could buy it by the hour if you wanted. A very different experience from when I served on a murder trial in downtown. It’s very interesting to see how people’s experiences at the different court houses can be so different.

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