Uh oh! Time for another jury duty post! That’s right, I spent most of last week (and a bit of the week before) on jury duty down at the Metropolitan Courthouse. At first I thought it’d be a fun little adventure away from work but it quickly turned into a little thing our bailiff called “the longest trial in this court’s history. No, really.” 8 days doesn’t seem like that long, but I guess in terms of traffic/DUI trials it’s quite some time. It felt kind of like a month. Anyway, I come to you, loyal bloggers LA with some hot tips for your time should you be called to jury duty in our fair city.
1. Of course, the first thing to remember is jury duty is your civic duty and without reasonable people on juries something bad is gonna happen to you and you’re gonna be SO PISSED because the jackass jury members weren’t smart enough to let you off the hook. So c’mon, let’s not all be jackasses. I can’t even tell you how many people told me “Oh, just tell them you hate black people,” as an easy way to get out of jury duty. Really, people? Really?
2. Bring something to do. Holy crap. I finished 2 and a half books and watched 2 movies. The court isn’t exactly set up with your valuable time in mind, so bring some extra stuff to do.
3. Take notes. There’s something about sitting in the jury box listening to lawyers fight it out that makes the little things that happen hilarious. Treasure these moments because odds are the rest of the time is going to be the same 4 questions asked repeatedly.
4. Be nice to the parking guy! One wrong step and he will glare you down every time you pull into the ramp in the morning. He is unforgiving and doesn’t care if you’re sorry for your accidental transgressions. Be nice to him and do as he says.
5. Finally, make friends with your fellow jurors. Especially if you’ve got kind of a contentious case, deliberations are gonna be intense. Odds are someone is gonna get all mad as hell at someone else and sparks are gonna fly. Also, let’s not forget that these people are your peers. They come from all walks of life and you probably don’t get a chance to interact with people so different from the folks you normally run around with, well, at least the half of your jury that doesn’t work in the film industry.
Ultimately, jury duty was one of the most boring, scary, rewarding, soul-sucking, enriching and awkward things that’s happened to me in some time. I’d recommend it to anyone. Sure my boss wants to light me on fire for missing so much work, but that’s a small price to pay to enable our judicial system to continue chugging along.