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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

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QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Chef Mongo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:45 pm

When was the last time you got called? Did you get seated? What kind of case?

Do you hate it? Love it? Endure it?
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Kinsley » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:05 pm


I've only been called once.
3 days, civil suit:
Man owned shoe store where city
wanted to build subway station.
City built subway station, paid man what
they thought fair price. Testimony by
appraisers, inspectors, accountants and
other riveting orators. We ruled for man,
gave him another $100. His lawyer the
clear winner.

I was amazed at how seriously the other
jurors took the matter. I was ready to
agree to almost anything, just to get it over
with, but they argued for half a day before
agreeing to technically declared for the plaintiff,
but make him understand that his complaint
was really too trivial to have taken so much of
so many people's time.

One of my coworkers sat for several weeks for
a murder trial that was all over the news, of a
woman accused of hiring the butcher of her
local megamart to kill her husband.

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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby okbye » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:03 pm

I haven't gotten a notice for a long time but I always send in a medical excuse. Chronic diarrhea does have one benefit.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Butterbean » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:22 pm

I've been called twice. Spent the day at the courthouse both times, but was never selected for a jury. I was impaneled for a complex medical malpractice case the last time but was rejected in voir dire because I was an active client of one of the defense law firms.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby todd » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm

Called in 83, was living out of state, again in 2006 but they cancelled on me.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby carla » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:27 am

I've been called several times over the decades; too bad not when I was/am available. (Must admit to being relieved to get out of Federal duty in LA county when I was a college student -- sure didn't want to drive to LA, I'm phobic about that.)

There was the time before I served that I got deferred. Had to enter court room alone and speak at podium to judge and attorneys and explain that I was the only paralegal/legal secretary in an office of three attorneys. They chuckled and deferred me. That was soon before I served.

Served as foreman or "foreperson," nominated by a male jury member, in the 90's. About a week and I got some kind of jury pay from my employer, I don't remember the details. A criminal burglary trial. We found him innocent of the first charge -- and guilty of all others. I won't forget the looks on the defendant's face when the verdicts were read.

Was in voir dire once after serving, but had a 30-year-old passing acquaintance with the defense attorney's sister and had met him, and it was an elder abuse case and I was working for a psychologist who worked with the elderly. I disclosed, I was dismissed.

Serving on a jury was a fantastic experience that bolstered my faith in my community, my fellow humans and our country. I felt closer to the ideals of the USA than when I vote.

I take it very seriously and cherish my jury duty.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby new cook » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:37 am

I've been called several times, but when I was self-employed I was able to get released. I did that with mixed feelings, however, because I always thought it would be an interesting experience and it is a civic duty.

Later, when I had a job that paid for time spent on jury duty, I was called, selected, then released because it was a murder trial where the DA was going to pursue the death penalty and I'm absolutely against it. The process was very interesting: those of us who were selected to be the pool from which the final jurors were to be selected were given a 30 page questionnaire to complete. Any of us who were absolutely for or absolutely against capital punishment were let go; they only wanted people who were merely open to the possibility.

Then last Spring I was called again, selected, and impaneled. It was a medical malpractice case that lasted a month due to the number of witnesses called to give testimony, plus all the cross-examination of all those witnesses. On one hand we all felt the defendent was sleazy and ran a plastic surgery mill, but we were split on whether the plaintiff's own case had enough merit to decide in her favor. We all agreed it should have been a class action suit instead. But we were split, and in the end it was a hung jury. One month for a hung jury. :x

I didn't love it, didn't hate it. It was more a question of endurance, but I did meet some really nice people.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby new cook » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:43 am

carla wrote:Serving on a jury was a fantastic experience that bolstered my faith in my community, my fellow humans and our country. I felt closer to the ideals of the USA than when I vote.

I take it very seriously and cherish my jury duty.

I take it very seriously, too, and despite my experience in that case I'd look forward to serving again. It's an honor to serve, really. And I know if I were ever to find myself in a courtroom on either side of a case I would hope that the jurors would be taking their role very seriously, too. Justice depends on it.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Marz Epan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:10 am

I've gotten jury duty notices three times.

I've only had to go in once. Sat around most of the morning waiting to be called. I wasn't. The case was a he said/she said.

The other two times? The notices had come just as we were getting ready to move out of state so I was excused.

I kid you not - a friend of mine was called in, got called to the stand for voir dire, and after the questions, pointed to the defendant and asked, quite innocently, "Is that the guy who did it?"
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby okbye » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:02 pm

Serving on a jury was a fantastic experience that bolstered my faith in my community, my fellow humans and our country. I felt closer to the ideals of the USA than when I vote.

Funny, being the plaintiff in a civil trial and going through the jury selection put the final nail in my faith in the judicial system. The 3 years leading up to it certainly helped but being present when your lawyers are discussing the jury pool and why or why not they want or don't want them is a major education. It's all a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with what's right.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Myrealana » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:34 pm

I've been called a few times. Usually I show up, fill out a form, read for a couple of hours and whatever trial we were there for gets rescheduled and we all go home.

I got to voir dire on a drug case. I answered some question from the prosecutor about how he could prove he is who is says he is. Apparently my answer wasn't good enough and I was sent home.

carla wrote:
Serving on a jury was a fantastic experience that bolstered my faith in my community, my fellow humans and our country. I felt closer to the ideals of the USA than when I vote.

I take it very seriously and cherish my jury duty.

This.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby new cook » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:40 pm

okbye wrote:Serving on a jury was a fantastic experience that bolstered my faith in my community, my fellow humans and our country. I felt closer to the ideals of the USA than when I vote.

Funny, being the plaintiff in a civil trial and going through the jury selection put the final nail in my faith in the judicial system. The 3 years leading up to it certainly helped but being present when your lawyers are discussing the jury pool and why or why not they want or don't want them is a major education. It's all a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with what's right.

I was also disappointed in that process in the medical malpractice case I'd served on. It seemed to many of us that the lawyers on both sides were pretty sloppy and incomplete in the way they questioned some potential jurors and not others. But in the end, despite the lawyers' collective incompetence, we all took our job seriously, which is why we ended up in a hung jury. Despite our agreement that this was the wrong case to have a single plaintiff, we all felt strongly about doing what was right and fair; half of us just saw the conclusion for that differently. But we spent days revisiting our notes on the testimonies given, poring over the instructions we were given and debating on how the law applied to each count. I have nothing but respect for all my fellow jurors, no matter how they voted.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Jules » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:11 pm

I've been called 3 times, served once in the early 90s. It was for a DUI "with special circumstances" (speeding, driving with a restricted license, driving without insurance, and I forget what-all else).

I wasn't trying to "get out" of serving, but I was pretty astonished I was selected. I'd worked at the same corporation at the same time as the accused ('tho we'd never met). I had been to the bar as the accused and was familiar with their beverage line-up. I was asked if I had heard of various tricks and behaviors people tried to appear sober when behind the wheel. I had even driven the stretch of road where the officer first encountered the accused. I was asked to share my beliefs on alcoholism, alcoholics and "social drinking".

Honestly? It took all of a few minutes of listening to responses during the trial for me to start to feel that this guy was lucky he hadn't killed anyone yet, . However it seemed we had three people on the jury who, once we were behind closed doors, admitted they *really* didn't like/trust police officers (or their testing methods, their experts, or pretty much anything connected with local law enforcement) so we debated for three solid days (after asking to re-hear various pieces of testimony several times). We finally were able to find him guilty on 4 of the 6 counts.

I remember seeing a vehicle in the parking lot with a bumper sticker that read "Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer!" and thinking it was probably his truck. :roll:
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby carla » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:48 pm

I don't deny the problems inherent in the system.
My biggest takeaway from serving on a jury was that NO ONE knows what happened; no one gets the full story. You work with what you're given. And "justice" costs a lot.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby okbye » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:02 pm

There is no such thing as justice, it's all down to who has the best lawyer. And I essentially won my case, it's not sour grapes. It comes from observing my lawyers as well as the defense's. That applies to the criminal and civil systems. It may be the best we've got but it is by no means fair.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby JeanC » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:13 pm

The only time I've ever been summoned I no longer lived in that state. Since then, never :cry:
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby vickatina » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:34 pm

I have been called twice.

The first time was for a traffic accident/injury claim. Guy was driving a box/delivery truck and got rear-ended by a car. He claimed he got carpel-tunnel from the accident because his hand was on the stick-shift....really? We awarded him nothing.

The second time I was called, I had my girls...my hubby worked during the day (7-3) and I worked later at night (4-12) and I had no one to watch my kids, so I got excused.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Chef Mongo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:58 am

The case on which I just served was one where I really wished I could have just smacked both parties.

Man and woman met in Chuck E. Cheese parking lot to hand off kids. (No marriage/divorce, no formal custody agreement) They start yelling at each other in the parking lot in front of the kids. The father leaves, and the mother decides to call the police and claim he assaulted her.

The "assault?" He allegedly pushed her and spit on her. She had no physical injury, and no one but her 15-year-old daughter (perhaps the most coached witness in courtroom history) was the only one who saw the spit, supposedly.

We found the father not guilty.

But I still enjoyed, was fascinated by and have faith in the process. And it's good to see so many of you do, as well.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby n8urebabe » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:18 pm

I've been called several times in CA and here. I never got close to a case in CA but I've been on 2 cases here. The first case, the jury was awesome, intelligent people. The second case was mostly intelligent people and a couple people who felt the need to punish our defendant for things that had happened in their own lives. Fortunately, it didn't prevent justice from being done.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Kristina » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:49 pm

My dad's a lawyer, and I never got called while I was at home, and I was in a pool once after I moved out, but have never even had a date to go in, much less to serve. My dad got called recently, but I think he was just in the pool for a time.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby haleoalau » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:02 pm

I've been summoned twice: the first time I had just moved out of state, so was excused. The second time, when they found out I worked in the insurance industry I was excused (dismissed?). I have always wondered what that case involved.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby carla » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:18 am

I've been remembering, and there was a woman who didn't give a crap and just wanted to get the job done and get out. Yes, she was on the jury. She could've been swayed either way.... :cry: :wall:
She just wanted out. EVERY other jury member urged her to do her job and take it seriously and continued taking her seriously. Pitiful &b real, but led to extra discussion. We didn't need 100% unanimity to convict, but I hazily recall that she voted with the majority, though I may be wrong. I and others would've reported it, I truly believe, if there was juror misconduct. Instead, we had her work with us. And this was a short trial.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby okbye » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:54 pm

We settled a week into my trial (against my better judgement) and when they told the jury and dismissed them one guy shot out of there like his ass was on fire. All the rest stayed and were allowed to ask questions. We were not allowed to disclose the terms of the settlement with them but when I saw how many were interested in the outcome and one even asked me if I had been taken care of well enough that just reinforced my feeling that we should not have settled. My lawyer was afraid of the jury, he said he had never seen a jury with 3 engineers on it and engineers are bad. He did not see it as a sympathetic jury and people like that are not likely to award you money even if they think you are in the right. The more technical someone's profession the worse it is. And the defence eliminated the ones they thought would most likely to be sympathetic, mothers stood no chance with them. My mother's testimony would have killed them. It reminded me a lot of gambling logic. The guy who flew out was young, probably not one of the engineers, lol.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby CopperTop » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:37 pm

In my former hometown, as soon as any of the county prosecutors saw me, they sent me home. This probably stemmed from the time I was a witness in a criminal case of a sheriff's deputy murdering the local Hells Angels' chapter president.

Currently, I have a permanent exemption from jury duty - it seems that having been under treatment for depression as well as having managed a "ranch" in Nevada gets you on the "not of sound mind or good moral character" list out here.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby new cook » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:51 pm

CopperTop wrote:In my former hometown, as soon as any of the county prosecutors saw me, they sent me home. This probably stemmed from the time I was a witness in a criminal case of a sheriff's deputy murdering the local Hells Angels' chapter president.

Currently, I have a permanent exemption from jury duty - it seems that having been under treatment for depression as well as having managed a "ranch" in Nevada gets you on the "not of sound mind or good moral character" list out here.

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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby todd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:42 pm

:shock:
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby haleoalau » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:06 pm

Ya'll have never heard the stories?? Oh my!!/Takei Beg a boon and ask for a retelling!
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby moonablaze » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:58 am

called once, it was finals week at college and the state had officially stopped giving deferments for education (only exception was if you were a graduating senior and missing the exam would cause you to not graduate). managed to not have to come in till friday (and got my professor to let me email in my final paper with a scan of my jury duty notice). I was brought in on a domestic violence case, but they excused me because I'd been a witness to domestic violence before.
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Re: QOTD 1/23: Jury Duty

Postby Wanda Woman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:52 am

I was called a few times under the old system where you had to show up every Tuesday for a month. It gave new meaning to "many are called, few are chosen". My panel was never called out of the ginormous waiting room.

Under the new system where you call in to see if your panel needs to report, I've not been needed for the week several times.

Once, my panel was called to a courtroom where the attorneys were trying to seat a jury for a drunk driving case. The first twelve potential jurors were seated in the jury box and each of them was asked if they or anyone in their family had experience with a drunk driver. If anyone said yes, they were bounced out and another potential juror took their place. One new potential juror was a gal who sloooowly made her way into the jury box using crutches. Everyone waited patiently while she settled in. The attorney asked if she or anyone in her family had experience with a drunk driver. She said yes. Since so many potential jurors had been dismissed, the attorney asked her, "Was it you or someone in your family?" She replied it was her. The attorney asked, "How long ago was that?" She replied, "Yesterday". The entire courtroom, judge included, erupted in laughter. The judge excused her. I was one of the last two potential jurors and they managed to seat a jury before they got to me.

Last year, I finally got to serve. It was an assault case involving a love triangle. The victim was a tiny guy I could have beaten the daylights out of. The defendant was a much larger man who had the world's worst attorney. His own lawyer asked him if he had been in fights. The defendant said, "Lots of times, but I almost always win." :? His lawyer asked if he felt he had the upper hand in the fight with the victim and the defendant said, "That guy never had a chance". :shock: We convicted him (despite several of the other jurors who only wanted to talk about why the female the guys were fighting about took a baby out of the house at 11 p.m. at night). We learned afterwards that this was the defendant's third strike and he would receive a mandatory sentence to a state prison.

It was very interesting to see the justice system at work. I was appalled at the incompetence of the defense attorney (he should have never put the defendant on the stand) and the lack of focus of some of the jurors during deliberations. Several times I had to re-read our instructions to get us back on track, but I think we came to the correct decision given the information presented.
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