View Full Version : Jury duty....

01-24-2018, 11:03 AM
I'm on jury duty. I think it's a good thing to do.

Have you been and what do you think about it ?? Interesting cases???

George Jung
01-24-2018, 11:05 AM
I've been 'called' but never seated. Apparently they don't like physicians on juries, or so I've been told. My wife has served a few different times - but nothing too exciting.

ETA: I have been called, several times, to testify in Federal Court, over abuse cases - generally involving Native Americans I'd been providing care for. I'd echo some of the others here - impressed with the Judges, less so the Prosecutors, and the Defense lawyers - not at all.

Keith Wilson
01-24-2018, 11:19 AM
I've been called four times, served twice. Once a low-grade domestic abuse case (a pretty unpleasant fellow getting into a row with his teenage son), once an actual - well, I think 'pervert' wouldn't be too strong; the guy was accused of peering through a woman's apartment window while doing things normally done in private. The former we convicted, the latter resulted in a mistrial because there was one totally obstinate guy out of the twelve of us who wouldn't believe a cop under any circumstances. He had actually lied in the selection questioning, and had we understood things better we could have had him replaced, but we didn't. I haven't had much to do with courts, so it was a very interesting experience, and a bit of an education. I was very impressed with the judges; the lawyers not so much.

My son was on a grand jury at age 21 for a complicated fraud case; definitely an education. IIRC it ended up with a plea deal in exchange for the guy's testimony against his associates.

01-24-2018, 11:19 AM
Ditto. I've been called, but never seated. I was surprised by how human the judge appeared and behaved. The defense lawyers were a bad joke, but the defendant seemed to deserve that type. They did a poor job of hiding the ankle monitor he was wearing. :)

ron ll
01-24-2018, 11:20 AM
Many years ago, negligent homicide case. VERY interesting and worthwhile if you can possible afford the time.

01-24-2018, 11:25 AM
I have served on three trials, two murders, and one violation of restraining order. One might say they were interesting, but they were certainly depressing.

amish rob
01-24-2018, 11:25 AM
Just called. Not seated. Been called five times seated twice, foreman twice.

First was robbery, caught on video.

Second was high speed chase resulting in fatal traffic collision, also on video.

Neither were tough convictions, as the crime was on video.

I know if I were ever on trial, I would rather a guy like me be in the box than many others, so I gladly serve.


George Jung
01-24-2018, 11:30 AM
I used to get a lot of folks presenting, insisting I write a letter excusing them from jury duty. Not concerned about others having a true 'jury of peers'. Lost a few clients when I said 'no'.

01-24-2018, 11:30 AM
I was called once, decades ago. I went in and the first thing they did was to ask if I had moved. I had so they asked where to? I said the next town over and they said goodbye, that’s in the next county, too.

01-24-2018, 11:42 AM
Called once and seated. A man was accused of molesting his step daughter since she was 7. Depressing as anything. The alleged victim ended up recanting her tales of abuse while on the witness stand as the defense attorney badgered her. Then the victim's mother/defendant's wife takes the stand and basically told us she caught her husband in the act. That pretty much sealed the deal during deliberations. The man was found guilty on all charges.

What I remember most about the trial and reaching a verdict was the aftermath. After the trial was over we were taken to the jury room until things calmed down in the courtroom, and we were debriefed by attorneys on both sides. The defense attorney kind of made us all feel really crappy about ourselves, saying the daughter was a liar, and the wife was unreliable (she was a witness for the defense, btw) and that we screwed up. Once he left we were all kind of shocked, like did the 12 of us just mess up this bad and condemn an innocent man. Then the prosecutor came in, obviously pleased. When we talked about the conversation with the defense attorney, she informed us that the man on trial was also wanted in 3 other states for the same crimes of which we convicted him, and that his youngest step daughter's (she was 13) son was in fact his child, and he was awaiting trial for that as well, we all felt better about our verdict.

The scariest part of jury duty is that you pretty much see some of the worst of humanity at its absolute worst. I can't imagine being a LEO, social worker, or attorney who's entire professional existence is experiencing that cesspool of humanity all day, everyday. My hat goes off to them.

Ian McColgin
01-24-2018, 11:43 AM
I was called once. The form that I answered honestly showed that my brother and a lover were both public defenders. The prosecutor would not have me. I now have notice for a grand jury in the early spring. That's a bit different in the selection so we'll see if the prosecutor's office me from twenty years ago when I was a regular defense side expert witness in welfare fraud and similar cases.

On the other hand, I also have a huge consumer protection resume so if it's a business prosecution, maybe the ADA will look to unleash my inner Cotton Mather.

01-24-2018, 11:49 AM
Called once. Defense attorneys typically don’t like pilots, or so I’m told.
Selection panel asked me how many guns I owned. I responded none of your damn business.

I was home in time for lunch.

David G
01-24-2018, 11:54 AM
Ditto. I've been called, but never seated. :)

Same for me. But I was a witness in a murder case. I found the body... and called it in.

Peerie Maa
01-24-2018, 12:08 PM
Yep, done my turn.
Interesting case. The manager of a Working Mens Club (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_men%27s_club) AKA the steward, was pocketing the takings. It put the defence lawyer in an awkward spot, as he spotted when the accused, his mother, and her boyfriend all lied under oath. After trying to get his client to correct his testimony without leading his witness, he had to inform the court that the testimony could not be true.
After the judgement was handed down, the judge asked for the mother and her boyfriend to return to court to be warned that they may be charged with perjury.

Tom Montgomery
01-24-2018, 12:09 PM
I was once seated as as an alternate juror for a trial in the local municipal court.

The plaintiff was a local farmer. The defendant was a local housing contractor. The farmer sued for damages to his property by the contractor's equipment that was parked on his property without permission. The contractor said it was an honest mistake as he misunderstood the property boundaries. He also claimed the alleged damage was negligible.

The elderly judge was hard of hearing and constantly asked the lawyers and the witnesses to repeat their questions and answers.

After over two hours of extremely boring testimony the jury was dismissed for a lunch break. Two hours later we were allowed back into the courtroom and the judge informed us that the plaintiff and the defendant had agreed to a settlement.

Norman Bernstein
01-24-2018, 12:16 PM
Ditto. I've been called, but never seated.

Same here... several times. In our local district court, it appears that they draw at least twice the number of potential jurors that they end up needing.... something like 2 groups seated, out of six called.

I'd love to serve on a jury... especially now that I have the time.

01-24-2018, 12:16 PM
I've been called four times. I was seated the first time, when I was working at a local tv station. Was asked how much I knew about the case because of my work, told them I was too busy doing my job to pay attention. This was a negligent homicide case. It was very enlightening and sobering. Came to see the court operating as a 3 ring circus, with each encampment occasionally interacting with the other or both. This was a very sad case: the defendant was essentially a decent man, and the jurors were equally decent. We really didn't want to find the man guilty, but from the judge's instructions and the facts of the case we felt we didn't have a choice in the matter. Ever since then I have been compulsive about making sure all the windows of my car were clear and unobstructed.

After moving to the valley and becoming a mechanical engineering type, no defense attorney has been willing to try to sell me his story, so I've not been seated since.

John Smith
01-24-2018, 12:27 PM
I served on several years ago. Serving today, for me, depends upon the type of case.

Criminal cases: Knowing that we convict an awful lot of innocent people, I'd be disinclined to believe the prosecution, and I'd be unable to convict some poor slob when the wealthy rarely come to trial.

A civil case is another matter. I would make one suggestion: if it's a lawsuit and you believe the plaintiff is entitled to $1000, make the award close to $2000, as his lawyer is going to get 1/3 and any expert witnesses will be paid out of what you award. Whatever you believe the plaintiff is entitled to, make sure he gets that amount.

01-24-2018, 12:28 PM
Called twice, maybe three times. Sat on one. The first two I had to go to the court and wait each day. By the last call, they instituted th telephone call in procedure. I had to call every night to see if I was needed next day. So I worked most of that week until I got called

The case was minor, about a confrontation between two people over a parking spot. One allegedly pushed a grocery wagon into the others car.

Case was dismissed in half a day for reasons I no longer remember.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

01-24-2018, 12:29 PM
Called twice, served twice.

First case was depressing. A dispute over minor property damage between two neighbors who started off as friends but ended up antagonizing the heck out of each other for no apparent reason other than they had nothing better to do. The defense attny was obviously right out of law school and appeared to have little idea what he was doing. At several points during the trial, the judge had to prompt him to ask certain questions. The case should never have gone to court. Instead, some sort of arbitration would have been appropriate.

The second case was an illegal gun possession case in Superior Court. I was honestly moved by the experience. It was serious and important and ultimately very rewarding for me personally. I wrote a letter to the Judge afterward thanking him for the way he conducted the trial and treated everyone involved. Based on that experience, I would gladly serve again, although I wouldn't want to be on a murder trial.

Serving on a jury is an obligation that every citizen should have to perform at least once in their lives. I have absolutely no tolerance for people that do everything they can to get out of it.

John Smith
01-24-2018, 12:37 PM
I sat on two cases way back when. One was criminal. Walking into the jury room to deliberate, I spoke first and asked, "Did anyone believe the cop?" Eleven people looked at me like I was nuts. Then we went over what the cop said. With a little thought, one by one, they came to realize it was not possible. Once we found we could not believe the cop, NOT GUILTY was easy.

One civil case was a cab driver. He was at a red light and gob bumped in the rear. He went to the ER, then he went to a lawyer. Nine months later he went to a doctor because the lawyer sent him. That lawyer testified he treated the lower back based on hospital xrays. Hospital only too head x-rays. He lost two days of work, but no one told us what he made. There were NO pictures, or evidence, his cab was damaged.

We gave him $400.

01-24-2018, 12:59 PM
I have been called about five times and served one two-week term 24 years ago. I sat on two criminal cases.

01-24-2018, 01:02 PM
Yes, I've served here in Scotland. A fight outside a pub in Aberdeen resulting in a charge of assault. Not a particularly interesting case, but I enjoyed the experience.