Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oh fun

I've been summoned for jury duty.

I get that it's my civic duty, etc., etc. But it's horrifically inconvenient. Don't they get how badly this will cut into my billable hours? It's too bad I can't be a juror on a client's case. I'd think they'd give at LEAST double billable credit for that.

Why did I never get jury duty when I wanted it, when I was in college and thought it would be cool experience for a future attorney? (Yes, I've known for a long time I was a weird kid.)

Seriously, what good will it do me now? It won't teach me a damn thing at this point. My first ever trial is scheduled for later this month (and I'm pretty psyched about it). Jury duty is set for the week of February 13. As in, after the trial's over.

It's like it was planned out to be as unuseful to me as possible. Stupid government.



At January 3, 2007 at 10:38 PM, Blogger Alon Levy said...

Just find a creative way to get out. "I'm a lawyer" might make both attorneys anxious enough they'll strike you. If it doesn't, do the Sarah Silverman trick: say something like "I hate chinks." They'll consider you a class-A racist, but at least you'll get out of jury duty.

At January 4, 2007 at 9:24 AM, Blogger Roonie said...

I think you being a lawyer would get you stricken almost immediately. Who wants a lawyer on the jury, someone who can actually make perfect sense of what's going on?

At January 4, 2007 at 10:53 AM, Blogger odderie said...

Remember the story about how Daddy Posner was on three juries, all of which ended up being hung juries?

Sorry to say that I don't think being a lawyer alone will get you off. :(

At January 4, 2007 at 12:06 PM, Blogger Norbizness said...

Trust me, "I'm an attorney" works like a charm. Nothing two attorneys dislike more than some know-it-all smart-ass from their own tribe in the jury box.

And I'll let Roonie in on a little secret. It's not that sense is being made, it's realizing that there is in fact no method at all to the nonsense.

Burn your voter registration card!

At January 4, 2007 at 1:00 PM, Blogger jrav said...

I simply work for an attorney and no one wants to come near me at jury duty. Of course, I live in a three-year consecutive "top ten judicial hellhole" so defense firms are pretty much seen as the anti-Christ.

At January 4, 2007 at 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

say something like "I hate chinks."

I thought statements like that put one at risk of a contempt of court charge. Is that not true?

At January 4, 2007 at 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best tactic in California (or at least Santa Clara county) is to defer until the last week of december when the judges are all going to be on vacation and the trail will more than likely be cancelled. If not, after sitting through voir dire several times during my externship 1L summer, I can tell you "I'm an attorney" will get you out of there. Whether "I hate chinks" gets you contempt charges depends on the judge. If its a criminal trial, having a close friend, lover, relative who is in any way connected to the criminal justice system (cop, defense attorney, prosecutor, crime victim) will also get you struck depending on the quality of the jury pool. Less offensive than being struck for being a racist is being struck for believing that "everyone who is arrested deserves it, the cops wouldn't arrest them if they weren't guilty". Good luck with that.

At January 5, 2007 at 10:32 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

alon, yeah, I don't think attorneys actually sit on juries very often. Although I'm not willing to even pretend to be a racist... I mean, I live and work here... I don't exactly want to develop a reputation as a racist lawyer.

roonie, precisely. Making sense of the nonsense, or something. Or at least, they wouldn't want me poking fun at their arguments -- because if there's one thing lawyers are good at, it's mocking other lawyers :)

odderie, I never heard that story! Yipes. I can just imagine being in the jury room... it would be like the longest class ever, combined with the most intimidating oral argument ever, for fifteen bucks a day. Um, yay.

norbiz, exactly. Unfortunately, here in California we're all computerized and everything... I'd have to break into the county clerk's office to erase my name from the voter records... and I do kind of like having the right to vote. Even if I'm only cancelling out my grandma :)

jrav, judicial hellhole, hmm? I'm intrigued.

anon, I'm not aware of any law making it contempt to be racist. Certainly if you spoke out of turn, or when the judge told you to be quiet, you could be held in contempt. But, thanks to the good ol' First Amendment, at present there's nothing unlawful about being a racist pig.

anon 2, damn, if only I'd gotten my summons a couple months earlier. Somehow I doubt they'd let me defer ten months. Anyway, that could conflict with Christmas vacation. And I revert to an infantile state if I miss my Christmas vacation (why else would I brave treacherous road conditions just to open presents with my brother and sister?).

At January 5, 2007 at 11:28 AM, Blogger jrav said...

The report is put out by American Tort Reform, but in Jefferson County, Texas, you don't need an official report to tell you that.

Chemical plants for miles, a huge majority of blue collar workers and a surplus of attorneys - it's pretty obvious. I'll try to link it. It is pretty fascinating. We're home to Walter Umphrey and Michael Jamail, two of the biggest - and first - tobacco and asbestos attorneys.

At January 5, 2007 at 9:03 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

"a surplus of attorneys"

::feels glad to live on the west coast::

In seriousness, yikes! No wonder courts don't like you ;)

At January 7, 2007 at 9:23 AM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

I would have thought lawyers and their kin were anathema in the jury selection process: Every time I have had to "audition" for jury duty, they've excused me as soon as I mentioned that there are lawyers in my family. However, my son, who is one, has actually served.

You might try walking creepy and having spasms, or pick your nose while scratching your crotch, but I don't really recommend it since you may be appearing before the same courts later.

I have friends who don't vote for fear of jury duty. Since I do vote, I'm susceptible.

At January 9, 2007 at 3:07 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

heart, so wrong of them to make us choose between voting and freedom from jury duty... I'm HOPING that me being a lawyer will keep me from wasting more than a day of my time :( (crossing fingers)


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