Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jury duty for me!

I have jury duty tomorrow!  And it's at the federal courthouse, so there's an outside chance I will get to serve (if it's a civil case, rather than criminal).

It's been so long since I've been herded around like I'm a sheep, it'll be interesting.  Of course, we'll see if it's like the state criminal courts, where there's a LOT of waiting around.

In case it is, I'll bring my book.

And yes, I'll let you know when it's all over what it's like.

Fingers crossed!

** Update **

Well, ridiculous optimism appears to contain no power.  No go on the jury today, though an inside look at the way they do things in federal court was absolutely worthwhile.

The major difference appears to be that the judge conducts much of the voir dire, he gave the lawyers about 15 to 20  minutes each.  Far more efficient.  And while it took up all morning, I wouldn't say there was a whole lot of waiting about.  Here's roughly how the morning went:

8 - 8:30: we're in the main jury room, not the courtroom, and get a welcome and powerpoint talk by the jury coordinator, telling about the Western District of Texas and a little about the process.

8:30 - 9: a video, snippets of Supreme Court justices and former jurors talking about the importance of jury duty.

9:30 - 10:30 - after a break, we go into the courtroom and Judge Yeakel gives us a thank you and introduction to the case and parties.  He then asks the kinds of questions that, in State court, the lawyers ask.  He is considerably less long-winded.

10:30 - 11- the lawyers have their turn, seem prepared and knows our names even.

11:30 - 11:45 - we take another break while the strikes are made and the jury settled upon, and this is done quickly and without fuss.  We're done and dusted by lunch time.

I imagine the process was accelerated partly because there were just 26 of us in the panel - they were picking eight people for a civil trial. 

One I would have loved to have jurored.  Maybe next time?

Don't worry, I managed to cheer myself up with an offense report back at the office.  Some kid had stolen a pair of sneakers from a man's car.  A pair of size 16 sneakers.

Don't you pick those up and think, "Errr, yeah, I'm not stealing from this dude.  If he catches me...."

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