Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I've been summoned to jury duty. HELP!

I learned everything I know about jury duty from the 90's Demi Moore flick, The Juror. And based on that, I think it's suffice to say that I am scared shitless. It would be just my luck for a member of the mafia to select me to be their bitch and force me to convince the rest of the jurors that the man on trial would never hurt a fly, let alone another human being. Fellas, I am not the woman for the job, trust me. I can't even convince my boyfriend to buy me a box of tampons at the drugstore.

I know a lot of people try to get out of jury duty, but I think I'm just gonna go with the flow. I mean, everyone has to do it at some point, and it's never really going to be convienent. Although, if I do get selected for a jury, I'm going to be offended. Don't they want jurors who don't know shit about...shit? You already know from this post how insecure I am about my intelligence, so this just might push me off the ledge.

So tell me: What is jury duty like? I read online that there's free WiFi. Should I bring my laptop? And what do I WEAR? Argh, this is just weird.


  1. You are probably the IDEAL juror right now because 1) You have a college education 2) You are between jobs because of the economy, not because of incompetance and 3) you have a brain. Trust me...parties want jurors who are with it (at least civil defense folks like me do). If it is a civil trial, you are the ideal defense juror. If it is a criminal trial, the prosecution will want you...or maybe even the defendant.
    And this will be excellent fodder for blog posts, article ideas (what to wear to jury duty...how to accessorize under florescent lights...can you meet that special someone with a summons? Can you really receive a fair trial by your peers when you are a black man from Brooklyn and a Greek-American woman from Kentucky is on your panel? ) And you will get some lunch money out of it as well.

    My advice to you - be honest during voire dire (the time when you "speak the truth" about your history, your opinions, where you came from). If they ask you if you hate blonds...say yes. Not to mention, you are under oath anyway.


  2. Shannon, you are too funny! I don't know why I was under the impression they wanted people without opinions, etc. Lord, I guess I should be offended if I DON'T get it then. Umm, I was serious about wanting to know what to wear. What do you suggest??

  3. EC, are you still at the Knot? In a lot of states, if you earn most of your income as a contractor (non-salary), you can get excused for economic hardship. Might be worth bringing some paystubs :)

  4. Ellen - Diego was on jury duty for 6 weeks for a murder trial last January! The jury was out of control educated - I think there were maybe 3 lawyers on it, a law student and a few Ph.Ds!!! You never know what type of person they are looking for to sit on their jury! You never know - if you are picked for the jury it may be a really cool experience!

    (Have you seen the 30 Rock where Liz Lemon tries to get out of jury duty in New York by acting strange?? Its funny and doesn't work for her!)

  5. Lalla - I was actually thinking of that episode as soon as I saw her post! Didn't she dress like Princess Leia to try to get out of jury duty...so maybe not the best outfit.

    Ellen - wear what you would wear to work. You wear cute, cool clothes to work, so wear that. But layer because the court house could be varied in temperature. I would also opt for pants vs skirt because you may be sitting on icky benches or chairs.
    Also, your friend Kara makes a good point. If you are "self employed", a judge may let you out for hardship. Just let the attorneys know (when asked of you) you are a free lance journalist/blogger who has to actually type and submit articles for a pay check. They may ask some follow-up questions like "are you able to draft you articles on your own time" (because I would ask that) and you should answer appropriately.
    I forsee this being at best a one to two day inconvenince for you and at worst a great chance to come up with some great ideas to inspire you.

  6. Jury duty update: I got it post-poned. I had my pay stubs with me as Kara suggested, but no one even asked to see them. I really can't afford to take off work because after December, I really don't know if I will even have a job. Hopefully when I get called again to do it, I will be financially stable!! I have to admit though, I got kind of excited when I was in the court room. Maybe I'm wrong, but jury duty seems like it COULD be fun. Well, as long as it doesn't last more than a few days. Who has time for that?!

  7. i had jury duty when i lived in TN. i am sure it is much different in new york, but it was actually pretty neat. i got picked (i really wanted to-mostly because i just didn't want to go to work) and it was a murder trial. it was so interesting and not at all like tv-which i am not ashamed to say was a little disappointing. it only lasted about 4 days, but i learned so much.

    my biggest insight came at the end. the first couple days, when we would hang out on breaks or lunch or whatever, everyone really got along and i was all heart-warmed and "wow, people really are just the same, no matter how different we are-i love people!" and then once we started trying to make a decision it was WHAM! people were saying things right and left that were blowing my mind, and i was all "wtf. i HATE people!"

    it was crazy.