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Old 10-16-2009, 06:24 PM   #21
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I tell you, jury duty is one PITA for a fulltime RVer!

This past February I returned to Kerrville and sat around for the whole month just checking each Friday to see if I had to report at the Federal Court in San Antonio the following monday morning for a jury pick. I couldn't make any plans, couldn't make any appointments (especially not Dr's etc.), because I never knew until a few days in advance whether I was excused for the week.

Jury pick was cancelled two of those weeks and my number didn't get picked the other two.

Being "on call" for a whole month really stinks!

Audrey
Another good reason to volunteer (when you are going to be in town anyway. It gets you off the hook for a year or two of good RV Ramblin'.

R
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:31 PM   #22
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I've been called a few times, on a potential panal once or twice, but never went to trial.

My sister did, years ago, and found it very interesting (not guilty of the charges, but "If only felony stupidity had been on the list...")

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Old 10-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #23
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Another good reason to volunteer (when you are going to be in town anyway. It gets you off the hook for a year or two of good RV Ramblin'.

R
Well, I don't think the Federal Courts work that way. I expect I could easily make that arrangement with the county court.

Audrey
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:23 PM   #24
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This is how it works in Denver:

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Many people assume that the Denver County Court is responsible for summoning people to jury duty. This is incorrect.

In fact, the Denver County Court uses a jury pool which is managed by the Jury Commissioner, a State employee from the Denver District Court. All courts -- County, State and Federal -- requiring the use of jurors draw their panels from a shared pool of available jurors. Jurors are not pre-assigned or reserved by a specific courtroom, except in extraordinary situations.

Denver has a one day, one trial system, which means that a person is either selected to sit as a juror or is released from service on the first day they are summoned to jury duty. This appearance, whether or not the person is chosen to sit on a jury, constitutes the individual's jury obligation until the next time a jury summons is received.

Jurors are provided to courtrooms on a first-come, first-served basis with the exception of a criminal or speedy trial matter. These cases have a priority over other cases.

The Jury Commissioner's office services 36 courtrooms and is also responsible for payment of jurors for their services. Jurors are expected to be paid by their employers, if employed, for the first three days of service. After that time, the Jury Commissioner pays $50 per day for each day over three days. Further information can be found on the State jury website.
Found at Jury Commissioner?
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #25
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I find it very scary. They call me every year. Last year I barely escaped being on a six week trial (in the middle of the summer).

A friend says she just tosses her summons in the garbage, but I'm just too honest or something to do that.

Got a summons for DD, who now lives in Missouri, so I'm waiting to see if they follow up on it.

I asked why, with 100,000 plus residents in the county they call me every year. They gave me figures about how many people don't show up, etc.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:34 PM   #26
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A friend says she just tosses her summons in the garbage, but I'm just too honest or something to do that.
I couldn't find the cite quickly but In Colorado there is a Warrant for your arrest issued and IIRC the penalty is severe... on the other hand, you might get the opportunity to see the jury system in action.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:42 PM   #27
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Either scowl openly at the defendant or tell the defense attorney you watch a lot of Law and Order, as in nightly, 3 episodes in a row.
Guaranteed toss out.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #28
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Just filled out my worksheet for the 2010 jury pool. It'd be interesting to see if either side of a case would want a retired military officer on the jury.

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There is some thought in the U.S. that a professional jurist (judge) system would render more even-handed and reasoned verdicts for defendants and save time and money too. It takes many years for most civil cases to come to trial. I don't think it would ever happen as trial by jury of one's peers is such an ingrained part of English law.
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A good example of why I think the jury system should be scrapped. There are a lot of dumb people around, and they shouldn't be making decisions on people's guilt or otherwise.
The whole concept of "jury of your peers" is what inspires so many lawyers to settle out of court. And a professional jurist system would merely dilute the bribery pool that already has to be shared among so many judges...
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:48 PM   #29
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When my son was living in NYC right after college, he was called for jury duty twice but was dismissed both times. His feeling was that when they learned what he did for a living "they did not want analytic people on juries, lawyers want people they can lead."
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:57 PM   #30
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Have been on jury duty a dozen or so times. Never once on a jury. Every time was tossed by one or the other party's attorneys.

Two years ago, was tossed when the judge asked if anyone had legal training. I asked the judge to define legal training. Immediately after his explanation I was excused. Three months ago, my jury number was higher than the range required to report.
"Oh there you go asking intelligent questions again. What are you an engineer or something? You are excused again Mr. Free to canoe."

The process of finding "peers" is kind of scary.

Free to canoe
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #31
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I get summoned every few years but haven't served since I got a law degree (which I never have used). Pre-law degree I was on a couple of federal criminal cases, each of which was most interesting.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #32
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Called for jury duty three times, served on a jury once. Extremely interesting case. A town was being sued due to a collision between a squad car on a high speed pursuit and a civilian car.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:47 PM   #33
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I used to get called in for jury duty every 2-3 months, in spite of the official policy being once a year. I didn't mind. I was on a first name basis with the clerks, and that got one of them to thinking...

It turned out that they had 5 different entries for me in their database. They removed four of them, and now I'm back to once a year.

Oh, I was never picked to be on a jury. Something about being an engineer, with an extremely good memory, and a habit of reading local papers front to back got me dismissed by one attorney or the other every time.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:03 AM   #34
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Oh, I was never picked to be on a jury. Something about being an engineer, with an extremely good memory, and a habit of reading local papers front to back got me dismissed by one attorney or the other every time.
OK if I borrow that summary for my next jury-duty muster?
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:50 AM   #35
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I find it very scary. They call me every year. Last year I barely escaped being on a six week trial (in the middle of the summer).
....
Maybe I'm a wimp, I also find it scary. Last time I sat in a jury room, I was terrified that a gang member would hunt me down if I served and a guilty verdict came in. I watched them for five days go though 121 out of 145 potential jurors and was relieved that my paper remained at the bottom on the pile. Not surprisingly, the guy was acquitted and is back on the streets after shooting a snitch in the face point blank, (self defense).

I also get called every year, sometimes oftener and probably will take the city up on its offer to opt out at age 70.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:04 AM   #36
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Being "on call" for a whole month really stinks!
It depends on the jurisdiction. Where I'm from they also have a "one day or one trial" policy and that's it for at least the next three years.

I was called for a jury trial once, on the same day I was also scheduled to testify as the arresting officer in another trial. They said the jury trial took precedence, but I was thrown off anyway since I'd worked with those arresting officers for the previous 20 years.

If you're called and don't want to serve, just tell the judge something to the effect of "Well, if he got arrested he must be guilty of something."

Or just wear your tinfoil hat to court.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:12 AM   #37
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It depends on the jurisdiction. Where I'm from they also have a "one day or one trial" policy and that's it for at least the next three years.

....
In my city, it's also "one day or one trial" but if you get excused in the morning, you could well be in another jury room in the afternoon. We can be called back in one year after serving in the civil section, two years after a criminal case. I'm free until Nov. 2010.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:13 AM   #38
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If you're called and don't want to serve, just tell the judge something to the effect of "Well, if he got arrested he must be guilty of something.
I don't mind serving - I figure I gotta do my part. But the federal court jury questionnaire did specifically ask if I had an engineering background - right next to the question about legal experience.

So I figure likelihood of being kicked off due to my engineering degrees to be high.

However, being an engineer didn't keep my husband from being picked, and he had to sit on a week long jury trial for a child custody/divorce case!

Yes, in Texas, you can request a jury trial for your divorce case!

Audrey
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:15 AM   #39
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This is the scary part for me: the glacially slow bureaucratic process that must be followed. For example, the same instructions, word for word, that must be given to each potential juror. I realize why it has to be this way, but it's not easy for someone who gets bored watching the credits of movies.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:42 AM   #40
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I was on a jury a 3 month long murder trial. We were sequestered for 4 days.

The only scary thing to me was the composition of the jury pool. Originally 300, heavily over-represented by weirdos and anti-social people with serious authority issues, followed by seniors anxious to serve for the $14 per day jury compensation (plus lunch).

In spite of frequent criticism, when compared with other countries our judicial system heavily favors the accused and the burden is really on the accuser.

That said, my single most important lesson was the importance of the attorney both ability and chemistry.
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