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      10-10-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
Mike Benvo
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How many of you have served for Jury Duty?

I'm sitting here in the courthouse now on one of four computers they have in the back in the juror room. Basically had to jump over hurdles to get one. Had no idea you could bring your laptop/iPad here. Computer is locked down beyond belief, no right click, no way to remote desktop. Would have been a great time to answer backlogged emails. I've tried all the tricks to gain access to remote desktop, but not happening without me using a boot cd .

To be honest I'm really bitter being here. I understand it's part of my civil duty - but seriously... $15 a day? .34 a mile for gas one way? That means that it costs me money in gas too just to drive here and back! And I know were talking about nickels and dimes here - it's not the money but the principle that they such ridiculous wages for compensating self employeed people.

I'm 7 weeks behind as it is with emails piling up and I have to sit here in this room listening to an imaginary violin playing in my head to keep me grounded from piles of work.

So in a couple hours I presume they will pick me or tell me if I can go home. I've heard mixed stories about the selection. Playing dumb can get you picked, acting like you know about criminal law and due process can get you picked, so I'm not really sure how to weasel my way out of this, but I'll just be honest and truthful because you can't go wrong there. I had to cancel two clients this morning because of this.

So - for all of you - who has been called for jury duty before? Were you selected? Share your experience. I hope you guys keep me busy as I sit here pulling my hair out!

Sorry for the rant.
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      10-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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Find a part of the case that you are knowledgable about, and try to convey to the lawyers that you have above average knowledge of the subject that may sway your decision.

For example, I was asked a question when I was called a year ago, the case involved an auto accident. I know alot about auto insurance due to family members in the business. The way I answered the question they pointed at me obviosuly triggered that I knew what I was talking about, so they asked to talk to me in private. I explanied to them my connection to the business and my kowledge, and they said have a nice day!
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      10-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Cant speak from personal experience, but I'd bet if you acted a bit crazy, inconsistent and unpredictable, that would get you off the list.

The two opposing lawyers know they cannot stack the deck 100% with jurors sympathetic to their own agendas, despite how much they want to. If you cant have someone on your side, the next best thing is someone who is predictable, who will fit into a box that makes it easier to construct an argument for.

Neither side would be happy about a nutjob who erratically swings from 1 position to the opposite for no reason, that would be the hardest kind of person to convince or persuade.
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      10-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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See if you can make an impression that you will be judgemental about a person by it looks or the way he sits. And skeptical about innocent until proven guilty. (You can't say you don't believe because its the fundamental of America). Better if you have been wrongly accused of doing something or bad experience with law enforcement officers.

I recall I've seen a few people got excused by similar stuff.

I eventually got picked to a case, fortunately my company pays for two weeks of Jury Duty. So I can just sit back and relax. enjoying 9am-11:30am/1:30pm-4pm routines~
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      10-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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How about this for a unique idea--quit trying to game this, knuckle down and do your duty!
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      10-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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I wound up getting out of it @ lunchtime.

It's nice to be FREE!!

I was talking to my detail guy earlier about it. He said that he got called in and managed to get out by saying he was Racist.

I guess you sort of have to feel out the defense and go off of that.

E90Slam: If I worked for a company that paid for it, I would enjoy the vast amounts of new free time! Unfortunately for me not the case.

OldArmy: I hear you - but I have other duties that are of higher priority!
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      10-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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Have never served. The family business (so to speak) excludes us automatically. I have heard some horror stories though.
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      10-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldArmy View Post
How about this for a unique idea--quit trying to game this, knuckle down and do your duty!
In theory, I get what you are saying and agree. Sadly, not everyone gets any compensation by their employer for it, and some genuinely cannot afford it; they may be locked into financial obligations that are impossible to meet without that help, especially if it's a long case.

They say that jury duty is a very important thing, but when you look at the compensation for it, that quickly blows a hole in that assertion. What message does it send when they pay less than a grade 10 student makes at McDonalds for that same amount of time ? The system is profoundly broken, and basically creates an incentive for many (not all) people to try and get out of it.

If they cant scrape up the funds to compensate people properly for the level of important decision making you are asking them to do, then at least pass laws to make it illegal to financially penalize people who suspend their payments during jury duty or something. That would add teeth to the idea that it's such an important duty.

Otherwise, it simply has the unintended effect of filtering out the good people who were trustworthy enough to get jobs and loans, and lets in those with nowhere better to be, or people who do have somewhere better to be, but are not clever enough to get out of jury duty (with some exceptions of course, but not enough IMHO to make it a jury of my "peers".)
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      10-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post
In theory, I get what you are saying and agree. Sadly, not everyone gets any compensation by their employer for it, and some genuinely cannot afford it; they may be locked into financial obligations that are impossible to meet without that help, especially if it's a long case.

They say that jury duty is a very important thing, but when you look at the compensation for it, that quickly blows a hole in that assertion. What message does it send when they pay less than a grade 10 student makes at McDonalds for that same amount of time ? The system is profoundly broken, and basically creates an incentive for many (not all) people to try and get out of it.

If they cant scrape up the funds to compensate people properly for the level of important decision making you are asking them to do, then at least pass laws to make it illegal to financially penalize people who suspend their payments during jury duty or something. That would add teeth to the idea that it's such an important duty.

Otherwise, it simply has the unintended effect of filtering out the good people who were trustworthy enough to get jobs and loans, and lets in those with nowhere better to be, or people who do have somewhere better to be, but are not clever enough to get out of jury duty (with some exceptions of course, but not enough IMHO to make it a jury of my "peers".)
All good, no major disagreement. But when the best and the brightest are always able to find a way out or are excluded for those same attributes you end up with a justice system that is broken. We are left with juries who are populated with the semi-competent, too "slow" to escape, yielding results that we all shake our heads over. I've done a dozen courts martials (not the same of course) and been called and disqualified from three civilian court cases. Each disqualification was for the worst of reasons--too educated, too experienced, too familiar with the crime, too whatever. This system is broken.
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      10-10-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post
In theory, I get what you are saying and agree. Sadly, not everyone gets any compensation by their employer for it, and some genuinely cannot afford it; they may be locked into financial obligations that are impossible to meet without that help, especially if it's a long case.

They say that jury duty is a very important thing, but when you look at the compensation for it, that quickly blows a hole in that assertion. What message does it send when they pay less than a grade 10 student makes at McDonalds for that same amount of time ? The system is profoundly broken, and basically creates an incentive for many (not all) people to try and get out of it.

If they cant scrape up the funds to compensate people properly for the level of important decision making you are asking them to do, then at least pass laws to make it illegal to financially penalize people who suspend their payments during jury duty or something. That would add teeth to the idea that it's such an important duty.

Otherwise, it simply has the unintended effect of filtering out the good people who were trustworthy enough to get jobs and loans, and lets in those with nowhere better to be, or people who do have somewhere better to be, but are not clever enough to get out of jury duty (with some exceptions of course, but not enough IMHO to make it a jury of my "peers".)
Couldn't agree with you more, my sentiments exactly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldArmy View Post
This system is broken.
This is an understatement.

I told a friend in Europe about this and he scoffed at the very prospect of such compensation. Luckily, I am in a financial position where I could take considerable time off without incurring any hardship. However, for others, the idea of being in a financial predicament coupled with this burden to serve "civil duty" could adversely affect ones ability to fulfill financial obligations.
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      10-11-2012, 09:49 AM   #11
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I got called in for Jury duty once. They set it up where they had us all in a big room and assigned you to a judge, and my particular one was the only one of of all the judges who made the selected people fill out a questionnaire about yourself (i.e. where you work, your education, views, etc.) so I figured the case was something serious.

I ended up filling out the questionnaire and sitting there for a while (they played "The Blind Side" on TV's hanging from the ceiling so it wasn't horribly boring). Finally all the jurors for that judge got called out and brought into another room. We were told the case was pleaded and we could go home. That was pretty much it, we weren't told anything about the case.

I went home and slept.
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      10-29-2012, 03:20 AM   #12
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never served as jury
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      10-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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Seminole, your willingness to be there is what caused the defendant to plead out. YOU saved the state money just by participating.

If it were all about money, many 'just' things would never get done. THANK YOU to all those wearing a US uniform, who endure continuing financial hardships, so they can perform a thankless job SERVING our society.

For the rest of us, this is a very small opportunity to do a similar service to society.

I'll be at the courthouse 11/13 to do my service. I'm loading up the Kindle . . .
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