Which rhymes with a jury of my peers, which means I have to report today for jury duty. In the past, attorneys were automatically excused because we are officers of the court, but no longer. On Tuesday I reported, got impaneled, and - whaddaya know! - got selected to serve on a jury.
I cannot talk about the case, of course, but there are times when I believe that if I were in a defensive position, given the choice of a bench trial or a jury of my peers, I will choose His or Her Honor. I am amazed how even the simplest, most direct question asked in voir dire (that is when the attorneys get to question prospective jurors and "deselect" them) are answered in a completely irrelevant manner. As a hypothetical (and unrelated to the case I am on):
Q: Do you have a family member who is currently in law enforcement?
A: My neighbor is a retired mail man.
I have little patience for the people who actually get steamed that they are picked as a juror. Time is money for me, too, buddy - but I believe in the American justice system and God forbid you find yourself someday as a party standing at counsel table, so suck it up and serve, a**hole! I am willing to bet that people who whine about "lost work" for the few days they are serving would find someway of losing that same work if someone offered them Super Bowl tickets or the chance to join the guys/gals in Vegas.
One young juror got a lesson in civics just before we were excused on Tuesday. He had submitted a "hardship" form earlier, which was denied. He got selected as a juror. He was sworn in as a juror. We had time after that to hear opening argument. Then we got excused for the day. That's when Sonny Boy raised his hand.
"Your Honor, I can't serve on this jury, 'cause if I'm not at work, I'm not gonna get paid, and then I can't pay my bills, so I just want you to know, I'm not coming back on Thursday."
Myself and another attorney on the jury visibly cringed. The judge affably leaned across his bench.
"That's okay, and thank you for letting me know. Of course, there will be a sheriff at your work on Thursday with an arrest warrant for you, and you'll be in jail, and you're not going to be able to work there as well, so perhaps you'll reconsider."
Then His Honor excused the rest of us, but asked Sonny Boy to remain seated and stay behind. I am guessing Sonny Boy will be at the courtroom door at 9 o'clock sharp today.