Monday, January 19, 2009

Jury Duty At Last

Back in early June of last year, I did this post mentioning that I had received a jury questionnaire from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Well, last month I finally got my summons and I have to report tomorrow morning to the Federal Court at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn.

Needless to say, I am less than thrilled about this. Then again most people aren't. Most people who get summoned and telephone in to see if they need to report hope that they are not required to appear. However, the best situation is to report for jury duty, not get picked for a case, and then not be required to appear again. Just serving one day and not being selected to sit on a trial exempts you from having to serve on a jury duty in Federal Court for another two years and state or county court for another four years. Since only a fraction of the people who appear are picked for a case, the odds are in your favor that you will not be picked.

And this is important, because as luck would have it, last week I received a jury duty questionnaire from the Nassau County Commissioner of Jurors. If all goes well tomorrow and I do not get picked on a case, that one day of jury service will exempt me from having to serve as a juror in Nassau County, though to be honest, I would have preferred to have gotten the jury duty questionnaire from Nassau County first, as I would much rather have served in Mineola than Brooklyn.

Anyway, I bought a book from Barnes & Noble today and have a Simply Asia microwaveable meal to take with me to the courthouse tomorrow so that I have something to eat and something to keep me occupied while sitting on my butt all day.


Spanish Inquisitor said...

Gee. Wrong attitude. ;) I know it's inconvenient, but it is a wonderful opportunity to see the American Judicial process in action. This system is what keeps criminals off the street, maintains the flow of commerce, rights wrongs, and all that other blather that makes us Americans. As an attorney, I often wish I could get on a jury to see the process through the eyes of the fact finders, but I never do.

I actually envy you.

Tommykey said...

Hey SI! Sorry if I don't share your idealism! :-)

As it turns out, everything worked out as envisioned. I got there late, thereby missing the orientation. I was part of a group brought into a judge's chamber for voir dire, but I was never even questioned. Then those of us not selected for either of the two trials to go home for the day. So, it's like getting half a vacation day!

And the best part. Now I can make a copy of my attendance certificate and mail it to the Nassau County Commissioner of Jurors and tell them not to bother.

Christopher said...

Sounds like you got lucky, although bringing a book with you might have helped. I've never been called up for jury duty, but I know a guy who's been called three times but has never been picked to be on a jury. He told me each time he took a book with him. He figures the fact that he's "a reader" may have been the reason he's never had to serve. I'd think they'd want someone who's literate, but maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Tommy, did You see "12 Angry Men" ? :-)

Tommykey said...

Yes, Lucian, I saw that movie several times.