A week of suspended animation: Jury Duty

Fulfilling civic duty isn’t convenient. Jury duty is an important obligation for those of us capable of answering the summons. I’m sitting outdoors finishing my lunch before going back into the jury room.

Not a bad way to spend a little quiet time. But as soon as the Court recesses today I’m on my way north to snuggle a little grandson we don’t see very often, or maybe it’s better said that we don’t see him “enough!” I’m greedy for all I can get.

After two days the selection isn’t solidified. I have listened to some very creative strategies employed by people trying to avoid service, but their protestations certainly slow us all down.

So if you wonder why I’m not posting much right now, picture me in the jury box or playing with a delightful 9-month old!

I will have many stories and observations to share when I’m released from duty.

There are a lot of interesting characters living in Los Angeles. I am glad I keep my sense of humor!

Still breathing lighter!

44 thoughts on “A week of suspended animation: Jury Duty

  1. Good luck to you. A few decades ago I did federal jury duty at a city 90 minutes away. For two weeks I had to trek down there. Sat on one jury for a day and a half. The rest of the time I was bored! This was before Kindle, cell phones and all that.

    1. I can’t imagine jury duty 90 minutes away from home! That’s asking too much, Kate! I ended up with just two days, and the travel wasn’t bad at all…so I have nothing to complain about there. Last time I served it was a month. I was a little concerned about that. We ended up able to get away and be with the family…lots of good baby time! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Nancy. I was released after only two days and off we went! I have wondered what it would be like to be sequestered. I don’t think I’d like a high profile trial as the pressure would probably affect me, but I do think it would be a fascinating experience.

  2. I’m one of those weird-os who actually enjoys jury duty (which is good since I seem to get called more than average. I get to take the trolley downtown, usually have extended reading time (so I always bring a good book), and have a long lunch break that allows me to walk around in areas I don’t get to explore on my own very often. I think it’s an important civic duty (I would want someone like me on my jury… assuming I was innocent πŸ™‚ ) and a minor inconvenience we endure to help our justice system strong. The few times I’ve served on a jury were – for the most part – pretty interesting.

    1. I don’t typically mind jury duty, Janis. I do think it’s interesting, and I, like you, take it very seriously. My concern this time was wondering about length of service if seated. The last time I served it was for a month, and I’m summer childcare provider for my two granddaughters. I didn’t want Papa to have to do it all alone. πŸ™‚ It worked well, and for at least a year, I won’t be called again. Sadly, however, I watched so many people really wrangling to get out of it, and although I surely wouldn’t want them on the jury if they’re belligerent, it takes days to even seat a jury! I did have a book in hand…and had hoped to have some good reading time. LOL!

  3. Debra, I hope you get some snuggle time with your grandson. I know how these long pauses between visits can be.

    As to jury duty, well . . . I was promptly dismissed from one, an auto accident. Not sure if it was because I had been in one in which I was injured, that I worked in the insurance business handling claims, or that my daughter was a reporter.

    The next time, I did have to serve in federal court. It was only a week, very interesting, involved police brutality/gang activity. What added to the drama was that it was at the same time the Rod Blogojevich trial was going on. Lunch was always interesting, between Blago and all the reporters, both local and national, and us in the cafeteria. Chicago. πŸ™‚

    The last one involved me being subpoened as witness for a pedestrian accident I witnessed four years ago. They ended up settling out-of-court, but, only after me having to stay nearby in case they didn’t. All that to say that, much like RetirementallChallenged, I also enjoy jury duty.

    You take care, my friend.

    1. Wow, Penny! You’ve had quite a bit of jury service. That must have been very interesting when Blogojevich was moving through the system! Whenever there’s a high profile case in session the news reporting and added police presence can make navigating more difficult. I have served once before for a month’s trial and I did enjoy being downtown every day, but this time I was hoping to at least not have a lengthy trial. It turned out to be only two days before I was released, so this was a snap. We had lots of baby time. Thank you, my friend! πŸ™‚

      1. So good to hear it was only two days – and better to hear that you had lots of baby time. πŸ™‚ You are so welcome.
        It was quite interesting, especially since it was such a high profile case and very visible to all of us.

    1. Yes, Jo! Baby duty is a lot more fun. I have previously served on a criminal trial that went for a full month. This was short-lived and I was released after two days! More time with the family, for sure. πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been called a couple of times, but for one reason or another never gotten to the voir dire process. I don’t know whether attorneys would find my history as a court reporter to be an asset or a detriment. It’s likely i will never find out. Hope you’re off enjoying that grandson, Debra.

    1. We are back from our visit with the family, Karen, and it was wonderful. I didn’t realize you’d been a court reporter! I was fascinated watching the court reporter sitting right in front of me and I admired her ability to focus for such long periods of time. The voir dire process is fascinating, and I wonder if we ever really know why we are released!

      1. For seven and a half years, nearly a lifetime ago, Debra. I loved it then but, for a variety of reasons, I don’t think I would anymore. The advancement in technology used would, by itself, likely be enough to disqualify me from such employment anyway! The reasons for dismissal of a potential juror can be very simple or very complex….body language alone could prompt it, I think! I’m so glad you had the chance to spend time with your grandson. Babies change so quickly and those times are precious.

    1. LOL! You know, Frank, there were “potential jurors” who offered a version of your tactic. I almost laughed out loud at one or two! My service was short-lived and we traveled north. I am still smiling. πŸ™‚

      1. The record should show that I’ve never used the tactic. I’ve been called 3 times – served twice – dismissed once (an insult). One of the serves was in federal court.

    1. The jury service wasn’t long at all, Cathy. And we were indeed able to go north and visit our family. We had such a lovely time with our little guy! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    1. A few years ago I performed jury service for a month, so I always brace myself! This time, however, two days and I was released. I was almost disappointed, Amy! Almost. LOL!

    1. That little “stinker” crawled for the first time the day after we left! If I’d let go of him for a few minutes he might have done it while we were watching, but I needed all that touching. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Colleen!

  5. If you serve I hope the experience is a good one. It’s a serious and important civic duty. My first grandchild just celebrated his one year birthday (or at least, we did!). I feel blessed to live close and get to cuddle often, and make mud pies and silly noises…

    1. Congratulations on your first grandchild, John! These little beings are truly life changing, aren’t they? I was released from jury service in time to make my trip! I would love to be closer, but I tease my son that I’d probably be a nuisance, so we treasure the times we do have!

    1. Hi there, my friend! I did enjoy time with our little guy. Thank you! I don’t mind the jury duty unless I’m torn between activities. It all worked out. πŸ™‚

    1. I was very fortunate, Cristina, as I was willing to serve more time than ended up being required, and then went up to be with the family. Although they only live 6-hours away and we coordinate as much as possible, we all have trouble clearing our calendars for more frequent visits. This was a wonderful opportunity and I sure did make the most of it. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Karen. I was released from jury duty much earlier than I was anticipating, so it worked well for our trip north! Lots of baby hugging! πŸ™‚

  6. I believe jury duty is anything but fun. But I admire your attitude. The society needs a functional justice system and thus people to be willing to do their duty in court. Hope you had fun with your grandson instead.

    1. Thank you, Otto. I didn’t have a valid excuse NOT to serve, and as it turned out, after two days I was released. I was prepared for much longer, so it worked in my favor! πŸ™‚ I did have a nice long visit with my son and family, and time with my little grandson is pure joy! πŸ™‚

  7. Dear Debra, it’s so true that to get through our lives with some grace, we need a sense of humor! And you have one! Good luck with jury duty and may your days with your grandson be blessed with much laughter and hugging! Peace.

    1. I was released after only a couple of days and able to go north to be with my family. Part of my amusement, and I probably shouldn’t find it amusing, was listening to people try to avoid serving! No matter how inconvenient, I really just couldn’t do that! πŸ™‚

  8. Debra, I liked jury duty since I brought a book. I did feel I could have written a short story about the variety of characters I met there.
    I served on two cases, one was a car accident and another was an assault case. I was dismissed from a battered woman’s case. I was a child advocate at a battered woman’s shelter years ago, but would probably “side” on guilty sentencing.
    I don’t need you to comment back, but I did see your birthday post rather belatedly. πŸ’ 🌞

  9. I’ve done jury duty a couple of times, thankfully short trials. I do enjoy walking around Grand Park and especially love the renovated fountain. Downtown LA is a great place to hang out!

  10. Pingback: In the meantime… – breathelighter

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