Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jury duty update

Great news -- the case settled so I don't have to serve. I found out that I was not on one of the panels that would have been selected anyway, so settle or not I wouldn't have to go through a trial.

On a side note, yesterday I heard a story about the troubles they were having in Fulton County (Atlanta, GA) getting prospective jurors to show up. If I heard correctly, only 17% of those who get the notice actually bother to show up. Wow. That's sad. They're getting ready to crack down and start fining people up to $500 for not showing up. They are also offering a one-time amnesty for those who show up and sign up (and show up) for jury duty in the next month.

Here in Fayette County I'd guess we had close to 100%. The room was packed. I found the experience very well run, informative, and pleasant. I didn't want to spend my time sitting in a courtroom but believe it's part of our system and my "duty". Shoot, if I ever have to go through a trial (please, no, no, no) I'd want someone like me on the jury...

Monday, April 23, 2012

If only I had Allstate insurance...

Turns out jury duty is for two state civil trials involving insurance carriers. I'm thinking if I had Allstate or Safeway insurance I would probably not be someone desirable on a trial.

Right now Sheila Studdard, State Court Clerk, is putting us in groups of twelve and querying whether we have either of those insurance companies. I'm on panel five. There are eleven panels.

Crud, I have to come back on Wednesday. I was planning to take my daughter-in-law shopping for her birthday. They just announced that the trial in question was being deferred to Wednesday and that everyone who didn't have either insurance company would be coming back... grrrrrr....

First time for jury duty...

Well, it's almost 8:30 a.m., my check in time for jury duty. I, along with over a hundred others, got here early and am now sitting in the room wondering what comes next. There's still a long line of people checking in.

I was surprised at the number of Sheriff's deputies hanging out down by the check-in screening area. I wonder if people give them grief or try to carry in contraband. I brought half my life in anticipation of being here for a long time. I have my laptop, two bottles of water, a book, snacks, paperwork, purse with all the usual paraphernalia. I did remember to take the mace off my keyring and, just to be on the safe side, I left my ultra-large barrel mascara in the car. I used to have a metal compact that always triggered the sensors when it went through the scanner --- for some reason when it was slightly angled I was told it looked like a grenade.

Not much else  to share at the moment. I showed my ID when I entered the room. They didn't catch the fact that there was a discrepancy in the name on my ID and the name they listed, but I wasn't going to point it out. I then came in and signed in. Now I sit.

Some people have attempted to get out of duty, and succeeded, while I waited. One had been convicted of a crime, the other just postponed their "duty" for another day. The room is filling up. If I counted correctly there are at least 160 seats plus some extras scattered in the back. There's still a line waiting to get in and it's now 8:33 a.m. I think we're going to fill up the room.

Nuff for now. I'm waiting for the band to set up, the music to start, breakfast to be served, coffee, tea and crumpets...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Jury Duty it is...

It finally happened. I have been summoned to do jury duty. They sure don't give you a lot of notice! I had just under two weeks, which isn't horrible, but when you have an ultra busy schedule it takes some juggling. Good thing I wasn't planning a vacation or wasn't headed out to a conference...

I was pleased to find out they had Wi-Fi and laptops were allowed. I doubt they'll be allowed in the courtroom if I'm selected! I'll try to keep you posted tomorrow on what's going on. Yep, tomorrow. 8:30 a.m.

I'm planning to write about my experience if I'm selected. I have mixed feelings about doing jury duty. It's a good system and I feel like it's my "duty" to do it when called. However, I have a zillion things I'd rather be doing. It does beat going to the dentist though and it should be interesting.