Jury Duty Wrap – The Lighter Side

With apologies to David Letterman (Top Ten), Peter King from Sports Illustrated (Things I Think I Think) and Seth Meyers & Amy Poehler from SNL (Really?!), I present my Top Ten Things I Really Think I Think after serving jury duty this week.

#10.    There is nothing on earth more boring than hearing a deposition read back to you in a courtroom. I’m disappointed that the male intern who read a woman’s deposition didn’t move his voice to a higher pitch.

#9.     10 cops to guard one x-ray machine and one metal detector at the courtroom entrance is overkill and a waste of my tax dollars.

#8.     I must live in a bubble. A number of jurors and the bailiff had never seen a Kindle before. Question from the bailiff – “Does that thing send emails?”

#7.     An entire sitcom could be based on activity in the jury room. True quotes:

Max Baer, Jr. -- Not Dead

  • “You know what that reminded me of? My Cousin Vinny.” Response from a few others – “I was going to say the same thing.”
  • “I’m telling you. Max Baer, Jr. is dead.”
  • “Did you see her panties?”
  • “You were sleeping.” “Was not.” “Were too.” “Was not. “Were too.”
  • “What do you think of the plaintiff attorney’s hair?”
  • “We have absolutely no idea what your name is.”
  • [looking at iPod nano] – “I want a phone like his that takes pictures.”

#6.     A Chipotle burrito during lunch before a long afternoon session in court is an exceptionally poor decision.

#5.     Jury chairs that lean back to about 135 degrees are dangerous as the 2pm lunch coma combines with a boring witness.

#4.     It’s comforting to know that the judge sometimes often falls asleep as well.

#3.     I’m not calling the plaintiff’s attorneys to represent me anytime soon. One plaintiff attorney’s real question: “So, was there a time when you saw something that caused you some concern?” Huh?

#2.     Seeing the yellow panties of the lead defense attorney as she leans over to get documents is just wrong.

#1.     See the black panties of the lead defense attorney through her white pants is just wronger.

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Jury Duty Wrap Part One – What I Saw

I answered the call for public service this week and served five days of jury duty in St. Louis County.  It was a civil case.  A police officer at Lambert Airport sued the City of St. Louis for age discrimination and retaliation.  The jury found in favor of the city, saying there was no age discrimination or retaliation.  Although I sat through the entire trial, as an alternate juror, I didn’t get to take part in the deliberations.  That sucked, but I did stick around to hear what my new friends decided.

LA Law - The Source of My Law Knowledge

Each jury member had to wear a badge identifying us as a juror in and around the courtroom, including out to lunch.  This was a reminder to both sides not to talk to us.  We reported each morning to our jury room and, except for lunch, moved between the courtroom and the jury room all day.  Our bailiff Bob never left our side except for lunch.  On the few times Bob had to run and errand, he locked the door from the outside.  There was as much isolation as possible.

The court proceedings were much as I imagined, given my deep experience watching L.A. Law and Law and Order.  We got opening and closing statements, a parade of witnesses, and depositions read out loud.

We got a ton of objections:  asked and answered, badgering the witness, no foundation, compound question, vague question.  One of the plaintiff’s attorney was particularly poor at asking questions, so the defense was left to object:  “I have no idea what he’s asking.”

We got two tons of objectives.  The plaintiffs used numbers and got as high as 55.  The defense used letters and got as high as AAA (that’s 57).  Each time a new one came up — Your honor, we’d like to enter this document as Exhibit 1.  Any objections?  No objections.  Document entered as Exhibit 1.  Over and over and over and over.

The only thing that didn’t make sense to me was that the plaintiffs and defense all sat at one table.  It’s hard to see how they can have meaningful conversations.  Oh – speaking of conversations — lots and lots and lots of sidebar conversations.  We pulled out book when they went sidebar because they took so long.

Tomorrow – the lighter side of jury duty.