Monday, August 31, 2015

Reflections on jury duty - part 2

In CA, jurors are summoned to appear for a single day, which can end up being a single trial, no more frequently than once per year.

When people receive a jury summons, more than half try to find a way out of it. About 25% actually WANT to sit on a jury. The remaining folks will appear on the stated date and hope they are excused without being selected.

When my mother is subpoenaed and questioned, she states “handguns are purchased for no reason except to kill people.” This causes her to be excused from criminal trials most of the time. She has been selected to sit on a jury in several civil cases, though.

A friend works from home. When her children were little, she would use “child care” as a reason, and usually was excused. Once she wasn't excused and was unable to find a babysitter, so she showed up in court with two toddlers. She was excused.

On a recent day in X County, an attorney brought his 4yo son with him to counsel table.

Judge, teasing: “You need help on this case, counsel?”

Attorney: “My wife has jury duty today.”

Judge: “That's the best reason to see a child in my courtroom.”

On the left side of this blog are links giving experiences with jury duty.  Do you have any personal experience?


  1. I have recent experience with jury duty! In NC, you are summoned for the week--longer if your case takes longer to try. You get paid $14 for the first day, and $20/day for each day after. If your case extends to the following week, I think it goes up to $40/day. This is probably to encourage the attorneys and judge not to dilly-dally. Indeed, the clerk of court told us on more than one occasion while we were waiting to see if we were needed, that our mere presence in the building helped move the system. It seems the fact there's a jury pool in the waiting room ready spurs the attorneys on to either settle or move to trial.

    I could go on, and might post a blog article about it sometime. But I have to say, I enjoyed it and I'm a little disappointed I'll have to wait two years before I can be called again--if I'm ever called again. I was called into a criminal case that took us over an hour to decide. Great process.

    1. In CA, jurors are paid $15 per day starting on the second day. First day is without pay. And you're right, just the presence of the jury is enough to get most civil cases to settle. Criminal cases, not so much.

      I'd LOVE to read your blog post about your jury service!