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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wink Jury Duty

Getting a county jury duty notice roughly a month ago, I had to report for it last Monday morning, and was one of better than 400 who were called in an empaneled for voir dire on a capital murder case in a small rural county! The judge intoned that it could well last for better than three weeks!

My juror number on my notice was under 10 out of better than 400 called, and I thought that I was going to be a lead pipe cinch in being chosen. After a week of all-day questioning and survey sessions by both the defense and the prosecution, I found myself in the final 42! When the moment of truth is arrived e on Friday, I was not included in either the final 12 man jury panel or the 4 man alternate panel!

Jury duty pay here in Texas is currently $6 a day for the first day and $40 a day for every day thereafter!

So have any of my other TAM cohorts here ever been called for jury duty and exactly what was your experience? How often do you get jury duty notices up in your locale and what kind of case were you subjected to hear?



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Last edited by arbitrator; 03-06-2017 at 01:35 AM. Reason: Edification
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:54 PM
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Re: Jury Duty

I'd like to know why they don't have to pay minimum wage.
I've been called 3 times in 15 years.There is a time frame they are not suppose to call you again .I was Excused once, cancelled once and chosen for the jury once only to have the rape trial be postponed by the prosecutor to gather more evidence.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 12:03 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

LOL. I went about 30+ years without one and then ended up with 6 summons or more in the last 10 years and three of those within the last 4 years. Only sat on one Jury, for one day, for DUI of marijuana.

I probably just jinxed myself.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Re: Jury Duty

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Originally Posted by Rubix Cubed View Post
I'd like to know why they don't have to pay minimum wage.
I've been called 3 times in 15 years.There is a time frame they are not suppose to call you again .I was excused once, cancelled once and chosen for the jury once only to have the rape trial be postponed by the prosecutor to gather more evidence.
That's a great point, Rubix!

Many years ago, back when I resided in Harris County(Houston), the pay for jury duty was only $6 a day from the assembly of the jury panel, the start of the voir dire all the way through the punishment phase of the trial itself!

In 1978, I was on a murder trial jury there for better than 3 weeks and $6 a day just didn't even pay for parking in the downtown parking lots of Houston, much less pay for lunch and snacks!

I understand that if a jury gets sequestered, then you get all meals paid for, and a hotel room with no tv, radio, newspaper or family visitation; and they also confiscate your cell phone, iPad device, or PC, issuing only books and magazines that have received prior approval of the court!

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:38 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

In these parts we get summoned every 2 years. I have been interviewed a dozen times (or so) and have only been empaneled once. It was a business insurance claim suit against an architects and engineers type policy that the plaintiffs were seeking payment on. Just my luck that I am an engineer, the plaintiff’s lawyers were thrilled, the insurance company lawyers not so much. I usually never get empaneled because I am an engineer and lawyers don’t want “logical thinkers” on a jury … or so my own lawyer says. He says they would rather have jurors where emotions can be brought into play (think OJ jury).

The testimony was highly technical, most of the jurors were struggling to stay awake during, the trial was interrupted twice so the judge could admonish a few jurors . The trial lasted 4 days.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 07:04 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I got chosen for a state court jury in CT over 10 years ago. It was a medical malpractice case, and the lawyers told the judge it would probably be about a week's worth of time for the jury trial. It took 3 and a half weeks, which was sheer torture. We found against the plaintiff.

The State of CT does pay you for this, but my company also has a jury duty policy where they pay you during the jury duty, so they made me sign over the check from the state to them.

Since then, I haven't gotten a single call for another jury summons (knock on wood).
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 07:19 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I got called for Grand Jury duty about 3 years ago. There is no way to get out of it (I actually deferred about 6 times). The way it worked for us, there are 4 grand jury teams chosen each month. 2 teams are at the court house close to me and two teams are at two other courthouses further away. Each person could choose which courthouse they wanted their name thrown into the hat for when the courts choose. The other 2 courthouse selections went first, with the people chosen. What happened though, the people who weren't chosen didn't get thrown back into the pool but were excused. This pretty much left it where I had like a 99% chance of getting chosen since the pool to choose from was much smaller.

Ended up doing a full month for Grand Jury duty, and really cant complain. Keep in mind, I still got my full pay from work and still did get into work a few days here and there. Sat through 20+ cases over the month. Didn't need to get into the courthouse most days until around 10am and got out of there by 3pm, so much better than my normal working hours! Interesting as well sitting through cases and then hearing about them on the news.

The shiffy part though, you cannot get out of it regardless of your financial situation. They would tell you flat out when you showed up, and basically took the stance that if it would cause a financial burden, then it is your problem and not theirs. Your only recourse to get out was if you had a dependent.

Fortunately I didn't get chosen for federal grand jury duty as that would be miserable. I would need to commute about 2 hours each way each day for a month for (or you have the option t o only do every Monday which basically means you end up having to do for easily over 6 months!)
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 09:40 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I really don't like the idea of being forced to serve on a Jury for almost no pay. I actually think the entire jury system is rather flawed, professional jurors (with very careful safeguards) would be a lot better. The only time I was actually on a case was as an alternate - an incredibly frustrating experience as the jury convicted a man who I'm pretty sure was innocent. Juries are extremely easy to trick / sway.

Every other time I've been rejected by one attorney or the other during questioning because I too obviously think independently.

Attorney: If you were on an empty beach and saw one set of footprints leading to a cottage would you conclude that someone was inside?

Me: It depends. Do I have reason to think the person was trying to be deceptive and might have walked backwards in his own tracks? Can I see all around to see if he could have left in another direction? Does the water......

Attorney "NEXT"
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 09:53 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I've been called twice in my life. The first time I didn't make it past the initial questions - no idea what kind of trial it was.

The second time I was chosen as a juror. It was a sexual assault trial. On the second day a mistrial was declared because one of the witnesses, who was VERY hostile towards the accused, said something twice about a previous charge he had that we were not supposed to hear about. I was pretty let down - I was looking forward to the experience!

Here, we get paid $50 a day plus expenses such as parking and travel. People are always so quick to come up with excuses why they don't want to serve, and I just don't understand it. Why not?? It's educational and often entertaining, and you can learn a lot about the justice system from a unique perspective. Many people can't afford it I suppose, but really, most jobs are going to pay you at LEAST vacation pay. I got paid for my time off. I also worked from home in the evenings and stuff too. In this day and age it really isn't that big a hardship.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

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Originally Posted by EllisRedding View Post
Fortunately I didn't get chosen for federal grand jury duty as that would be miserable.
OMG, I live in fear of that. And they are really busy so it's a real fear (my federal courthouse is over the bridge from yours).

I've lived in my current county for 9 years and never been called, Mrs P just once. I used to get called to Jersey City like clock work. Each time I had to only show up 2 days out of the 5 day on call term. Only got sent to a court room once and was dismissed right away.




Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I was summoned a few times years ago, finally had my name removed the rolls. Around here only registered voters are in the pool. At the time my job had me going on the road 2-3 weeks out of each month. The court would send notices out so you got them the FRIDAY before the MONDAY you were to report! To top it off you don't necessarily go report, you call an automated number the night before and it will say come in or excused for X days. I had to go round and round with them about the short notice. Luckily one of the clerks told me that you can fill out a form explaining why you cannot serve jury duty and if the judge agrees they will permanently remove your name from the pool but NOT the voter rolls. So after a letter from work, the form, and several phone calls I finally got removed. I would have no problem serving on a jury if local courts gave more notice, but with my line of work a day or two is simply not enough.

My mom gets called at least 2x a year. She has not been picked in a few years, but she gets one summons from local and one from Fed every year! The part she likes about Fed is they actually pay decent(she is retired) and they give a per diem since she has to go 3 hours away. Why they won't call her for the local federal court here in town we have no clue, but it is always the one in the northern part of the state.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:04 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

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Originally Posted by CharlieParker View Post
OMG, I live in fear of that. And they are really busy so it's a real fear (my federal courthouse is over the bridge from yours).

I've lived in my current county for 9 years and never been called, Mrs P just once. I used to get called to Jersey City like clock work. Each time I had to only show up 2 days out of the 5 day on call term. Only got sent to a court room once and was dismissed right away.
Yup, hoping that never happens. I would either get stuck driving or taking the train into Brooklyn, way out of the way ...
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:30 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I never recieved a summons for jury duty until 4 years ago. Since then I've been called 3 times! I go down to the court house and sit there with hundreds of other people. I've never been questioned or part of the voir dire process for a jury. I just read magazines all day (no electronics are allowed)

It gets old real fast. They need to mix up the names in the barrel a little better.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:33 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

My last jury duty was 5 years ago. Convenience store robbery. The fool represented himself. I really wonder why he did not take a plea, had video of him robbing the store, the gun he used AND the money on floor of his crashed car after a high speed chase and 5 witnesses.

Maybe he was not offered a plea.

Looked him up in the Florida Dept. of Corrections website. Got 15 years in Florida State Prison, NOT a nice place!
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:36 AM
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Re: Jury Duty

I get called up to report fairly often. In fact, the courts and I have a date in May.

I'd genuinely like to serve on a jury. I'd love to see the process by which they weigh evidence and credibility of witnesses and reach a verdict. Fat chance, though. As a former prosecutor and current defense attorney in civil cases, it's a sure bet that someone will want me the hell off of a jury.
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