Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The American Justice System at Work

I went forthe first of my three days of jury duty this morning. One must first run the security gauntlet, which consists of showing your ID & letting your purse (with a couple of 'girly things' cause it's that, ahem, time in it) then we're sent over to sit on a bench and wait for a marshal to come get us.

I slip into the ladies room before our escort comes and of course on the way up in the elevator, she proceeds to explain we aren't to use the public restrooms because the public could be in there talking about the case. Been here five minutes and I'm already in trouble.

So we hang out in the jury room, making small talk for about ten minutes, when the US Marshal who will be in charge of us comes into the room and immediately shows us the high sign to give him when we have to use the bathroom because "the Judge has a steel bladder and I like to take care of my juries." A man who understands that sometimes you just have to go pee--I'm in love.

Another twenty-thirty minutes go by and the Judge, a teeny, 50-something Hispanic lady who comes across as totally cool but also tough and kind of scary and someone I don't want to be on the wrong side of comes in to explain there's been a problem and the case has been continued until tomorrow. We're given instructions to call the 800 # after 5:30 today to see if we are to return tomorrow. If we are to return, the case is on. If not, it will be continued to the next term and we're excused.

I just called and we're on for tomorrow. Updates as they are warranted.

I have to add that they make it clear not to bring your cell phone. At jury selection about a week and a half ago, I went to lunch with several ladies I was sitting with and one said, "I just hated locking my phone in my car. What if my car is stolen?"

I'm thinking if your car is stolen w/ your cell phone in it, the missing cell phone is still gonna be the least of your worries. You'll likely be able to find a phone.

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