Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jury Duty!!

Sometime back in January, Mike calls me and says, I think I have some bad news...I'm thinking, Oh shit, What?! And then he proceeds to tell me he's pretty sure I'd been called for Jury Duty.

Jeez, it's not something I'm just super excited for, but he really had me thinking some really bad news. So, I found out I was to go serve my Civic Duty on Valentines Day...woohoo, right?  I was really bummed about having to go to jury duty anyway. At work we've been really busy and we have no one to cover, so that means Ruth and Chad, the other two full time TR's, have to cover my full time position. So, it was just starting to be an inconvenience. But, the closer it got, the more selfish I got, and thought, hey it'll be nice to be off work, paid, and not have to use my own vacation time. So I was now looking forward to having jury duty and was secretly hoping I would get on a case that would take a while.

On Tuesday, I pack some snacks, get dressed up, business casual, and make my was to the courthouse. This was a very interesting experience. One, now that I'm glad I was able to have. Let me tell ya though, Jury Duty brought out some interesting faces and some very weird smells from the people of Tulsa County.
For those of you who have never been on Jury Duty, you have to check in and go through security and then make your way to the basement. There were tons of people there and so many lines that seemed to take forever! Once through the lines, I found myself a seat and started my people watching. I even had a lady, sitting next to me, offer me a magazine once. I told her I was enjoying my people watching. :) She laughed and agreed that it was some good times for watching.

They give you several directions and then they start with the jury pool selection. This sweet lady, who has probably been there since the building was built, puts all of our name cards in this box that looks older than dirt. She then shakes it and calls a name, shakes it, calls a name, shakes it, calls a name until the right amount of jurors have been called. I was finally called in the third round of names.

Then you get to up to the court room and they will then do the same thing with the smaller pool to get a smaller number of jurors, for us it was 19 from 26. I was chosen in the 19. Then you get to go sit in the jury box an the judge asks you lots of questions and then the lawyers get to also ask you lots of questions. They then will select the final 13 for the actual 'trail'.

So, I was picked for the final 13 and we started the actual 'trial'. I was on a civil case, so I don't really know if the word 'trial' is the correct term. But, it was a lawsuit case of an individual (the plaintiff) against a small movie theater ( the defendant) in town. After listening to what all the lawyers said, and a few witnesses, we started to deliberate on Thursday morning. We discussed for a very short time and sided with the defendant.

Afterwards our judge, Mary Fitzgerald, talked with us and it was nice. We got to ask her questions about the case and just about law in general. She was very personable. I even received a letter of thanks from her on Saturday! So overall, my Civic Responsibility was a success and defiantly not as awful as I thought it would be. I do wish that I was on a criminal case, it would be way more interesting I think. So, with all that, if you get picked for jury duty, I hope your experience goes as well as mine did. Not only did I enjoy seeing how law works, I also got to meet some great people along the way.

Hope y'all have a Happy Sunday and Presidents Day tomorrow!

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