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Public service

Tomorrow I have jury duty.

I've only been called to jury duty once, and they kicked me out when I said I didn't believe in homeowner's associations. I, mean, I believe that they exist, but I don't believe that they should exist. In Texas, homeowner's associations have more power than the state, and they tend to be insane using that power.

At any rate, the case then was a homeowner's association vs. some home owner, I think the guy was delinquent in paying his fees, and the lawyers kicked me off pretty damned quickly.

I have no idea what sort of case I'll be called to. I was originally supposed to go Nov. 7, but you can reschedule online, and I did because work got busy in November. The rescheduled date was April 24, which was a week after my surgury. I called the clerk's office and explained that there was no way that I could come, so they rescheduled me for tomorrow.

I'm supposed to show up to the Jury Assembly Room at 8:00 am tomorrow. I'll make sure that my ipod is fully charged and that I have a back-up book, in case I finish the one I'm reading now.

Conventional wisdom is that lawyers get kicked off unless there are too many other people in the pool they want to kick off. We bring too much to the table. I read about a lawyer a few months ago, who was facing disciplinary action from his state bar, because he wrote about his experience in the jury. He explained that the other jurors asked him a lot of questions about the law, and his answering those questions circumvented the process. Jurors are only supposed to consider what was brought up in the courtroom, not what they're told by other sources, including jurors who happen to be lawyers.

I figure if my case involves anyone who got hurt, I'm probably out of there. I deal with too many doctors, and lawyers don't want me to reinterpret what their expert witnesses say. If it's a criminal case, I'll probably be kept on, since I don't know that much about criminal law. I will be kicked out for extreme bias if it's the Bellaire cop shooter. If it's a complex white-collar or commercial case, they may want to keep me, because I'm smart and they want people who can understand complex issues in those cases. If it's a family law case, I may be kicked off because of my past work at the Houston Area Women's Center.

I don't really mind it because it's an area of my profession I never really see all that much. I've been to court professionally a grand total of once in my career, and that was to say "Yes, your honor" in a hearing. I don't do depositions, I don't do motions, I don't write briefs. Occasionally, a subpeona will cross my desk and I'll have to decide whether or not it complies with HIPAA, but other than that, litigation isn't my thing. My work is purely transactional, regulatory and administrative, so the other side of the law fascinates me.

We'll see. I could end up home by noon. I could end up there for a week.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Say something )
peterfuhry
Jun. 5th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
I enjoyed jury duty - it was interesting and gave me a break from work. I've been chosen twice. Last time I was the foreperson.
pegster
Jun. 5th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
funny story..

when i lived in houston, i worked with a woman who's husband walked with a cane from a very old injury. when he was called to jury duty, he did this:

-wore camouflage 'something': a jacket, shirt, whatever
-carried magazines featuring guns and gun paraphenalia, but brought actual books he liked to read inside.

the guy has NEVER been called for jury duty. EVER.
cosmicbob
Jun. 5th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Don't they automatically boot attorney's? I thought that was standard procedure. If you know the law, they don't want you on the jury.
( 3 comments — Say something )