Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jury Duty - US District Court

Yes, the Federal court wants Yours Truly to do his civic duty this month. Everyone should serve once on a jury, in order to build one's confidence in the judicial system. Ah, but I did this about 8 years ago. A monumentally boring 3-week (!!) 'breach of contract' civil case. So this time I was determined to do my best NOT to be picked. My (first) date to appear was this past Wednesday. The case might have proved interesting - (attempted) distribution of the sacred weed. And I was #10 on the jury list, which meant I'd be on the jury unless I did something to make them not want to take a chance on me. Which I did. This time, I used the "autistic psycho" posture. I simply stared at the wall across the room from me, refused to laugh when everyone else did (there were lots of opportunities for this), and answered the qualifying questions like I was giving a deposition. Flat monotone, with a minimum of details. (But no lies). It worked like a charm. They passed over me in favor of a bunch of schoolteacher types. Everyone was happy. The only catch is, I'm still 'on call' for the rest of the month, and have to call in every weekend to see if I have to report a second time. FWIW, the last time (the breach of contract case), I adopted a "know-it-all" posture, figuring one side or the other wouldn't want me and my (supposed) knowledge on the jury. Wrong strategy. The lady beside me took a "total idiot" posture and wasn't picked. I lost three work weeks.

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