It's not over yet.
I got called for jury duty, and it started today. The way it works here (for now, anyway. The state is trying to make all the counties do it the same way, and they may decide against our way, which I happen to like), is that you report for one day. If you aren't picked for jury selection, they send you home, and they don't call you back for a year.
If you're picked for a jury and sworn in, then you won't get called back for three years. Even if your case never finishes (mis-trial, settling out of court, whatever).
They were busy doing judge-and-lawyer stuff until almost noon, when they decided they needed 40 people for a jury pool. Random selection of course pulled my name (just like last year). All the other 100+ people got to go home.
After lunch, the forty of us were sent to the courtroom, where we had to wait outside until it was safe for us to come in. While we were waiting, some guy in a nice gray pinstripe suit walked by. He looked at us waiting and said, "Jury, huh?" The snot. After he passed us, I said, "Lawyer, huh?" but only loud enough for the lady next to me to hear. (Yes, I'm a coward.)
They let us into the courtroom, and this time I got a high draft number: 26. Jury selection began with the first 18 people, and it was sheer boredom punctuated by utter tedium. Not at all like last year, when they asked us what kind of dog we had and whether we ever let them out without a leash. This year it's a DUI case. No dogs. No cats. Nothing cute to talk about.
By 4:30, the lawyers had dismissed six of the potential jurors and had started questioning the next set of six people. The judge took pity on us and sent us home with instructions to return to the courtroom tomorrow morning at 9am. I'm not happy. If they dismiss six more jurors, I could be on the jury as an alternate, listening to testimony about breathalyzers and cop procedures for the next three days.
I know it's my civic duty, but I'd rather be able to go to work and meet all my deadlines and talk to people who aren't slow-speaking, question-repeating lawyers and who don't get arrested for DUI. That's what I'd rather do.
But I'll go to the court at 9am, and if they dismiss all those new people and stick me on the jury, I'll pay attention and try not to doze off, and then I'll do my best to follow the judge's instructions and make sure justice is served. And then I won't have to worry about being called for jury duty for three more years. Unless the Governator changes the rules.
We had to wait in the hallway outside the courtroom while the lawyers talked, left the room, came back in, and talked some more. You can tell they're professionals, because they talked a long time.
Finally, the bailiff came out and called us into the courtroom. All the jurors took their seats from yesterday, and then the judge apologized that we had to wait so long. He told us the case was settled, and our services would not be needed after all. We were free to check out with the jury people and go home.
That means they could call me back for more jury duty next year, when I'm on vacation with my mom. Oh well, I'll deal with that when it happens.