live blogging jury duty

I am stuck in jury duty today, but being that Multnomah County is the coolest of counties, of course the jury waiting room has Wi-Fi! So of course that means one thing: I’m live blogging jury duty. Is this legal? Am I in contempt of court? I don’t know, but I am sitting in a big, drab room with about 100 other people, waiting around to see if our number is called to go up stairs and serve on a trial, and it is obvious that this must be blogged about. I’ll have to run home during the lunch break and grab my camera so I can post some pictures of this afternoon’s action.
It’s 9:55 right now and they have already called 20 people to go upstairs. I guess they will all be questioned to possibly serve on a trial. The way it works is that 100 or so people get called to jury duty, and we all show up at 8:00 am and sit in a giant holding room that sort of feels like the waiting area of a bus station. A judge got up to welcome us all and give us a pep talk about how we are a vital part of democracy. From there a cute older woman named Barb got up and explained where the bathrooms are and when we can take breaks. At that point we were basically on our own, left to sit in this room and wait. Cell phones, laptops, and plastic knitting needles were immediately pulled out. A really cheesy guy sat at the table next to mine and started hitting on a woman sitting there reading, while another woman started blabbing loudly on her cell phone on my other side. The extroverts are quickly sifting themselves out from the introverts- it would almost be easier if they just had different seating sections, sort of like the old smoking and non smoking sections they had in restaurants.
But anyways, I guess we will all sit here as potential jurors in waiting, and see if we get selected to serve on a trial. I am curious about what that would be like, but it would be a terrible twist of fate if ended up on some long-winded trial that lasted several days or weeks. Jury duty is not designed for the self-employed artist types. The law states that employers must pay their employees for time taken off to do jury duty- it’s sort of like sick days or vacation time. But for someone like me, getting stuck on a long trial would be financially crushing, so perhaps I should act like a complete maniac if they call my number so that no lawyer would ever agree to allow me to serve on there trial. I am such a bad citizen.

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5 Responses to live blogging jury duty

  1. piu piu says:

    hhhmm. sounds like u need to assume some serious prejudices, and maybe then you’ll get left alone…

  2. lucie says:

    If you act like a maniac to shirk jury duty, the terrorists will truly have won!
    Actually, isn’t being a self-employed artist type grounds for getting out of it?

  3. matt mc says:

    lucie- i think you are right. i’ll just be 100% honest. i’ll tell them that i am already blogging the shit out of my experience and that there is a good chance i’ll make an experimental film about it. both of which are completely true. thanks for reminding me that honesty is always the best option.

  4. lucie says:

    Okay, that idea is about twenty times better than mine. Damn.

  5. rob says:

    You don’t have to worry, bright people are rarely selected for juries, probably most especially for grand juries!
    I did have a surreal experience once testifying in a trial on behalf of a former employer who laid me off and against a former employee (who was guilty). Man I was so tempted to lie and get him off the hook for revenge. But I didn’t.

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