Civil Trial Jury Experience

The past few days I have been on Jury Duty. I had postponed it a week so I could help with Vacation Bible School, so once that was over I knew my civic duty was upon me. I, like most people did not want to be there. I was totally not wanting to have my name be called for Voir Dire. By 10:00 or so in the morning I found myself sitting in a jury box in a courtroom on the 6th floor going through the Voir Dire process for a Civil Case. I ended up being one of the chosen 12 to sit on this case.

I am not going to go into much detail about the specific case, just because I don’t really want to talk about specifics and the details of the plaintiff’s case.

My plan for this blog post is to go through the process of the case. While waiting in the jury assembly room, I at least got a vlog or two watched. After I got called I had to go up to the 6th floor (a floor I know well from Corrections Grand Jury that I did 4 years ago). The law clerk took two or three in at a time and lined us up. It was a tiny courtroom. Thus beginning the Voir Dire process, which lasted from around 10:30 or so until well into the afternoon. It was several hours (not including lunch break) to pick 12 of the 30 people to serve as the jury. By 2 or 2:30 the jury was selected and the opening statements began. We got through opening statements and part of the first testimony before being let go for the day just before 5:00.

The second day (being yesterday was all testimony, for both the plaintiff and the defense. We got sent back into the Jury room quite a bit so that the lawyers could discuss something with the judge, and what not.  Today we finished up testimony before closing arguments. Closing arguments were done before lunch, and we were given our instructions, before taking a lunch break. Most of us left the courthouse at lunch. taking a break before setting to the task of deliberation. Beings that this was a civil case there was deliberating to do, but we were done with our initial deliberations by about 2:30 – 3:00 (and we had started at about 1:15. We were completely done by 4:00.

Once we arrived in the jury room in the morning, we could only leave it or the courtroom for lunch and at the end of the day. The jury rooms do have bathrooms in them so we don’t actually have to leave it to use the bathroom once we are there. Beings that we spent a fair amount of time in the jury room we had time to chat with our fellow jurors. We could not talk about the case until it was given to us to deliberate, but it is hard to be cooped up in a little room with 11 other people for 3 days and not talk to each other about other stuff going on, and life stuff. We could hear the lawyers voices (but not what they were actually saying) from inside the jury room, so I have no idea if they could hear us jurors laughing or not out in the courtroom.

As I was waiting to be picked up today after the trial, I glanced over across the street, in enough time to see a man wearing slacks and a dress shirt give me a smile, like he recognized me, and it took me a moment to realize it was the just from the trial I had just been a juror for.

Comment down below if you want me to write about my corrections grand jury experience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s