Friday, July 17, 2009

Jury Duty for 3 Weeks - How bad could it be?

So yeah, we all get the yearly summons for jury duty. This year, my card came in April for a county court date in May. As luck would have it, I was chosen and me and eleven other, like-minded individuals spent an amazing three weeks together.

Okay, the amazing part is a bit of an embellishment. The trial was a civil case and it was anything but civil. So basically, it was boring. I did have an AMAZING encounter with the prosecuting attorney that many of my friends and family have begged me to put on the blog, so I decided that I would share this today.

It so happened, that on the second day of the trial, both attorneys had just finished their opening arguments. The prosecuting attorney was preparing to call his first witness, but lucky for us, the judge decided to excuse the jury for one of our much needed and deserved breaks.

We typically used this 15 minutes to use the bathroom, grab a snack, stretch out our muscle aches that we all received from sitting in a VERY cramped and tight jury box. One thing that was common for ALL of us was to immediatly switch on our cell phones and check in at the office or with our kids. It was very important for us to remember to turn our cell phones back off or into silent mode, because who wants that going off in the middle of court? It had already happened twice to people who were just observing the trial, and the judge was NOT happy. Imagine what it would be like if it happened to a jury member.

If you got a minute, I can tell you.

We came back from break on that second day, and you-know-who forgot to turn off their cell phone (no, I don't mean Voldemort - he wasn't even there). It wouldn't have been so bad if my boss hadn't decided to call me at the exact moment the prosecuting attorney began to question his very first witness. Those with an Xbox will be happy to note that my kids had changed my ringtone to the theme song for the game "Halo" - so I had that going on...but it was set to get gradually higher/louder as I didn't answer so after the first ring, I knew it was imperative that I shut that baby off right away. The judges head turned slowly in our direction (think slo-mo) as I bent over to reach under my chair for my purse.

I believe I mentioned that the jury box was tight. It was not only a struggle to pull the purse out, but then I had to reach into the abyss of wallet, make-up, receipts, feminine products and whatever else just to find the phone. When my fingers finally found it, I jerked it out and turned it off at the same time. Saved the day! You would think. Except we are talking Burch Luck here, and as luck would have it, it was that time of the month for ole Ang and the guilty cell phone came out of my purse with a little packaged friend attached and when I had flung the cell phone open to silence it, the tampon went flying, landing at the foot of the prosecuting attorney. Mind you, he NEVER stopped questioning the witness at the time and this was not to be a deterrent either, as he just nonchalantly kicked the offending article back over to me and that was that. No big deal.

Only one other jury member really paid attention to that part, and he was a 20-year-old who had only just voted six months before in his first election. Seeing that he was only 20, and not quite what I would consider mature, he had a hard time controlling his mirth and for about the next 5 minutes, his chair vibrated with his laughter. Two more weeks into the trial, and HIS cell phone went off. He immediately silenced his and whispered to me "see how easy that was?" Little shit.

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