Note – this one will be written in two parts. Part A is written on the eve of going to court; Part B will be added tomorrow evening after I get back. So you might want to check in now and at the end of the day.

Someone informs me he checked the status of my jury summons today to discover it had not been canceled but it is scheduled. I am to report to the downtown courthouse tomorrow morning.  I confess I was somewhat disappointed; I had my fingers crossed I might have the day off.  Ah well. I will feel good that I was a good citizen and did my civic duty.

When I go to jury duty, I purposely dress well in suit and tie and polished shoes. I come from a family of attorneys (and judges). Father said I should always dress for court out of respect for the law.  This always makes me an object of suspicion however. The court staff often mistake me for an attorney while my fellow jury members ( who come dressed as if they just came from working in the yard) see me as an oddity.  I suspect even the judge and lawyers on both sides of the case wonder if I am up to no good. If my attire is not enough to raise eyebrows my cheerful upbeat mannerly interactions also causes more agitation than assurance.  The others are usually quite crabby.

Each time I go, I play a little game to myself: how far into the interview process will I go before I am told I am dismissed.  Sometimes I get no further than the ‘P” word (psychiatrist).  Here is the usual order of appearance of anathema:



Psychiatrist with some forensic training

Consultant  for the local medical board

Having court experience in involuntary treatment cases

Work experience in a law firm

You would think these make me a good candidate for a fair and thoughtful jury but no such luck. Sometimes I am thrown out onto the street early but other times I have to wait all day before being let go.  During the day I try to not associate with the others who invariably complain about everything especially the inconvenient to come downtown. The judicial system in Phoenix has a nice facility for the potential jurors; they do a good job being patient and explaining things. Good for them. Alas it is pearls before swine. It is terribly tedious having to endure the whiny remonstrances of thems who press why they ‘can’t’ serve which is code for not wanting to serve.  Sometimes the grumbles resemble an orchestra of scorched cats and no prettier.  The more bellicose ones are almost always let go which seems to support their awful ways.

There is a lot of waiting around which I don’t mind. I will have paperwork to do and I can catch up on my reading. They have lovely vending machines for nibbles but alas no mini-bar.  So I can get caught up with work and Pepys diary.

More later ………

Post-script:  after a morning of quiet waiting just before lunch we were all dismissed.