But then told the judge I could not serve on the jury.
One 2 week civil trial, and 7 criminal trials will be filling our county court this week. I was chosen as juror #31 by random computer selection at 9am this morning. There were 50 jurors chosen. I was excited to be doing this! Every time I would go to court to watch my husband, I was amazed at the total attention of the jury...even when it was dull, drawn out and boring testimony...they would pay strict attention. I could never figure out how or why they paid such close attention, when I found it hard to even focus. Now I know. No one is really sure what is going on, and everyone is so afraid they are going to mess up so we all pay complete attention to every word in case we miss something. The staff first gives everyone a jury number, and everyone holds on to it like it is gold and then double checks it to make sure they remember it, because that is what you are called, juror #31. Then they line us in rows of 8. Standing. And we stand, holding the number until they say go, then everyone goes. Then they say sit and everyone sits. It started today with the plaintiff's lawyer giving a summary of the case. Followed by questions. Can everyone be here everyday for 2 weeks? Does anyone know the defendant or the plaintiff? Does anyone have stock in the company? Did anyone ever work as a nurses aide? Is anyone or was anyone a health care provider? Next, the questions that got tricky for some people: Do you believe in caps for punitive damages? One woman raised her hand and said her husband was a physician and his opinion of how much medical malpractice claims has affected his profession will influence her from rendering an impartial verdict. She was immediately dismissed by the judge. By the 3rd hour of questioning (yes long!) I felt I had to tell them my husband is medical malpractice defense attorney...so I raised my hand and said I think I am biased towards the defense. The judge said, "Well, can you refrain from discussing this with your husband?" My husband is a 100% by the rules man who would never, ever break rules and talk to me as a juror about a case, so I said "Well, he wouldn't listen to me anyway." And I meant he would tell me to stop talking if I was not supposed to, and would not participate in anything illegal. The judge and both lawyers immediately agreed their spouses do not listen to them either. Oh my gosh. So reluctantly the judge dismissed me and told everyone there my husband is a very good lawyer! But I kept thinking how now she thinks he's doesn't listen to me. My husband then met me for lunch when I called him in a panic, and told me not to worry about it. I got to go back in the pool with 120 others to sit around and wait. Lots of chatty people in that room. Some people played cards and jenga or watched CNN. I read my book for book club. Back tomorrow at 8:15.