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The Rules of Jury Duty

June 9, 2008

Today I did my civic duty and showed up at the St. Louis courthouse. After the security guard ushered me through the metal detector with, “Step on through, handsome,” I joined several hundred other potential jurors in the waiting room. We watched a short video and received a pocket-sized booklet that contains the following rules (as dictated by Tyler Durden):

The first rule of jury duty is—you do not talk about the case.

The second rule of jury duty is—you do not talk about the case.
Third rule of jury duty—someone yells “Stop!”, goes limp, taps out, that person must still attend jury duty unless he has a doctor’s note verifying otherwise.
Fourth rule—potential jurors must leave one empty chair in between each other in the waiting room, like the first stream of people on a Southwest flight.
Fifth rule—even though you’re just waiting, reading your Kindle and trying to tune out the soap opera playing on TV, you’re still doing your civic duty by reminding the lawyers in the next room that you might hear their case.
Sixth rule—no shirt, no shoes, not appropriate. Borrow them if you have to.
Seventh rule—jury duty will go on as long as it has to. Even if you don’t have a seat. Even if there’s a weird old man trying to talk to you. Even if the person behind you has the whooping cough.
And the eight and final rule—if this is your first time at jury duty, your number will not be called and you’ll have to come in the next day.

Sigh. More tomorrow.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sonya permalink
    June 10, 2008 8:32 am

    i’ve noticed this a few times, and i let it slide, but enough is enough. when you are trying to ignore a noise or distraction in the background, you want to “tune” it out, not “tone” it out. you’re not trying to get it more muscle mass…

  2. aquavator permalink
    June 10, 2008 6:15 pm

    Rule #8 is false. I was called and actually picked to serve on a case within two hours of my arrival. I can’t say anymore about it (see rules #1-2), but even being on a jury isn’t worth the time.

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