Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Memories--jury duty September 2002

From a letter. "I am on jury duty for two weeks and have been selected for a jury, but we’re not meeting until 1:30 this afternoon.  It seems like a strange way to run a circus, but apparently the judges are several weeks on civil and then on criminal, so our judge this week has been moved to criminal, so our case is being squeezed in to her new schedule.  This is the county, so there are about 90 people called for each week and you are on duty for two weeks. On the first day several women in our group went to City Center for lunch.  The orientation told us to get to know each other, and it seems a very compatible group. It is interesting to see the different ages, races, genders sitting around chatting like old friends. I'm feeling really patriotic. We get pep talks from court workers, lawyers and judges when they see us wilting from the waiting and the heat. I read on the bulletin board in the jury room that only 45% of Americans are called for jury duty and only 17% ever actually sit on a jury. Most cases go to mediation or are settled before they come to trial. The biggest challenge is getting there and parking.  I practiced several times the week before.

Now that I'm getting really good at navigating the streets of downtown Columbus, dodging the utility trucks tearing up streets, the orange barrels, and the construction sites, I have time to actually read the names of streets as I pass on my way to the construction site called Rt. 315. One main street is called "Commit to be Fit." It was apparently renamed by our mayor who is unhappy that we have won the honor of 5th fattest city in the USA.

 But I came down with a cold late Thursday.  Fortunately, my case didn’t meet on Friday, so I just laid around most of the week-end.  I had to cancel my birthday dinner with Phoebe and Mark, but Phoebe stopped by Sunday with a nice present, and on Saturday Mark brought me a box of Puffs and some tapioca.  Because of my heart medicine I’m not suppose to take any over the counter cold remedies.  So I just have to snuffle and sneeze through the testimonies."

Update 2017:  The case for which I was seated involved Ohio's infamous Scott-Pontzer insurance law which was finally reversed in 2003. It was incredibly confusing and caused me to lose chunks of faith in our laws and our jury system. It was referred to as the Golden Turkey award and had allowed employees and their families injured on their own time in their own cars to collect from their employers’ auto insurance policies

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