I had no idea what to expect of this experience. How does it all work, I knew not. I waited outside in a line with other prospective jurors until they opened the doors. We then walked up to a counter with our summons, a lady took down our info, then handed us something to fill out and a questionaire sheet of possible questions the judge would ask us. Ummmmm, WIERD stuff. One of the questions was, If you had a billboard, what would it say, or what would be on it? How the heck am I s'posed to answer that. Other than, I don't want a billboard, never have, and I don't know what I'd put on it. Other questions included, what kind of animal would you be, do you prefer sailboat or powerboat, what is your favorite kind of book, what is your favorite TV show, who is the most influential person of te last 50 years. There were more, but I can't remember them all now. Ok, so, filled out the form, sat and waited and waited and waited and waited. FINALLY we were all called into the courtroom. Don't be fooled people, this was a weency little place, with nothing even close to as grand as the picture above entails. We were told to stand in two lines and then the judge started calling off names. We then filed into pews and sat in that order. Next he asked if anyone had physical hardship that would prohibit them from sitting in a trial for several hours. A few people raised their hands and expressed their problems, and of course they were excused. Then the judge had the plaintiff and his lawyer stand, they were introduced as was the case. After that the judge asked if anyone recognized the lawyer or plaintiff. I boldly and happily raised my hand and said....
"Well your honor, the plaintiff is my cousin and the lawyer is my friend." After a smirky and stunned silence, the judge replied "I s'pose we can excuse you then." And that my friends is how I got to leave without having to answer what kind of billboard I would have and what would be on it. End scene with my happily skipping out of the courtroom singing tra la la.
No really, that DID happen. The plaintiff is my Mom's first cousin and he was suing a home owners association over damages. The lawyer is our friend Mark, we know him from Easter Pageant AND he's our friend Ivan's uncle. I pose the question, what are the odds, the ASTRONOMICAL odds that I would be called to jury duty on the ONE day that not only I know the lawyer, but I'm related to the plaintiff. WIERD!!! And yet so, so fabulous at the same time! All I'm saying is, I have now fulfilled my civic duty by showing up and I can go back to speeding with abandon. hahaha, ok I'm kidding about that last part.
Jury pools and cousins excuse,