Friday, July 27, 2012

Week Two Over

Week two of jury duty is over--tomorrow (today, really, by the time you read this) I go back to work for a day, and then I return to the courthouse on Monday. It's actually kind of interesting, so I can't complain.

I can't tell you about the trial I'm on, but I can tell you about other courthouse happenings.

Most of the time, I've had lunch in the court cafeteria, and there are several attorneys I see there every day who are from out of town. The senior attorney looks familiar to me, but I don't know why--I have no idea even if they are involved in a civil case or not, but I think they are. Anyway, there's this senior male attorney who I'd guess is probably in his 50s; he's a big powerful guy with a commanding presence and gray hair. Then there's a female attorney, probably in her late 30s or early 40s, who seems to be a stereotypical east coast (i.e., New York or New Jersey) personality. Finally, there's an older guy who doesn't wear a suit and seems more like either the client or an investigator.

The first day, I overheard the female attorney telling someone that as she was leaving the courtroom, she fell down and banged her knee. She denied the fall had anything to do with the high heels she was wearing, but today, a week and a half later, I noticed she was wearing flats. Also today, she was trying to find her missing cell phone--she last remembered having it in the ladies bathroom because she set it down to wash her hands. I always have to wonder about people taking their cell phones into the bathroom, but she's very attached to hers. The other day, she put her phone on speaker and played back all of her messages rather audibly until the senior male attorney walked over and suggested it wasn't appropriate in a crowded cafeteria. Seriously, she seems like a really ditzy redhead to me.

And the senior attorney? He often sits at a separate table, going through a binder of documents, preparing for the afternoon trial session. That first day, he got up and walked over to the female attorney and directed her to get him a cup of coffee. Seriously?!! I thought that kind of thing ended a couple decades ago! Today they were all sitting together but had to move to a different table, and the female attorney carried the male attorney's suit jacket. I've developed a pretty strong dislike of these people.

For their sake, and the sake of their client, I sure hope there aren't any jurors from THEIR trial observing what I have. I wonder if the arrogance of the male attorney and the idiocy of the female attorney comes across in the courtroom?

Speaking of idiocy, the first or second day I was down there, we were all waiting in the hallway after lunch when the bailiff from another courtroom called his prospective jurors back into court. A little while later, he came back out and called a specific name--the name of a woman. Ten minutes later, he came out and called again. Up until that point, we weren't paying too much attention, but about ten minutes after that, we couldn't help but notice--and overhear--the same bailiff talking to a panicked and flustered woman outside the doors to the courtroom. We rather shamelessly tuned into the conversation and heard the woman explain that she'd gone down to the jury room during lunch and somehow became so engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle, she completely forgot to pay attention to the time! Consequently, she was 45 minutes late--and we jurors already get a 90 minute lunch break each day! Isn't that crazy? I just can't imagine forgetting to pay attention to the time like that, can you?!

As I've found, the courthouse is an interesting place to people watch. I'm sure I'll have a couple more stories to share by the time this is done.


PunkiePie (Jen) said...

oh fun! I love to people watch!

Nancy H. said...

How long do you have to serve on jury duty? We have a one day or one trial situation so if you don't get picked for a trial on the first day, you are done.

carol fun said...

My son is a prosecutor in Municipal court and describes it as a three ring circus. Some days you even get costumed participants -LOL

debstokes said...

Many, many years ago I served on a jury and the week after the trial ended one of the attorneys called me. Very above board and legal - to ask if there was anything in the clothing he wore, his tone of voice or the way he interacted with anyone in the room that had concerned me! I'd never really thought about how my like or dislike of the attorney could influence my opinion of the facts! Very interesting. I sure don't ever want to be on trial! Deborah

Anonymous said...

I like to people watch also. Your telling about the older lawyer, getting up, walking over to the female lawyer and instructing her to get him some coffee was funny. He could get up and walk over to her, but couldn't go get his own coffee. Makes me wonder if he didn't know how he took it. Thanks for sharing.

The Queen Bee said...

Here's my've seen the attorney doing those hideous tv commercials and the younger women isn't really an attorney. She's his assistant. The one who will do the fetching...not to mention the driving so the 'all important' attorney can conduct his billable business. (Just my guess...but I work in the court system in New York.)

Isn't people watching the best part of waiting around??

Good luck.


Marilyn said...

Your observations about the courthouse are very interesting. Thanks for sharing them with us.