Last month I got called for jury duty. It was not the first time. In fact, it was–by my count–the ninth time I have been called for jury duty.
I have never been selected for a jury.
The first time, I had moved out of the county. The second, I showed up, and all the cases that day were continued or dismissed–and eventually, so were we (dismissed, that is). The third time, they formed a jury before they got to me. The fourth time, the last juror picked was the guy sitting next to me.
At this point, it started to feel intentional.
The fifth time, the judge made the parties settle because, as he told us afterward, “I told them, ‘I am not going to impanel a jury over a $100 dispute about a dress.'”
The sixth time, the judge excused me because my mother was dying, and I had to travel out of state to be with her.
The seventh time, the judge excused me because I had plane tickets for travel that fell within the time span of the trial.
The eighth time, the parties settled while we sat out in the hallway.
This time, I showed up at the courthouse (the one that is closest to me, which anyone in Los Angeles will agree is a minor miracle in and of itself). I waited most of the day, went to lunch, came back, and was assigned to a case–this meant that I had to come back two days later.
After an excruciating day of voir dire, featuring a plaintiff’s attorney who really liked to hear himself talk, and a judge who had absolutely no sense of the passage of time, we were told to come back the following day. (Hey, at least I got to eat at Puro Sabor, which I’ve been wanting to do for years.)
So we did. And there was yet another excruciating day of voir dire. Eventually, they selected a jury, and I got to go home.
The frustrating thing is that I sat there for nothing. Because if I had been called to the box, they would have learned immediately that I could not serve due to a conflict of interest. That’s what happens when one of the parties to the lawsuit is your employer.
I don’t think the court and I have the same definition of “fortunate.”
I do want to go back to Puro Sabor, though. More lomo saltado, please!