On a case

November 22, 2007

Much to my surprise I was selected to serve on a jury. And of course I can’t tell you about it until 90 days after the trial, and then I can sell my story to the tabloids. When asked about my marital status, I replied “domestic partner” and as the case involved issues of sexual preference, the lawyers may have found an ally in me. Next time I’ll just keep my mouth shut. The judge probed to discover that I am the Chair of Music in the new UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and I made some comment to the effect of “yeah, I’m missing lots of meetings so that I can be here with you” and everyone cracked up.

I befriended a Professor from USC and we’ve commiserated but ultimately realized that it is our duty and we should embrace it with enthusiasm. We suffered by having a fabulous lunch at Kendall’s next to the Music Center. I ordered Japanese oysters for lunch and a Shiraz rose with my nicoise salad. That felt much better.

I was told to sign up Thanksgiviing week because I could get out of Thursday and Friday if called. Don’t believe it. I’ll be in court on Monday.

Your civil servant,

Juror 2

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brad Wood November 22, 2007 at 9:09 am

It astonishes me that they left you on the jury, although as you say the domestic partner angle may be involved.

Whenever I have gotten as far as the box during voir dire I have been excused by attorneys for one side or the other, using one of their peremptory challenges. The one exception was retaliatory—I was towards the end of several days of service, and had acquired something of a reputation among the rest of the pool. A laywer who had excused me previously left me on, clearly, as punishment for being a smartass.

The trial was of a woman who had picked up a stray dog in the street and taken care of it for several days. The ostensible owner found the dog and demanded it back, but the woman demanded proof it had been his. At some point said owner kvetches to an off-duty highway patrol officer at a nearby hamurger stand, who accompanies the man to this woman’s house. He snatches up the dog and the woman loses it and trash-talks the CHP into arresting her. Charge: dognapping or conversion.

Neither prosecution nor defense managed to portray events and more importantly motivations and intents faithfully, but three jurors divined the real deal (two people clash with major problems handling anger, and one invokes the terrible power of the State), and persuaded me to join them in opposition to the knee-jerk hang-her-high dog lovers. It was a hung jury, and needless to say the State did not file again. And I think justice was served, and I learned a lot.

So thanks again Ms. Prosecutor bee-atch 😉

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