Jury Duty?

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Jan 28, 2008 9:36 pm

What has your experience been as a rep when faced with jury duty? How did you try to get out of it? Did you attempt to state the difficulties in your profession from a scheduling standpoint or go another route entirely?

Jan 29, 2008 8:27 pm

Two words: Jury Nullification. Tell the office sending you the notice, that you believe in "jury nullification". The legal term basically means that, as a juror, you have the right to return a NOT GUILTY verdict in a case prosecuted under a law you believe is unconstitutional. For example: in a prostitution sting operation, even if the evidence of guilt was overwhelming; if you believe that prostitution should not be illegal, you would vote "not guilty" as a member of the jury. Same for people busted for pot possession, whatever.

 
DA's hate people who believe in "jury nullification" and there's a good chance you'll be taken off the juror list, once that fact is known. At the very worst, if you're still obligated to show-up, you'll be cut from jury selection in every case and only blow a few hours that day. I've had 2 different attorneys shush me when I brought up the subject in public. Apparently, it's not something the legal community wants advertised. For me, personally, I believe in the concept, being a dyed in the wool Libertarian for 20 years.
 
Following my post, you're going to get a lot of posts saying: blah blah, you have a duty to perform jury duty, blah blah, the system only works if you do, blah blah. Sorry, I don't support such a system that sticks a gun to my head and forces me to perform a "duty". An exaggeration? Try blowing-off jury duty and see if people with guns don't come looking for you.
 
If you use the "search" function of this site and type-in "jury duty", you'll find a similar discussion 1 or 2 years ago. That's when I got my notice. They took me off the list.
 
For those who want to argue the point, go over my old posts and you'll have my response. No sense in re-hashing the subject, as far as I'm concerned.
Jan 30, 2008 11:19 am

Of course the other option is just to do the jury duty.  Don't try to get out of it.  Chances are when they see you can think for yourself and might have an opinion, they'll dismiss you anyway. 

 
I'd love to do jury duty, but haven't had the opportunity.  As long as you live in this country, I do believe you have some responsibility for what happens here.  Skirting jury duty is just one small issue.   
Jan 30, 2008 11:22 am
xbanker:

What has your experience been as a rep when faced with jury duty? How did you try to get out of it? Did you attempt to state the difficulties in your profession from a scheduling standpoint or go another route entirely?

 
Tell them your a stay at home dad.. That might work.
Jan 30, 2008 4:15 pm
xbanker:

What has your experience been as a rep when faced with jury duty? How did you try to get out of it? Did you attempt to state the difficulties in your profession from a scheduling standpoint or go another route entirely?







How about this: Do your civic duty.



I'm with Spiff on this.

Jan 31, 2008 10:29 am

I've had it twice since being a FA, both times I showed up--sat around for 2 hours--got dismissed to standby--got my $25 in the mail minus the taxes...I would do my duty and not worry about it.  Jury Nullification--bite the bullet and do it--teach your kids to do the right thing. 

Feb 5, 2008 11:14 am

Her's a story to give everyone something to think about regarding jury duty:

 
My oldest daughter was taking a medication that made her morbidly obese. She has no chioce, she need the medication, period. Long story short after years of trying every weight losing scheme on the market, and with the weight causing serious helath problems she opted for Gastric Bypass surgery.
 
She has the surgery, and comes home 3 days later. Actually she come to my house where my wife actted as he live in nurse. Second day home she doesn't feel so good, and starts running a fever. My wife called the doc's office and was told no problem. Day three, four and five it get's worse and worse but the doc's office says all is normal. Day six my daughter is very ill, and looks heavier than she did bfore the surgery. My wife puts her on the scale and she weighs 30 pounds more than she did the day of the surgery! This should not be! The doctor's office is closed so we make a unilateral decision to take her to  the OR. They rush her into emergeny surgery and find that the bypass hasn't just sprung a leak, but has come completely undone. her stomacg contents spilled into her abdominal cavity causing a massive infection, Sepsis. Look it up, most people don't survive sepsis. And the doctor's gave my daughter little chance of surviving this.
 
But she did survive. She spent 3 weeks in a coma, had 3 more surgeries, two months total in the hospital, another two months in rehab learning how to walk again.
 
Permanant injuries? Life long chronic digestive problems, blocked intestines, memory loss, blood clots and a bald spot from unattended bedsores. Her abdomen is so weak from all the surgeries she need to wear a special brace. And she doesn't have a bypass.
 
We come to find that an endocutter'stapler, that a laproscopic instrument used in her intial surgery malfunctioned.
 
Once our daughter was well enough she filled suit against the doctor and Ethicon Endosurgery, the manufacturer of the cutter/stapler. She went ot on of the best malpractice attorneys in the Philadelphia area.
 
During discovery we discovered that Ethicon knew there was a problem with their product but hid that from the doctors. We obtained documents in which Ethicon described exactly what happened to our daughter as happening on a more regular basis and that they were concerned it affect sales. We found that Ethicon's MO is to always blame the surgeon. Exactly what they were doing in this case.
 
It took five years to bring the case to a court room. Ethicon, on the day the trial started offed a woefully inadequate settlement offer. My daughter as plaintiff blamed both the doctor and Ethicon. Both defendents blamed each other, however, and this is key both stipulated that my daughter's injuries were caused in the course of the surgery. No one denied that my daughter had been gravely and permanently injured.
 
The rail took three weeks. Ethicon put on a million dollar defense. They flew in experts from all over the country to pin it on the doctor. The doctor had his own experts who pinned it on Ethicon. My daughter's lawyer did a masterfull job of catching everyone of Ethicon's experts in lies and misrepresentations. it was better than anything Grisham has ever written.
 
After three weeks the judge gave charged the jury giving them a ten page verdict sheet to complete. And with that it was in their hands.
 
Our lawyer thought the jury would be out for at least a day. Ethicon's counsel thought two days. The doctor's lawyers thought two days. The jury came back in in two hours, which was a bigger surprise considering one of those hours it had psent eatting lunch.
 
They let Ethicon off the hook completely. They found the doctor negligent but not responsible for my daughter's injuries. Even the judge was surprised by this nonsensical verdict, the jury ignoring the one thing everyone agreed on. Yet, that was it. Everyone got a free walk leaving my daughter to face her life long disabilities without help.
 
The jury did not follow the judge's instructions. The didn't weigh a single piece of evidence. They didn't review a single word of testimony. They ate their free lunch, and went home.
 
For all the talk from the bench about how wonderfull our system of justice is, my daughter got no justice. these people damn near killed her and got away with it. Google ethicon lawsuits for more info.
 
The point is, for those still reading, is that while most of us don't want ot be on a jury, believe me when i tell you, if you don't want to be there ,we the plaintiffs and defendants don't want you there either. There is too much at stake and too much time to put these matters into the hands of those who only want to eat lunch and go home.
 
If you are called you will be given ample opportunity to get off the jury. You don't have to lie. Just tell them you don't want to be there and it wouldn't be fair to the parties involved to keep you on the jury.
 
 
Feb 5, 2008 10:38 pm

BondGuy: sorry to hear of your daughter's pain.  I agree with you--if you don't want to be on the jury and you don't think you can do the job, then tell them!  Those of us that feel that jury duty is our obligation as a citizen--we will do it!

Feb 5, 2008 10:43 pm

That is one of the worst instances of jury misconduct I have ever heard of...unbelievable...

Feb 6, 2008 9:52 am
iceco1d:

Wow...at first I thought "how is that thread still going?!"  After reading...just wow.  BondGuy, I'm sorry to hear all of that.  Can it be pushed any further, or is a moot issue at this point?

 
Jessi's lawyer is going to try to have the verdict set aside. He believes the likelihood is high that she will get another trial. Then again, as he says, he was sure Jess would win. So who knows? This is a new experience for him as well, he doesn't lose. In our favor is the fact that 1) the verdict makes no sense. The verdict makes as much sense as finding a driver guilty of causing a crash by going through a stop sign but not holding him responsible for the injuries cause by that crash. It's total nonsense.  2) The jury didn't do their job. They didn't review anything. This went against the judge's instructions to carefully weigh the evidence. 3) Jessi's attorney is a top notch guy. In addition to his being a go to guy in our area for malpractice, he is an appellate attorney and law professor. So he knows his stuff and is respected. In sitting through three weeks of trial marked with dozens, if not hundreds of objections from the defense, he didn't lose on a single objection. Same goes for all the motions made be the defense. Not one was granted. And I gotta tell ya, there were a more than a few times I thought that we were going down. Then our guy would get up, picture Columbo, say a few words right to the point, and it was obvious that the defense was going down. And they did, everytime. So, the judge got it, but the jury didn't. The good news is, Jess is in good hands, with a top attorney who has a lot of sunk costs in getting this case to a positve outcome.
 
Stay tuned
Feb 6, 2008 10:14 am

BG, more important than the case, how is your daughter doing?  My prayers are with her and your entire family.

Feb 6, 2008 11:49 am
anonymous:

BG, more important than the case, how is your daughter doing?  My prayers are with her and your entire family.

 
Thank you!
 
Of course Jessi's health is the bigger picture. We won the lottery with her surviving the long odds that sepsis brings. One thing that came out at trial was just how long those odds were.
Today to look at Jess she looks fairly healthy. Yet, she has problems that will be with her for the rest of her life. The stomach problems, she doesn't have a stomach like the rest of us, nor does she have a bypass. Thus she can't eat like the rest of us. and she can't eat like those with a bypass.  It could take her half an hour to eat a small sandwich. 10 minutes to down a banana. That's if it stays down.  Adhesions caused by the mulitple surgeries have caused intestinal blockages and cause her great pain. She is currently undergoing tests to see if anything more can be done to alleviate this problem. A trombosis, that is blood clot in her leg, leaves her unable to stand for long periods of time. The cure for this is uncertain and very risky with as much chance of doing more damage as curing her. And quite frankly, with her track record in the OR, she doesn't want more surgery. Then there's the memory problem, which is on going. She's a lot of fun to tell a joke to. We can tell her the same joke over and over. On the flip side, we have to stop her about the third or forth time she's told us the same story or joke. She has a Forrest Gump Naivety about her now that she didn't have before. She's very smart, but there's just somthing not right.
 
So when you ask about how Jess is, we know we won the lottery with her survival. And we are thankful for that. However, what happened to her is tragic.
 
As far as the lawsuit goes, it was about the money but it wasn't about the money as well. Jess wanted everyone to know what these people had done to her. She's already been through the local media. As for the money, it's the only language these companies understand. But that's as far as it went. Sure the money would be nice to help her live her life, but she's living her life without it anyway. Losing, to her, meant that no one got it. No got that these are bad people, so blinded by profit that their only concern in killing and maiming people with their product was that it might negatively affect sales. Again, i have to say, when i saw that internal document, it blew me away. I thought that kind of stuff was a Hollywood invention. Gotta say Hollywood's got nothing on these guys. And unlike Hollywood, in this case, the guys in the black hats and with the blacker hearts won.
 
Again, thanks for asking about my daughter