Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Jury Duty: Day 2

Whew. Two days down. Three more to go.

I think one of the highlights of today was that the other jurors actually learned my name. No more being referred to as "the alternate".

It is safe to say I am officially personally involved in this case. I sit there and hear the same names repeated over...and over...and over again. And I was sitting on the edge of my seat each time the Plaintiff brought in a new witness. It felt satisfying to finally put a face with the name that's been drilled into my head and hear their testimony.

Each time the counsel approaches the bench, the judge simply looks over our direction and says, "White Noise". This is our cue to talk amongst ourselves. We are not supposed to listen to what they are talking about up there but JOCO courthouse isn't fancy enough to have an actual white noise machine like the big league courts so the judge explained we would have to make our own.

So how panicked was I when I was forced to turn to a total stranger and strike up a conversation out of the blue? Thankfully the man next to me simply asked, "So, what do you do?". I won't go into how this questions annoys me...looking at someone's employment to define who they are. But I answered him cordially.

The next time the counsel approached the bench the same juror turned to me again and said, "Your turn".

"Umm..." I stammered nerdily. "I'm not really a big talker." Thankfully the discussions at the bench were quick and I was off the hook. I kicked myself for being a dork and figured that would be the last time he turned to me.

Nope. EVERY time we had to make "white noise" he turned to me! I am proud to say I sucked it up and actually started talking to this man I had just met. Asking him questions about himself, discussing myself and my family candidly, and, dare I say, actually throwing in some wit and candor appropriately. I was quite pleased with myself.

I officially came out of my self imposed social shell today. And it only took 32 1/2 years.

Each time we leave the courtroom for break, the baliff opens the door for us from the other side and leads us out. I am the first in line to leave the courtroom. Once today, I reached the door a split second before she did and I stood there dutifully waiting for it to be opened. My newfound conversation buddy asked sarcastically, "Are we not even allowed to open our own door?".

"I don't know," I said.

"Well, you looked like you knew what you were doing," he explained.

"Ummm....no, I just didn't want to get yelled at by the judge."

During another break, the baliff wasn't there at all to open the door so I boldly opened it and out we shuffled. We passed right by her office on the way to our holding room and she let out a little gasp as she saw us pass by. The same man who mocked me for not opening it before, was quick to point his finger straight at me and say, "It's her fault. We just followed her."


The afternoon questioning got a little tedious. But with less than 30 minutes left for the day...things heated up. We all sat up a little bit straighter in our seats. Hostilities were rampant. It was just like when a TV show ends on a cliff hanger to ensure you will watch the next episode.

I can't wait to go back in the morning...

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