7:45: Criminal Courts Building in downtown L.A. (or Clara Shortridge Foltz Building, as it is now known, after California's first female lawyer) smells and looks about the same as it did when I interned here 20 years ago. Elevators have not been repaired or, apparently, cleaned.
Took elevator to jury assembly room on 11th floor, trying not to think that this is one of the least earthquake safe buildings in Los Angeles County. I was in a quake in this in 1989, and I could hear the building's bones groaning as it lurched.
8:00 Lined up outside jury assembly room with about 150 others.
I am in my best suit and favorite tie. My theory: to get off jury duty, dress inappropriately poorly or inappropriately well. I am dressed well, because that's how I roll.
I would be happy to serve on a jury despite the extreme inconvenience. First, I can't whine about drawing shitty juries for my trial if I don't step up myself. Second, it would be a tremendously useful experience for gaining insight into how trials look for the other side and what attorney tactics are effective and ineffective.
But the chances of me getting on a jury — let alone a jury in a criminal trial, which is all they do in this building — is vanishingly small. I've worked for this district attorney's office, another DA's office, and worked as a prosecutor for more than five years, and have worked as a criminal defense attorney for nearly eight years. The only way I am getting on a jury is (1) if the lawyers on both sides on the case have extremely odd and reckless views of jury selection, or (2) if they game the jury selection process poorly and wind up with me on the panel without any challenges left.
I've been kicked out of jury panels twice. It's almost certainly not going to happen. So just going through the process is a bit annoying.
But here I am.
10:00 Sat through interminable orientation process. Sitting next to Orthodox Jewish gentleman who keeps banging into the side of my head with the enormous brim of his black hat, then looking at me apologetically.
Now waiting to see if I will get called into a courtroom.
Considered printing a law review article on jury nullification to carry conspicuously, dismissed the idea as insufficiently subtle.
Long delay posting because of site problems.
11:15: I've been assigned to a panel and ordered to come back Monday morning for voir dire. Will report back then.
The questioning should be interesting.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017