Seth’s Jury Duty Extravaganza

or, “The American Court System’s Insidious Plot to Foster a Deep Hatred of Civil Service in the Nation’s Youth”

Recap of my last few days:


  • Drive through rainy Monday morning LA traffic (i.e. parking lot) to make it to the courthouse by 8:15.  The ten mile drive takes 45 minutes.
  • Arrive on time at courthouse.  Realize line for metal detector stretches around the courthouse.  Outside.
  • It is pouring rain.
  • I have no umbrella.  And no hood.
  • After fifteen minutes, make it — soaking wet — through security.
  • Find the jury room.  Sit.  Wait.
  • Nothing — nothing — happens until 9:15 or so, when a woman proceeds to give us incredibly simple instructions for the next half hour.
  • We’ve accomplished so much!  Take a forty five minute break.
  • I return after the break to find that the court isn’t ready for us, and the woman who’s presumably in charge gives us an early lunch.
  • I have lunch from 10:45 to 1:30.  It is pouring rain outside, and driving home will take too long, so this amounts to me sitting.  And waiting.
  • Finally, at 2:15 we’re led to the courtroom.  The judge proceeds to explain that he won’t be ready for us until tomorrow.


  • Report to the courtroom at 1:30, as instructed.  Doors open late, at 1:45.  Judge proceeds to give incredibly simple instructions and attempts to insert bad jokes that just stretch the orientation out.  By 2:45, the jury begins to be interviewed.  My number is not called.
  • At 3:00, the judge decides we’ve made incredible progress, and that we’ll take an afternoon break until 3:20.
  • At 3:30, we resume again.  My number is still not called.
  • Finally, at 4:15 the court reporter’s steno machine breaks.  We call it a day.


  • I am thoroughly miserable about having to come to court.  Again.
  • Show up at 10:45.  Start at 10:55.  This is a pattern.
  • Sit listening to interviews until 12:00.  My number is still not called.
  • Take a lunch break until 1:30.
  • By which I mean we started again at 1:45.
  • More interviews until 3:00.  My number is still not called.
  • Afternoon break from 3:00 – 3:20.  Again.
  • The juror pool is dwindling.  My number must be called soon.
  • By 4:00, after I had sat through three days of absolutely nothing, the attorneys pick a jury.
  • I am not on it.
  • I was never interviewed for it.
  • The last three days, in fact, would have proceeded precisely the same had I NOT BEEN THERE.
  • 4:05 — pick up my reimbursement statement ($30.68) and the only thing I care about at this point: a certification of completion of jury duty.

The tl;dr version: