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Jury Duty - What to Bring While I Wait?
What do WW'ers bring when waiting for jury duty for hours?
Shannon Moore

 4:26 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have jury duty next Tuesday and when I was in a corporate job I just brought a thick book (I read quickly) -- a biography or fiction -- and read that for however many hours it took for my name to be called.

However, now that my career is my small business with multiple websites, lots to do and even more to read about daily, I'm wondering what to bring in my Jury Duty Survival Kit <tm> next week. I'll be spinning in the aisles if I don't come prepared with enough to (1) occupy the countless hours of likely waiting and (2) make me feel like I've spent the time productively.

Any books I should pick up for the occasion? Particular threads from WebmasterWorld that if printed out might help lightbulbs go off in my head while I wait?

Any ideas? This is unpaid time, unlike my days in corporate America, so I feel a strong need to make sure *I* make it productive somehow.

I have a laptop but doubt a connection would be available and would prefer not to lug it around, btw.



 5:13 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is WordPop an unproductive use of your time? ;) I played WordPop and ate M&Ms last month during jury duty. Just about everyone else spent lots of time on their cell phones.

Robert Charlton

 5:38 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Any books I should pick up for the occasion?

I'm thinking film titles rather than book titles, but how about something like 12 Angry Men or I, The Jury? The latter was originally a book by Mickey Spillane. Maybe you could pick up a paperback. ;)


 6:33 am on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

How about a book on Judge Jeffries the hanging judge? Or sharia law for beginners?

Shannon Moore

 1:13 pm on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

AAnnAArchy: I have a Pocket PC PDA -- had to look up "WordPop". It looks like one I'd enjoy, if I could find a port of it for Pocket PC.

EssexBoy & Robert C: These reading and film choices might certainly help me not get selected/empaneled. :) "Legal system nut in row #4, with the law-related novel in her hands!"

All look like worthy items to add to my library, however. And the Sharia law was a particularly interesting suggestion.

Thanks! Maybe when I think "productive" I shouldn't always assume that means "Internet"! Learning's productive, certainly, and even entertainment has a purpose. All of these suggestions beat sitting with the cellphone glued to my ear.


 12:46 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jury Duty - I got called up and managed to get out of it by going to Pub Con Orlando.

A much better use of my time I feel!

Shannon Moore

 2:36 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know what state you're in, but here in Texas going to a business conference is not one of the approved waivers.


 3:05 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

most WebmasterWorld members that I know are exempt from Jury duty.

maybe exempt isnt the right word, but EXCLUDED is :)


Shannon Moore

 3:12 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's true, but you don't get to "self select" -- eg. "I'm not going to report to jury duty because I *shouldn't be selected/empaneled in a jury".

The last time I served was in '99 and the trial was settled before jury selection even began -- one look at the lot of us (potential jurors) I guess was enough to make the defendant change his plea.


 4:05 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just sit on a bench, with your head turned slightly down (just to make it hard for people to see your face, but raised enough so that you can still scan the hallway to see people's reaction to you), and write code in your head.

Speaking it out loud as you're doing it, and inserting the odd cackle, will ensure that you don't get selected. And it will be time well spent. You'd be surprised at the good ideas that come to mind when you think about code that way.

(Erm, not that I've ever done this in public. Well, at least not the cackling bit.)


 6:07 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really do believe that it is a right and a duty to not try and weasel out of jury duty. But if you REALLY want out, bring a Ouija Board along and use it to answer any questions.

Shannon Moore

 8:02 pm on Sep 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, the thread did start out as a "What do I bring to productively spend my time while I wait to be called" and not a "How do I get out of being selected for a jury" thread.

So, suggestions are still welcome as I still have half a day before my summons to the courthouse as a potential juror.


 2:25 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I take cross stitch. It's too hard to keep my laptop going in a courtroom....

Shannon Moore

 5:50 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

My summons says no knitting needles, etc. They don't specifically ban cross-stitch, but then again I don't know how to do it (my mom does and I always wished I had the patience and talent for it or other crafts skills).

Well, tomorrow it is. I had no time to pick up any books so I'll be bringing a book I started, convinced my husband he had to read (he's a licensed private pilot with an instrument rating), and then promptly stopped reading myself due to time constraints --
Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Cushman Rowell (Photography by Galen Rowell)

I have 3/4 of the the book still to read. And I'm bringing a blank notebook to let my mind wander and jot down whatever crosses my mind as I wait.


 6:32 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I where you I'd just take a laptop and some note paper. Write content or scribble down some designs.


 6:52 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just remember- underneath their clothing the Judges are naked.

They are just like you or me dont let them intimidate you.

Good luck and hang 'em high

Shannon Moore

 4:27 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm actually a little bummed. Seems this was a summons for THE smallest court in the city (one of the largest cities in Texas) and when the one case up for trial today ceased to need a jury, we were all let go within 2 hours. I wasn't even into the meaty part of the book I'd brought!

Why did that never happen when I worked in corporate America and would have killed to be let out of jury duty at 10:30 AM and take the whole rest of the day off? (Actually, neverwouldahappened -- they always checked what time you were signed out and if it wasn't past 3PM you were expected to report back to work. Grrr...)

So, no exciting stories to tell and no time to have illuminating "sitting in jury room breakthroughs" on my business.

Good thing, I guess. My mom and dad had to go to the emergency room last night (different causes -- in fact, mom's was caused AT the emergency room), so I have the day to help them. Dad got stitches in his finger after a Dremel (drill) attacked; Mom needs oral surgery and not sure what else, yet, due to taking a fall face first into the hard hospital flooring -- painful for anyone, doubly painful for a long-time rheumatoid arthritic that breaks and bleeds under less pressure than a healthy body does.

<sigh> Think good thoughts for them both; they need it, and are good people (don't hold their relation to me against them!)


 6:43 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

<off topic>sending good wishes your way</off topic>


 7:10 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mom needs oral surgery and not sure what else, yet, due to taking a fall face first into the hard hospital flooring...

Oh! That's awful! But, I guess if you're going to fall flat on your face, the hospital is a pretty good place to do it.

Best wishes to her, and get your dad a pair of well-fitted work gloves to wear while Dremelling... ;)


 11:20 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ooooh Shannon, that's horrible for all of you! Best thoughts going out to your folks, my mom was rheumatoid too (scleroderma - which means she couldn't even feel it when she got hurt!), and life is tough enough dealing with it without THIS sort of thing too!

Bummer about not getting further on your book as well....

Shannon Moore

 3:09 am on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks to this thread, at least now I have some ideas on interesting jury duty reading books to add to my library for when I'm next summoned.

I sincerely appreciate the sincere well-wishes regarding my parents recent ER visits. My brother and I live relatively close to our parents and we spent all our free time there today -- ostensibly to run errands and help them relax, but our folks are stubborn (it's inherited!) so it was more for companionship and "You're looking a little better today!" good vibes.

Thanks all for the suggestions and commentary, and of course the thoughtful comments regarding my parents' recent difficulties. I'm like any 30 year old "kid" I guess -- love 'em dearly and finally appreciate just how much as time goes on.

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