There was a letter waiting for me when I got home over the weekend. I was hoping it was about my nasal surgery but no, it’s jury duty time again.
Which so far in my life hasn’t actually worked the way the selection squad probably wanted it to…
Tis the season…for jury duty.
First a guy at work and a fellow announcer (conveniently called Guy) got his summons for jury duty. Then shortly after that my breakfast co-host Lu also got a notice in the mail, surprise! It’s jury duty time! And we were well and truly prepared for this with me agreeing to do the breakfast radio show solo when she got called up, only to have it deferred til later this year. Well okay then.
Then just a handful of days after that the jury duty selection panel (or AI picking machine, I’m not really sure who pulls the names out for this) decided they just didn’t have enough radio announcers working out if someone was guilty or not, so I got an invite.
Third time lucky then?
It’s been close to two decades now since I last got called up for jury duty selection so I guess in all fairness, I’m probably overdue. Especially since both times I dutifully called the juror hotline a couple of days before the case date as instructed only to find through a pre-recorded message that they didn’t need me the first time, no worries then, cheers.
(Top tip: If you’re prerecording a phone message for people to listen to, can I strongly suggest someone who doesn’t speak in a hoarse whisper to be the voice of the recording? I kid you not, I had to ring three times back then to try and work out if I was needed thanks to the whisper of the guy that sounded like he’d just copped a throat spike from WWE wrestler Umaga.)
The second occasion when I called I got a human (that’s rare!) who looked up my number, told me I wasn’t needed and that was the end of things, your jury duty obligation is done for now, thanks for checking and have a nice life. So that’s 0-2 in terms of being selected but never making it to a trial.
Until now of course where from August now to August next year, I could be called up at any stage. Okay then, gavel and wig on standby! (Wait, that’s a judge Al..)
My court experience is limited..
Yes there’s no criminal record to work with here, I got caught speeding once decades ago (in a Ford Laser of all things) and aside from the occasional parking fine (curse you councils!) that’s it. Which means my total courtroom experience adds up to what I’ve seen on TV and the two days I spent in the supreme court as a teenager…and not for any crime, but as work experience.
Yes while the other kids were doing their two weeks of work exp in places such as Mind Games and skating stores, I was getting bored silly with legal precedings. Mum worked within the legal fraternity so I spent a lot of my two weeks in my cheap suit in an office going through boxes looking for wills, travelling to other offices to sit in chairs and drinking their stocks of orange juice dry for something to do and for two days out of the ten, in court where I attended a case of a lawyer suspected of ripping off his client, only his client didn’t enjoy the experience and took a sledgehammer to his lawyers desk.
Which on paper sounds truly exciting (well not as exciting as an ep of Law and Order actually) but over two days bored the absolute pants off me, hanging in the back pretending I had half a clue what was actually happened. At one stage I zoned out of things so much they actually stopped proceedings and had security wake me up out of my stupor because I’d nodded off and probably started snoring. Then during a toilet break the accused sidled up next to me at the urinal for a friendly chat.
Him: So you want to be a lawyer?
Him: Do you think I’m guilty?
Me: Mate, I’m just here on work experience.
Even getting paid a stonking $5 a day for the experience, nothing of that said experience made me want to take up law, fight dodgy lawyer crime or wear a wig to be honest. So that’s why I haven’t spent a lot of time in courtrooms (even though the law courts here in town are just around the corner from where I work.)
There’s no hotline this time
No welcome to 2023 where my jury duty experience has been updated to today’s day and age. After checking out the website listed in the letter, I’ve registered my email and my phone so if they need me, they’ll text me. And if they don’t need me, I assume they’ll text me that too.
(And if they do need me for jury duty, I highly expect that notice will come in the worst time possible. Yes we know you just won an all expensive paid trip to the see the Grand Prix in Monaco Al but we reckon this bloke knocked off a few cars and we need your help in deciding if he’s guilty or not. Should only take a couple of weeks. Give or take.)
Wish me luck, this could be an interesting 12 months!