Posted: February 28, 2014
I have lived in the Chippewa Valley for 27 years and have never served on a jury. This past month, I received notice that I could possibly serve as a juror in Chippewa County Circuit Court. I was excited, but I also knew that there was the chance that my work day could be compromised if I were to be called to duty on any given Wednesday during the month of February.
For the first 25 days of the month, all of my assigned days to call in for possible jury duty, the trials were cancelled. I took the matter seriously and made a point of reminding myself to call in after 5pm the night before I was to report to court, just in case I was to serve on a jury trial. However, this past Wednesday, after taking a late afternoon nap on Tuesday, I forgot to make the phone call to see if I was to report on Wednesday morning at 9am.
Unfortunately, the one day that I forgot to check on my responsibility was the day that I needed to be in court at 9am. After receiving a call about my whereabouts at 8:40am, I raced to the courthouse knowing that I would be a bit late. I also knew that my TBL deadline day was the worst time for me to be in a courtroom for an all-day jury trial.
I thought about what I would say if I were called on to determine if I would be a fair and impartial juror. At one time, members of the media were automatically stricken from being a part of the decision-making process. But lately, that hasn't been the case. As much as I wanted to serve and go through the process of being a juror, I knew that I would have to be up most of the night to write my newsletter if the trial were to last the entire day.
For good luck, I parked in a two-hour parking zone. I was hoping that my appearance as a potential juror would not end up with me participating in an all-day trial. Fortunately, I was one of six second-alternate jurors, so the attorneys on both sides of the case really didn't ask me anything. After the questions of the potential jurors were completed, my group of six were dismissed.
I kind of wish I could have participated in a jury trial. The process intrigues me. But a part of me was also pleased that I was able to go on with my work day in a timely fashion. In fact, I was done serving my duty in about one hour, which means that I didn't have to worry about getting a ticket for being in a two-hour parking zone.