Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jury Duty by Merrillee Whren

I am writing this post a few days ahead of my post day which is the 14th of every month, so as of this writing, I don't know whether I will actually have to report for jury duty on April 14, 2015, which is today on the blog.

As a writer I think jury duty could be inspiration for a story, but on the other hand, it will keep me from the book I am currently working on. So I have mixed feelings about the prospect. I've had to report for jury duty three other times, once in Georgia, once in Texas and once in Florida.

In Georgia, I actually got selected for a jury in a civil case in which a woman was suing the man who hit her in a car accident. Sitting in the court room as part of a jury is a fascinating experience. In this particular case, the judge seemed bored and the plaintiff's attorney came across as combative. I don't believe he helped his client. The jury did find for the plaintiff, but the reward was not close to what they were asking. So in a sense, the defendant, in my opinion, was the real winner.

In Texas, I spent the entire day at the courthouse, but I was not chosen to serve on the jury for the case that had a patient suing a hospital. I knew right from the beginning that I would never be picked for the jury because my husband worked for a healthcare company. That was a strike against me, but I still had to sit through the whole process. On the good side, while we were waiting I talked to some men who repaired elevators and discovered all kinds of information about what could happen if someone got stuck in an elevator. I used that information to write a scene in one of my books, but in the end, the scene got cut. But the experience taught me that you never know what you can learn from the people around you in any situation.

In Florida, I reported in the morning to a room filled with over a hundred people, but I was dismissed after less than an hour because they only had one case and enough of a jury pool before they got to me. Where I live now, I will only have to call in or check the website the night before to find out if I have to report.

Have you ever had to serve on a jury? What kind of case was it?

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of  thirty-five plus years, and has two grown daughters. Her latest book, Second Chance Reunion, is available at all major book retailers. You can find the buy links at her website. Connect with her on her Facebook page.

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  1. I've been summoned a few times but never chosen. The holding rooms are a great source of inspiration for characters in a book. Lots of oddness going on in there.

  2. Kristin, yes they are. I found out that my date has been rescheduled for the end of the month. More waiting in store.

  3. I've only sat in the jury pool waiting to be called. Always a bridesmaid...

  4. Melinda, I wonder how many people really want to serve on a jury and how many hope to get out of it. I hope I don't get on one this time because we are supposed to babysit our granddaughters for 10 days, starting the day after I'm scheduled to report now.

  5. I've done jury time on two local cases, but now I'm on the list for federal jury duty. My letter from the feds says I'm on the list for 13 months and that will end in August.

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