15 thoughts on “Jury Duty Question”

  1. I’m in Texas (San Antonio), and we do get recompensed for jury duty. At the rate of 6$ a day, which barely pays for the express bus to downtown, and the cost of lunch – this is more of an insult. Still – a courtesy.
    And the jury room had places where we could recharge our phones and laptops, so there is that.

  2. I think I get three days now, other jobs were just a day. Also Texas, Dallas Co.. We get a free bus pass,Who-ho. I don’t know of anywhere that jurors get much more than $20 for fulfilling their civic duty.

    I would think that the a week would see the end of most trials in the real world. I think most judges and attorneys would be very reluctant to pauperize a juror and take pains to keep anyone that would be harmed off the jury in a long trial. So setting a limit might even be a bit of protection. There are a few places that still pay for unlimited jury duty but I’ll bet not as many as before O.J.

    Looking like you actually have a job, especially a professional one will keep you off a lot of juries.

  3. I find that the minute I mention “retired military”, both the defense and the prosecution trip over themselves to exclude me. I’ve been called for jury duty about three-four times since I retired, and on each occasion, they’ve been like “Thankyouverymuchforyourservice, nowgohome…”.

    Can’t imagine why.

  4. IIRC when I was called (in Madison), they paid about $20/day and provided parking.

    The time I actually served, the initial pool included both me and a colleague on the same experiment, both of us scientists. They sent him home and kept me–possibly because they’d run out of challenges.

  5. The policy at Blinn was to use it as a free day as I remember – few got roped into longer trial. They paid substitutes, of course.

    The last one I was on was a nightmare – someone had run a car into a group of people after a long afternoon of drinking & drugs and harassing each other – the crowd and the people in the car. A child of a few months was in one of those flimsy strollers, her baby sitter moved back and the child was pulled under the car. She was burned terribly and her shoulder bones broken – they were still at the fairly flexible stage as the doctor pointed out, emphasizing the force and pain inflicted) and permanent damage (probably). The eyewitness accounts generally blamed the daughter in the car (who was the center of some boyfriend/babies/girlfriends battle – having nothing to do with the injured child); the lawyers had a major problem because the mother – one of four in the car – had come forward almost immediately and plead guilty (after her daughter got in the car and drove off, then immediately phoned people she could to keep to a false narrative, since she had been the one driving. We did not know this until the verdict came in. Neither party wanted to bring in the confession since neither set of lawyers believed it – but it did leave peculiar inconsistencies in witness testimony. When they told us all that afterwards, it made sense. If they charged the daughter, any defense would bring in the mother’s confession.

    Charging the mother made a mess of eyewitness testimony (well, that and that most of them were lying in one way or another). Of course both the mother and the daughter and some “dude” they never brought in that was in the back of the car had long records (I don’t know why he didn’t testify but he was in jail awaiting a trial on a different matter.)

    Anyway, the jury was hung. That was the third hung jury I was on – and all of them were 7-5 or 8-4 – nothing like one person hanging out. But we spent four days with these lying, drugged up, just plain horrible witnesses who seemed quite cavalier about anyone hurt as they moved through life. One of the jurors ran a construction company and they were in the middle of a project – God knows how much money he lost in four days and exactly how he could be repaid. But I was thankful he hadn’t been excused because he made the most sense of the evidence. He kept saying that none of this made sense and everyone seemed to be lying. He was right, of course. Basically every witness except the cop (who didn’t cover himself in glory but handling a mob of a hundred or so must have been difficult in itself) and the doctor (who was clearly rather disturbed by the evidence he was giving and seemed competent and honest) lied to us in one way or another. There was another academic – I think we were not as useful in the argument stage as most others.
    Oh, well, this is just venting. I suspect with that many hung juries in my past I won’t be called to sit on one again. And shouldn’t be.

    Sorry Dan – do you give holidays or “personal” days? I didn’t ever see how even a minimally conscientious employee needed a personal day a month, but we had that and one sick day as well. If you don’t, then perhaps it is fair to cover it with their regular salary, but if you do, your already giving them a lot of free days that can count up. On the other hand if they get on one of those grand juries that goes on and on, you may need to replace them and surely paying two sets of wages would be expensive over a long time. Do you think you could have different solutions for different juries? Around here very few are more than half a day.

  6. Ginny – yes we do offer PTO. I posted this question at a bulletin board of my peers and the consensus was that most companies paid up to a week of service. I have never been called for jury duty. Odd.

  7. I find that the minute I mention “retired military”, both the defense and the prosecution trip over themselves to exclude me. I’ve been called for jury duty about three-four times since I retired, and on each occasion, they’ve been like “Thankyouverymuchforyourservice, nowgohome…”.

    And yet, my daughter who is a lawyer and FBI agent, got called a few years ago. She assumed she would be challenged but she wasn’t and ended up just Foremen.

  8. Oh, yes – I’ve been dropped from potential juries for being retired military. I think basically, the defense and prosecuting attorneys run a mile from anyone who looks impatient and decisive.

  9. The way it’s done here, the jury pool is randomized with everyone given a number. They are called for voir dire in order, one at a time and either accepted or excused. Each side has a fixed number of peremptory challenges and can challenge for cause. They also have very limited information on the prospective jurors that they get just as the jury panel walks in the door. So not like Bull at all. The whole thing ends abruptly when the last juror is seated and the rest of us go back to the main pool for a possible reassignment. Once peremptory challenges are used up it goes pretty quickly, there are fairly limited acceptable causes. When I lived in a much smaller county, it was more informal, there I had an easy out once because I knew one of the lawyers.

    The one trial where I got as far as into the the courtroom (I was #81) was supposed to last a week. All the other times, we were sent back to the jury room after being told that the case had been settled, after waiting hours standing around outside.

    It’s really surprising that Mike’s daughter would make it on a jury, I would figure both sides would consider her to have too much knowledge of how the sausage is made.

    Here in Dallas, the system is set up so if you don’t get on a jury the day your called you’re off the hook until the next time. And the next time won’t be for at least two years. The judges seem unwilling to waste much time as well.

  10. Dan,
    NY state mandates jury pay (paid by the State). However, businesses are encouraged to pay a juror more than the mandated sum.
    Currently, State’s the jury pay is $40, with stipulations:

    Jurors who receive their salary during their entire jury service will not be paid by the state.
    The employer of a juror, who employees more than 10 people, must pay at least $40 per day for the first three days of jury service.
    Jurors, whose employers have more than 10 employees and do not pay their salary or wages after the third day of jury service, will be paid by the state at the rate of $40 per day, for the days not paid by their employer.
    Jurors, whose employers have 10 or less employees and do not pay their salary while they serve, will be paid by the state, $40 for each day of attendance.
    Checks for jury service are mailed by the Office of the State Comptroller, within six to eight weeks of completion of service.

    One of the companies where I worked, had the following Jury Pay policy (quoting from the handbook):
    “For the first 3 days of jury service, XYZ will provide pay: full daily wage at first day, state-mandated jury fee ($40) on second and third day”

    Obviously, if your State doesn’t pay for jury duty, the info above is intended only as FYI.

  11. Brazos County now pays $46.

    Texas Law:
    You will be paid by the county in an amount not less than $6.00 and not more than $50.00 per day or fraction of a day served. However, the Commissioners Court of a county may choose to reduce or eliminate the daily compensation for prospective jurors who attend court for only one day without actually serving on a jury.

    Given how low municipal court pay is, they offer (encourage) an option of giving it to a charity – cuts down on all the paper work.

    The New York system sounds (not surprisingly) a good deal more complex, invasive and business non-friendly.

  12. At one time juries in Texas were drawn from the voter rolls and, especially in small counties, you could get 3-4 summonses a year if you registered to vote. They’re now drawn from the driver’s license list as well. A lot fewer people are willing to forego a driver’s license than voting.

    I believe the unlimited pay for jury duty is pretty common for government workers. It’s also written into a lot of union contracts. When you look at really long jury trials, the jury will usually be heavily government, including Postal, other union workers and retired.

    I think that the O.J. jury, after being abused and confused for eight months of sequestration, choose the verdict that would get them free the fastest. You’d normally have to commit a fairly serious crime to get that long a sentence on a first offense. Ito made a mistake when he didn’t tell the lawyers you can have a two week trial with a sequestered jury or an eight month one without. Better yet would have been two weeks, period.

  13. In Oregon the Jury pay is $10 for the first two days, and $25 a day for any days after that. As for my company, they pay the difference between the token jury pay and my regular salary for the days I would serve on a jury.

    I almost had the chance to put that policy to the test when I was in a jury pool for a capital murder trial that could keep me out of work for a couple of months. My supervisor wasn’t happy to hear that. We spent the first day filling out questionnaires. However the next day the defense attorney filed an extension and my jury pool was dismissed.

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