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The Case of the Selected Jurors

Selection took nearly a whole day. When I entered the court room, I joined about 60 other people on mildly tolerable wooden benches. The first twelve sat in the jury box. At first, there were some general questions asked of all of us. They were things like, “will this be a hardship for anyone?” No one was necessarily dismissed. Pity. There were a couple of people who seemed ill.

After the initial round of questions, we got paper forms to fill out. We filled them out and went to lunch for about an hour and a half. The attorneys reviewed our responses while at lunch, and we went from there. There were some questions about property ownership and experience with home construction related services. There were also generic questions, like education level and current employment.

When we returned from lunch, a new set of twelve people sat in the jury box, and from there we were put in order along the benches. The attorneys dismissed a few people from the jury box, but no one went up to fill in the space. It wasn’t long before they had all of the jury selected and returned the remaining folks to the selection waiting room.

It was about 2:00 p.m. When it was all done, and I wondered what was next. A bailiff escorted us to the jury room aside from the court room. We sat there as the bailiff instructed us in how we would proceed. There was a bathroom accessible from the waiting room. This was to help keep us from mingling with any potential witnesses or anyone who could bias us in the case. We had to stay in the waiting room except for lunch and leaving for the day. If we heard anything about the case while away, we had to report it to the bailiff. It made me feel like some kind of spy or special secret keeper.

As I recall, we waited a bit longer before the bailiff called us back into the court room. When we entered, we sat in the jury box, including two extra people. We weren’t sure why there were fourteen instead of twelve people, but we didn’t ask any questions about it. There were two people on each team of attorneys. We found out the case was a civil suit involving a home builder and attorneys who represented them in a prior case. The prior case was about the quality of a home the home builders built, which had already been through legal proceedings. However, it seemed as though the way the previous case was handled upset the home builders. They found the attorneys negligent and sued to get some restitution for losing the prior case.

We were allowed to take notes. They provided notepads and pens, which certainly came in handy. Find out what the case was all about in the next post!

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