If you’re over 18 years of age, you’ve seen those mailers with your name printed on them. These envelopes are jury duty requests. You’ll be summoned at least once in your life. These proceedings may not seem exciting, but it is your justice system at work. Don’t be nervous about your trip into the courtroom. Explore these simple, dos and don’ts as you embark on a jury duty journey.
Courtrooms don’t have after hours. They essentially run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ideally, arrive early to your first day on jury duty. There’s normally an introductory video that you must watch. Pay careful attention to break times and lunch hours. Every courthouse is different. You want to leave as soon as possible, but give yourself enough time to venture back into the building when it’s time to reconvene. As a juror, you can actually hold back a trial if you’re late.
Answer Questions With Honesty
You’ve waited your turn to enter the courtroom. You’re now part of a panel of potential jurors. Questions will be asked of you by the lawyers, including the professionals at Cordell and Cordell. Answer every question to the best of your knowledge. These questions are designed to eliminate certain people from the jury pool that may not match the case. The lawyers can dismiss you at will. Don’t be hurt by any dismissal, however. You may not be right for the case, which works in everyone’s favor at the end of the day.
You’re understandably out of your comfort zone when you’re called to jury duty. Rescheduling your entire day is frustrating, but maintain some flexibility. You may have a one-hour lunch instead of two hours. The judge might hold the court until 5 p.m. or beyond. By maintaining some flexibility with your time, the process will be more enjoyable than not. Remember that a person is being judged by his or her peers, and a sentence may come down very soon. A relaxed demeanor is better for everyone in the courtroom.
Silence Those Cellphones
Most courthouses require phones to be turned off inside the courtrooms. Be aware of the rules so that a ringer doesn’t go off during the proceedings. Showing your respect for the court makes you a valuable juror. Judges have every authority to remove you from the courtroom if electronic distractions continue on.
Listen to Instructions
You are at the courthouse to perform a job. If you receive a case and listen to the evidence, you’ll eventually enter the deliberation room. Before you come up with a verdict, listen and understand the directions put forth by the judge. A case may be fascinating, but you’re debating whether or not a person is guilty of a certain aspect. Always stay on topic in the deliberation room. The defendant’s judgement may be improperly weighed if the instructions are warped or skewed in any way.
There will be a lot of banter between attorneys in the courtroom, including professionals at Cordell Cordell, but be patient with the process. Each side is trying to put their best foot forward. Put yourself in the shoes of the defendant. You want talented lawyers and quality jurors for a fair verdict. The justice system depends on you to uphold the process.
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