GIVING UP ON A LIFETIME GOAL—JURY DUTY. I have always wanted to serve on a jury. If I had ever had a bucket list, jury duty would have been on it. After spending days at trials wondering what jurors were thinking, I used to say that being on a jury would be like finding out the secrets of the harem. I have now given up on my wish. I got a jury summons a few months ago, but, upon reading it, I noted that anyone over 70 in Connecticut is entitled to an exemption. I am 71.

When I was a young lawyer in the late 60’s, women were entitled to an exemption from jury duty, and almost every woman claimed the exemption. The result was that lawyers were suspicious of any woman who was willing to serve on a jury, and they were challenged by one side or the other. I concluded that a retired lawyer who did not claim an exemption would likely be challenged. I have no desire to sit in a jury room without a prospect of serving. I claimed the exemption.

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  1. Dick Weisfelder says:

    A lifetime goal given up to spare a couple possibly fruitloess hours. Doesn’t ring true!

  2. Carl Davidson says:

    I agree with Dick Weisfelder. You made the wrong decision. You could well have been picked. Even though I had a law degree and practiced for six years before my Texaco career I was empaneled as a juror in the Southern District on a civil case—-one company seeking damages from another. The jury was completed at noon so the Judge, Kevin Duffy, called a lunch break before starting the trial. When we came back at 1:30 the Judge announced that the parties had settled. However he didn’t want us to feel that the time was wasted so he took us into a conference room and talked about the justice system and how it operated in his court. It was a fascinating experience, even for a lawyer.
    I had two other experiences which are worthy of note. One, in Westchester County Supreme Court, involved a suit against a heating oil distributor. On that one I was naturally excused. The other was a securities case in the Southern District in which the defendants were M&A advisors. I had just gone through the Getty experience which soured me on those folks and during voir dire my answers communicated my hostility to them. I was excused. Good thing–the trial lasted for several months.

  3. Nick says:

    I am curious if I will ever get a shot. I was only ever called for jury duty once, out in Connecticut, and I had just started law school. However, every student was excused in the first wave of people let go.

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