12 September 2005

it's all over now, baby blue

I arrived for our first day of trial at 10 am...security was a nightmare, this is clearly the most popular time for people to show up at the courthouse. I had to bring my phone with me as well, which meant another go round of voucher table joy. Whilst in line for the VT, the women directly behind me and I discussed the myriad ways the whole operation could be improved and decided that someone must have gone out of his or her way to make it as difficult as possible.

There is a lot of waiting on JD, but today it was filled with anticipation. What would it be like to be a juror on my first case? Would the prosecuting attorney wear another terrible suit? Would the judge be sassy but fair, like Judge Judy?

But the waiting would go on. One by one, other jurors' cases were called and they went off to courtrooms to be part of the American Justice System. But my fellow jurors and I remained in room 305 (which, incidentally, is where I will be attending my very own lawsuit on Monday), reading our books, magazines and newspapers, feeling like the last puppy in the box.

1045. Finally we are called. A no-nonsense baliff does roll call "I need you to answer me verbally, 'cause I ain't lookin' up".

1046. Almost immediately after we all dutifully say "here", the two lawyers on the case are whispering and I hear the words "conflict of interest" and "reassigned" coming out of their mumblings.

1047. We are all directed 180 degrees and sit back down in 305 again.

1100. We are called again, a new baliff does roll call, she seems to know we are all a little confused, but doesn't know what to tell us.

She takes us up to the courtroom, or through the courtroom to the jury room. Sartre has been here. There are eight chairs for eight people, a table and an easel which blocks one of the chairs (mine) from pulling out more than 3 inches from the table. We spend the next 2 hours holed up in this room, ostensibly waiting for the trial to begin.

Finally we go out into the courtroom and stand in front of our jury chairs. The judge (who is, in fact, sassy) comes out and informs us that the trial will not be going forward because of one convoluted reason or another, but reminds us that we are all very important, and we should be proud of ourselves for being there.

we are dismissed. I am crushed...but I know that I will be back in court on Monday for our lawsuit, so 141 Livingston has not seen the last of me.

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