A few months ago, I was randomly selected to fill out a pre-qualification questionnaire for federal jury duty.
Looks like I made the cut...
I'm fascinated at the idea that I may end up on a federal jury. I've heard two sets of conflicting feedback re: the likelihood that this may happen.
The most common theory is that lawyers always get stricken. The party with the weaker legal case will use a challenge to get rid of you if you're a lawyer because you can easily spot the flaws in their case.
The other lore I've heard (from a career clerk for the federal judge I externed for who sat on 3 federal juries in her career and a few other sources) is that if they are going to trial, particularly federal trial, both parties think they have a great case and a lawyer is a much better bet than a random citizen in terms of actually paying attention to the evidence and ruling in accordance with the law.
I'm amused to see that I'm totally ambivalent on how this may play out. I can't help but think that one of the reasons I can be ambivalent is because I saw how seriously the jurors took their duties when I was a federal extern. The jury is one of the greatest legal concepts this country has (at least in the criminal and tort worlds, where I had the privilege of watching it be applied, very seriously and thoughtfully by randomly selected panels in the federal court system).
So, if I end up on a jury, so be it. I'll serve to the best of my abilities and my practice, professional life, and personal life will all have to take the hit (given the dates at issue, I'll likely have to cancel pre-arranged travel).
If I don't end up on the jury, I won't be sad -- my practice, my professional life, and my personal life, will likely be better off. Another individual will take my place. And if my experience is any indicator, they will take it seriously and do a thoughtful deliberate job at arriving at their conclusions as well.