Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jury Duty

I have jury duty for an unknown amount of time. I'm first alternate on a case downtown. Obviously I can't talk about it until it's over, but it's an interesting learning experience I can share with the kids and use for future writing projects.

It is not Phil Spector's trial, but I did see the massive media circus assembled outside the courthouse this afternoon as I drove home. I'm glad I didn't land on that jury.

There is a picture of Edward James Olmos with his jury badge on the wall in the jury lounge. Now I have a conversation piece for the next time I run into him at a Battlestar Galactica event. He's the only celebrity in his picture who's not smiling.

A talent agent and a former sitcom writer were both rejected from the jury. Alas.

As you might expect, court is a lot more boring than Law and Order. The juror next to me started drawing pictures of flowers in her notebook, then later pulled out her cell and began texting people. If the bailiff saw that he'd have chopped off her pinky. That dude does not play around with the cell phone rule.

Of course, I'm one to talk. During the selection process we got numbers and I was number 50, so naturally I drew all over my number because I don't enjoy being so impersonal. The eventual conversation went something like this:

Prosecutor: Juror 50, did you draw that on your card?
Me (sheepishly): Yes, it was before we were told we had to give them back.
Prosecutor: What is that, a peace sign inside the zero?
Me: Yes.
Judge: What else did you draw there?
Me: Some pictures.
Judge: Of what?
Me: Flowers and hearts and a cent sign.
Judge: A what?
Me: So I could be Fifty Cent.
Prosecutor: Like the singer?
Me: Yes.
Everybody: Hahahaha.

That's me, bringing levity to the courtroom.

The trial won't be over until next week probably, so when that happens I'll give lots of details. In the meantime I'm enjoying my $15 a day and 34 cents a mile one way. Woohoo.


  1. An intensely amusing story. I have some of my own when it comes to jury duty experiences. I did enjoy being in close quarters with a bunch of other people and observing them. Which is why I'm a writer.

    Also, I have a question (or rather, series of) that hopefully you can shine some light on.

    My writing partner and I are getting ready to sit down and write up our first spec. We've got our story and character moments and the show all studied up. We're writing the outline. Now, how do we go about deciding who writes what? How do we divvy up the work? Half and half? She writers characters x,y,z and I the others? Collaboration- writing it sitting next to each other on one screen? I do a pass then she edits and we back and forth? I figured since you have a partner, and have written scripts with said partner- you could chime in on how you work or what are the best ways to go about partner work. Also, should we have specs that we wrote individually? We each have short scripts and a spec pilot of our own.

    Thanks for your time and for writing this blog- it's been a lot of help.

  2. Ooooh thanks. I love questions. It makes me feel like I know what I'm doing.

    That sounds like a good topic for tomorrow's post, and something to do while I'm waiting for lawyers to sidebar.

  3. Yesterday I got a questionnaire in the mail from the city to determine whether or not I'm juror material. Please let them decide I am not...

  4. That's a hilarious exchange with the judge and prosecutor.

    Love it.

  5. Anonymous5:23 PM

    are they paying more than a buck a day these days? if I get called I will just give the wrong answers to the right questions, and the right answers to the wrong questions... sort of how I flubbed my final exams when I dropped the last questions and everything ended up being off by one

  6. Be careful about that, man. There was a guy on our panel who was pretty obviously trying to get out of jury duty by doing just that. When the judge sent everybody else home, she made him report to civil court to serve his time there.

    She saw right through his ass and made him pay.


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