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Archive for July 2nd, 2009

Commentary is like most folks when it comes to getting the jury summons in the mail – why me and why now? Nobody looks forward to going to jury duty. (If you do, you ain’t got a life.) You have to be there by 8 am. You have to find parking. Here in Harris County, they give you $6 bucks for showing up but parking eats that up and so does lunch.

When you get there, our new Harris County District Clerk, Dem Loren Jackson, comes out, greets us, tells a few jokes, and tries to make us feel good for showing up. Some folks are probably thinking – “so that’s the guy that dragged my arse over here, I’ll remember to vote his arse out of office next time.”

Commentary went Tuesday morning and figured that I’d hang around for part of the day, get hauled up to some courtroom, and eventually they’d send my arse home like always. I figured that the lawyers would determine that I’m not juror material. Well, it didn’t turn out that way and for a day and a half I was Juror Number Five.

It turns out that here in Harris County, if you end getting picked and serve a second day, you get $40 for Day 2. My service was in a civil trial where damages were awarded. I learned that in civil court you have to pay for your own lunch, but in criminal courts they pay for your lunch grub – huh!

After a full day of testimony, we went into deliberations. It didn’t take me long to figure out that plaintiffs’ lawyers are losing the PR battle with the public. Folks aren’t in the mood these days to give money to deserving accident victims. Commentary also learned that folks also aren’t in the mood for lengthy deliberations. I guess they wanted to get home in time to watch the ‘Stros.

Commentary definitely didn’t make any friends during deliberations in my attempt to persuade my fellow jurors on the awarding of damages. Another juror and I ended up not voting with the rest of the panel on two issues – we wanted more money for the plaintiffs, errr victims – so we didn’t get to sign the jury certificate. When the jury verdict was read, I could tell that the plaintiff side was happy. On my way home yesterday evening I realized that I actually made a difference by showing up for jury duty. If it hadn’t been for my efforts, they probably would have gotten a third of what they ended up getting. Even though I probably pi__ed off a few guys in jury deliberations, I felt good about the outcome.

Like I said, nobody likes to get the jury summons, but in this case, it turned out OK in my book.

I rewarded myself last night by watching the ‘Stros beat the Padres.  Did you know that Miggy leads the NL in hits (100), doubles (26) and is fifth in batting average (.332)? He’ll be heading to San Luis in a couple of weeks to play in the All Star Game for sure as Michael Jackson and CNN take a break this afternoon as the ‘Stros wrap up their four game series in San Diego.

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