Tales from the Jury Room, Day One

Got to the Municipal Justice building at around 8:15am this morning. Scott drove me in, which was much quicker than the bus. I realized when he pulled up that this was not the same building in which I served jury duty last August. I passed through security with flying colors and rode the vomit-vator (I don’t do well when I have to travel more than a few floors… you should have seen me going up to the top of the Columbia Tower, 85th floor) up to floor 12. I check in, get my plastic sleeve for my badge, fill out a quick piece of paperwork, then make it past the front desk to the waiting area.

Oh. My. Gods. This place is nice. Comfy chairs, 30-foot ceilings, huge window walls facing the city. The building is at 5th and Cherry, so I could see all the way from the ferry terminal, past the stadiums, up to the art-deco hospital on the hill. Magnificent.

Watched the same intro video as before, but got a new spiel, and discovered that I was now serving Municipal (city) court, instead of Superior (county) court. Significantly different — our jury pool is only about 50 people, versus about 200 at the county building. Plus juries are only 6 people strong, instead of 12. Plus I’m required to be there four days instead of two. That’s right, I’ll be at that same building through Friday.

Sat in a comfy-cozy-loungy chair for a couple of hours, reading Douglas Adams’ Last Chance to See, which is wonderful as always. A group of 15 got called to be the first panel before lunch; I was not among them. Went to lunch in the Bank of America building, then hoofed it over to Uwajimaya to kill some time. At 1:30pm, went back to the MJ building, back through security, but only up to the 11th floor. Apparently due to some fluke, there was a conference scheduled in the jury assembly room, so we all had to go huddle down in one of the courtrooms for an afternoon. Fortunately, I was only there for 10 minutes or so before I got called to be on the second panel of 15.

We went into another courtroom and were numbered 1 through 15. The first six got to sit in the jury box, the rest of us in the “audience” area. I was numbered 14, so I figured my chances of making this jury were slim to none. We were questioned in the <sarcasm>thrilling</sarcasm> voir dire procedure, and they eventually let two of the first six jurors go, replacing them with numbers 7 and 8. The rest of us were excused for the day.

One of the jurors excused was a woman I called “Limey” in my head, because she was wearing a matching sweatsuit of the most horrendous fluorescent lime green. She was bedraggled, with a crusty looking perm of bleached-white hair. And she was wearing those hideous flip-flop-style shoes that make loud snapping noises every time a step is taken. She snap-stepped around the assembly room, then snap-stepped right behind me on the way to lunch, then when I thought I’d lost her at lunch, here she was again, snap-stepping her own foodstuffs two tables away from me. She was wishy-washy, the judge had to tell her to speak up twice, and never gave a good answer to either lawyer’s voir dire. What a shocker that she was excused. For some reason, she was just haunting me today. I wonder what she’ll wear tomorrow.

And so, Missy has not yet had a chance to judge others and find them lacking. But as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day.