Five Things You Should Know If and When You Are Picked for Jury Duty


One judge dismissed his entire jury based on the simple idea that they did not understand what was being asked. One judge dismissed an entire jury panel because he felt that they were too biased. This happens a lot with the selection process. You can be let go if you know too much or too little.

These next five tips come from those who have been there before and know what to expect, including me.

1) Random

The process is random, and you are only selected one time. The jury selection Los Angeles CA process goes by zip code. What if you move to another zip code in CA? The courts have the right to select you again because you are in a new zip code.

The only way you can get out of appearing is when you have an “extenuating” circumstance, like being sick. You need to provide proof of that as well. Otherwise, they have the right to call you in. If you fail to show for your call, you can be fined and/or asked to come in at another time.

2) The Wait

You are going to wait. You will be there for a while. I waited almost all day the first time I went. Then, I was sent home because the guy got a new lawyer. That happens too. Sometimes the defendant gets a new lawyer. That means a whole new trial and process. Most of the time you will be let go when that happens.

You are going to need to find ways to entertain yourself during that time. You may want to bring a book or crossword puzzle because you will need it.

3) Compensation

Yes, you do get compensated for your time away from work. Fill out the form your boss gives you. They will send it in and you get reimbursed. You do need to keep track of your time there. It does not matter if it is only a few hours or days. It might even be a few weeks. As long as you provide proof to them and your boss you will be fine. I had to do it. You can read more about jury compensation right here.
4) Bathroom Breaks

This applies to anyone who gets selected for the actual jury. Thankfully, I did not get that far. You will get bathroom breaks that come at the court’s discretion. You should plan accordingly. In other words, do not drink so much that you embarrass yourself at the wrong time.

5) The Duration

The actual time depends on the case. Some of you might be there for a few hours. Some of you might be there for a few days. It all depends on what type of trial you are there for, and the evidence presented. They are going to guide you every step of the way.

You can read more about the process and what you can expect here.

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