Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jury Duty Last Week

Monday 2/11: 10am. Panic after call from husband reminding me I had jury duty this week. I locate my form - it says I should be there by 8:30am. OMG I am going to go to jail because I didn't show up. . .

Monday 2/11: 10:23am. Race into juror assembly room at the Seattle Municipal Court House. Haven’t decided yet whether to fess up about overlooking the date, or to make up some elaborate excuse involving terrorist, axis of evil, etc. But no need to decide – because it turns out I’m 22 hours early, not 2 hours late. Jury duty starts tomorrow.

Tuesday 2/12: 8:30am to 2:00pm: I love doing my civic duty! Comfortable waiting room and free tea and WiFi – I’m getting through my entire inbox while being a good citizen.

Tuesday 2/12: 2:30pm: But now I’m actually selected to be on a jury in a criminal case – despite the fact that, during voir dire, I give a botched definition of assault after admitting that I used to be a lawyer (I think I spent most of Criminal Law writing notes to Ali). And we’re brought to the 10th floor – with no WiFi, and no cell phones.

Wednesday 2/13: Spend the entire day in the jury box – and out of touch with Julep (believe it would be rude to be on cell or laptop while in the jury box. Didn’t ask our lovely bailiff about that for sure (there are plugs in the jury box . . .) but I’ve never seen that happen in a movie).

Thursday 2/14: Drop off red blankets for Valentine’s Day at Jeanne’s house for her to bring to the parlor. Then off to deliberation. Wow we deliberate for 7 hours. I’m so inspired by my fellow jurors. We work through the evidence, read the jury instructions over and over, and walk through each juror’s concerns one by one. We’re all VERY different, but there is something about this civic duty thing that pulls us together and creates an instant bond. And our foreman is amazing. Such a natural leader – able to pull each of us into the conversation, bring out common themes, and challenge weak assumptions without challenging the individual putting them forward. We start off with very different opinions, but gradually come to consensus and then unanimity. I’m really in love with the idea of community, in all its forms.

By now it’s been two fully days in a row that I’ve been out of touch with Julep – and lots of progress has been made by all while I've been celebrating the judicial process with my fellow jurors.

It’s a little distressing that practically every investor I speak with asks me what would happen if I got hit by a bus (and I suppose they’re not asking what kind of flowers they should send). But I am always amazed by the community we have working on building a Julep we can all be proud of. It’s taking a village, and I’m loving that.