Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jury servcie

[ETA photos]

What I like:

  • The new(er) one day, one trial system

  • I always learn something new

  • Fulfilling a civic duty

  • Seeing our legal system at work, firsthand

  • Two 15-minute breaks; 90 minute lunches

  • Being able to take the bus to the courthouse

  • That the system works!

What I dislike:

  • Waiting to be called to selection panel

  • Harsh flourescent lighting

  • Being treated like I'm stupid by attorneys

  • Unreasonable fellow jurors (more a frustration than a dislike per se)

  • Not being able to knit

  • How time-consuming the process of the law is

I like jury service.  I don't really get those people who really hate it (though I can certainly understand if their employer doesn't pay) and do their utmost to get out of it.  I'm more likely than not to remain on a panel, simply because -- in my opinion -- my life experiences are not so dramatic or traumatic to have led me to form any biases, at least in the cases with which I've been involved.  So I sit where I sit, answer the questions, and don't try to fight it.

Because I wasn't able to bring knitting needles into the courthouse, I brought a book instead.  Which made me remember: I adore reading!  I got through about 60 pages of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto.   I'm glad to have rekindled my flame for the written word, but, rather ironically, at the end of the day, I'm not so sure I want to finish reading this particular book.  After thinking about what I'd read, it dawned on me that 100 or so pages into the book, I am not particulary engaged with any single character, nor am I very interested to discover what happens at the end.  Do I carry on and finish what I started, or do I read something that may be more enjoyable?  Or do I just go back to knitting?!

kouraku   daikokuya

In addition to the reading, my further treat was a nice lunch for each of the days I served.  I went in to Little Tokyo twice for ramen, which was perfect because the days were cooler and overcast.  On the first day I went to Kouraku -- haven't been there in a really long time.  Then, on Friday, I went to Daikokuya, and added a small beer to my order!  The superior bowl of ramen I had confirmed why I no longer go to Kouraku.  (It's a bit more expensive, but the portion is a bit bigger, too.  And the taste is vastly better.)  I also discovered that there is another Daikokuya in Monterey Park, so it's on my list of places to go. Yesterday, my last day, I went to Philippe's in Chinatown.  My French-dipped turkey sandwich was okay, but, as famous as it is, I didn't think Philippe's was all that.  I also discovered that I don't like walking around Chinatown: it's really old, and a little stinky...But I was glad to be out and about for an hour and a half in the middle of the day.

As much as I don't mind the actual service, there's a staleness about being in a courtroom all day, and a sense of having been plucked from real life.  After three days, I'm happy to be back at work and my routine.

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