Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Part One of Many; Or, Is it "empaneled", "empanelled", or "impaneled"?

This is going to be a post in installments, a multi-part message. I have so many things fighting for space in my brain and my fingertips right now! My post of last week was part zero. This is part one. First, Department 64-style, a brief outline of what is to follow:
    0. Introduction; Background reading
    1. RDB gets empanelled after a looooooooooong jury-selection process which she finds fascinating.
    2. Trial starts; RDB is endlessly fascinated.
    3. Read.Dance.Bliss: The Day.
      a. Dance; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
      b. Trial begins, is prematurely recessed.
      c. Dance; Music Center Plaza
      d. Read; RDB explores downtown and falls in Love.
      e. Trial continues, is endlessly fascinating and again, is shortly thereafter recessed.
      f. RDB explores the courthouse.
      g. Trial continues; is endlessly fascinating and is, once again, prematurely recessed.
      h. RDB explores USC.
      i. RDB explores WeHo and finds The Perfect Café in which to sit and blog. Happiness persists.

Ok, now: Jury Selection. The whole voir dire process was really interesting for me, both externally in listening to what the judge and the lawyers asked and how people responded and acted but also internally in the sense that I was very much torn about whether I wanted to get chosen or excused. On the one hand, of course I knew I'd enjoy being on a jury and watching this whole process and ya-dah ya-dah and on the other hand, it is disruptive enough to one's life to have jury duty for a day, never mind getting empaneled on a trial that may last until April 22! So I fought with myself. On the one hand, I would lose money and have to cancel a lot of classes at two of my jobs and I'd have to impose on other teachers to get subs for many of my classes at another job.
On the other hand... I certainly don't qualify for a financial hardship like some others, like the women with small children at home or the cashier at Smart & Final or anyone else in a much worse situation than me. They deserve to get excused much more than I.
On the other hand... my missing the specific days of school that I'd miss would mean a need to re-think THE big show I put together every year for Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) at the elementary school. That kind of sucks.
On the other hand... I get to not work without it being my fault, really, and spend all these lovely spring days in beautiful downtown LA with an hour-and-a-half lunch break every day during which time I'd walk like mad and explore the world - yay!

I came in during jury questioning day two. I listened to 16 people answer the same questions and have the same conversations, and then I saw about half of them get excused by one or the other of the lawyers. I saw this process repeated with the new 8 or so potential jurors, slightly shorter this time. The next day I have to go back (but this time at 10:30 instead of 7:30am, so I'm already happier), and I watch as 4 or so are asked to leave and 4 new names are called. Still not mine. I'm just sitting in the audience, trying to stay awake. These iterations continue and the numbers get smaller (Zeno?) until finally only one seat is empty and they call one name: mine.

They ask me approximately one question; they are so tired of this long process. Everyone accepts me and we go home. That was day two, last Wednesday.

Magically, the court happened to be not in session on Thursday or Friday, the two days I had doctor's appointments I would have had to cancel had I needed to be in court. Thank you, cosmic-scheduler. Similarly, I was in court all day today and will be tomorrow, not the worst days for me, and then we're off again Thursday and Friday, days which I am supposed to be away on the ultra-important annual all-school retreat. Thank you again, omniscient scheduler-in-the-sky. Next week, in court Monday through Thursday, days on which I have no special extra appointments that would conflict. As inconvenient as this can be, it's being pretty convenient.

And just wait until you hear about the magical scheduling issue that happened today, the cause of the all the "Dance" (items 3a and 3c, above)!! But this post is long enough. More to come and please stay tuned!


alexis said...

I count at least 5 "on the other hands"... how many hands do you have????? Can I borrow some - I feel like I need an extra one every now and then :)

Glad you're enjoying jury duty as I expected you would. I had jury duty a few months ago which entailed sitting in a room with a book for about 3 hours - much less interesting, though a whole lot more convenient!!

Cecilia said...

I am glad you are enjoying Jury Duty, because I can of miss you a hell of a lot!
It feels like if you were at Camp! Without cell, without email, or daily conversations...

I do! I really miss you!

The Trouble With Roy said...

Give us stories about exploring downtown LA, too!

David said...

You started counting from zero

Bette said...

Great work.