Yes, yes, yes: it's part of being an American citizen, of living in a democratic society, and so on and so forth. I appreciate the civic responsibility aspect of jury duty, but that doesn't mean it's not phenomenally and achingly boring.

I made my way this afternoon through the metal detector at 850 Bryant, through a bag inspection by a bitter, bitter police officer who barked out, "For those of you stupid enough to have missed the 20 signs posted on the wall, open your bag for inspection as you approach me, and don't even think of putting your bag on the table until the person in front of you has left, and I cannot believe I have to deal with this same idiocy every single day." Up in the jury room, my fellow citizens and I were subjected to a video on the merits of jury duty, followed by some waiting, then some more waiting, until many of us were called off to various and sundry courtrooms.

Then it was downstairs again, and into court with a fellow who may hold the title of World's Slowest Speaking Judge. He seems reasonable enough, and I have no doubt of the importance of the info he shared with us, but man alive, it took what felt like hours just for him to explain how the whole process works (which, of course, the aforementioned video had also done, but no matter). We did get a break, which was a relief, but upon our return, 22 of us--yours truly not included--were called for the first round of introductions and questions. The day ended with Potential Juror #14; we resume with #15 tomorrow afternoon.

I wish I could wring from this some great moments of people watching, or some intrigue about how the case might progress, or a strong sense of interest in the judicial process at large, but alas, not so much. It's really just dull.

When I was summoned for jury duty in early 2004, I hoped and ached that I'd be called, and for a long, involved, drawn-out trial at that, so much did I want to get out of the trek to Mountain View and its ensuing woes for as many days as I possibly could. Of course, no such luck: my week of obligation passed without me so much as having to go near the Hall of Justice. This time, when I stand to lose precious client hours and even more precious dough, there's as good a chance that I'll be called to serve as there is that any of my fellow prospects will. (And yes, I know that many of the other people in that courtroom with me stand to lose just as much, and, moreover, that that's the nature of the system. That doesn't take away the sting.)

Viva justice.

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