Today is February 23, 2015 and it is now 10:50 AM in the morning. I am in my car now and I am heading to my office from jury duty.
What an experience!
The best part of the whole experience, is that it’s now over at least it’s over for at least 18 months to three years. That’s the period of time that they are a lot for you to get out of the jury pool before they could put you back into the jury pool.
It doesn’t normally rain in Las Vegas, but on the way to jury duty this morning it was raining. And of course seeing it doesn’t rain very much when it does rain, people don’t know how to drive in the rain. So needless to say, it was a total drag driving to the courthouse which is in downtown Las Vegas. When I did arrive at the parking structure, I found it was 3 city blocks away from the courthouse. A nice walk on a cold and rainy day.
When I arrived at the courthouse, I was not surprised that they had security, what I was surprised by is how much security that you have to through before you can enter the building. After taking off, all my outer wear, belt, watch, shoes, and everything in your pockets, you can go through the metal detector.
Then was the journey to the third floor jury room. Another surprise, there must have been over a thousand and change people as when they started to call numbers, they started at 0001 and my number was 0191 and there were still a sea of people still waiting to be called. Let me put it is way, there were not enough chairs to go around and until the first batch of people were called to go to the courtroom, there was not enough chairs for me to sit down. When I finally did get a chair, I ended up sitting next to a guy that had badge number 986.
At around 9:30 AM it was my turn to get called and we were instructed to line up numerically by badge number and report to the 11th floor and line up outside the courtroom 11B. By the way at this time all cell phones and communication to the outside world was shut off.
One thing I will compliment them on is that the Marshals have it down to a science, including injecting a little humor, by asking “By show if hands, who wanted to be here.” They know you don’t want to be there. I cannot imagine anyone with a pulse that would want to be there. I know that I didn’t, although I wanted to do my civic duty, I was torn.
When we walked into the courtroom, the room was already filled with quite a few court officials, the Judge, the court reporter, the defendant and all their lawyers and the plaintiff and her lawyer. What struck me as interesting, is that everyone was standing and remained standing until all 100 of us were seated.
The Judge open the mic and began by introducing himself, that this was a Civil trial between the Plaintiff a worker for the Paris Hotel and defendant The Paris Hotel sense the difference in lawyer count. Then the judge said that this case would take approximately 3 days of jury time and if there was anyone that could not be there for 3 days, they should raise their hands and state the reason why they show be excused. One guy got out because he had a paid airfare ticket (of course he needed to fax a copy of it to the judge as proof) the rest, whatever their stories were, the judge didn’t buy it. Needless to say, I did have my hand raised. When the guy who was called before me, told the judge what I was going to say.
What he told the judge was that he is a small business owner and that being here for 3 days would be an unbearable hardship. The judge was not kind to this guy. He told him flat out that everyone in this room was under hardship to be there and he was ordered to sit down and wait for the lawyers to question him to see if he would be picked for the jury. I was next.
After I announced my name and badge number, I promoted SoundBroker.com and that I too was a small businessman, however (and here is the rub) I went on to say that I sell equipment to a lot of the hotels on strip and I had recently done a job a large job with Bally’s.
The judge was not going to have any of this from me and he said to me just because you did a sale with Bally’s has nothing to do with the Paris Hotel and please sit down and the lawyers will get to you in time. I thought that was it for me when all of sudden the Paris Hotel’s lawyer, stood up and said the following “ Your Honor, The Paris Hotel is owned by Caesar’s Entertainment and they own also own Bally’s”. With that the judge turned to the Plaintiff’s lawyer and asked him if that would be a problem for him.
The Plaintiff’s lawyer rose and said the following “ Your Honor, I appreciate the honesty of the prospective juror and I would prefer not to have him on this jury.”
With that the judge turned to me and said “Your dismissed.”
The Marshall approached me and told me to return down to the 3rd floor jury pool and report to the clerk for reassignment. I left the courtroom without looking back and returned to the 3rd floor and went up to the clerk and told her what had happened expecting to be returned to the jury pool, but there was so many people still sitting in the room, that she asked for my badge, stamped the reverse side and said, “You can go. Thank you for your time today.”
All in all not too bad of an experience, but one that I am not looking forward to repeating.