I was quite enetertained by jury duty yesterday--the parade of humanity, the legal processes, the security, the universal good manners. The location of the county courthouse is at an intersection known as The 4 Corners of Law: God's Law (the beautiful St Michael's Episcopal church where I've attended a couple of performances, The Messiah one Christmastime and a Spoleto Festival event), Federal Law (courthouse and post office), County Law (county courthouse, where I was), and City Law (city hall).Everyone in the large jury pool had to announce their name, age, occupation and spouse's occupation. I was surprised how few were unemployed--something like 3 and 3 spouses out of several hundred. I believe the jury pool is chosen from voter rolls--perhaps those who register to vote are more likely to be employed? One guy I talked to opined that the recession is long over in Charleston and expects we'll resume normal economic activity within a year or two.I noticed that white people were more likely to be single than black people, but equally likely to be divorced or separated. The range of ages & occupations seemed realistically representative. Given this is Charleston, a lot of folks worked in health care at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina), the VA hospital and other hospitals and small businesses providing medical services. A lot of administrative assistants, including men. A lot of entrepreneurs running a wide range of service businesses. I was honored to be among such fine Americans! I was seated next to a 20-year-old black man with impeccable manners (yes, ma'am), a job, and part-time student. Several people were caregivers for family members--and just as likely men as women.There was a criminal trial and 2 civil trials yesterday, and I was put in the civil pool. WE were all asked about court experiences, chirpractic experiences, and car accident experiences. Al most everyone had been in at least one car accident! About half the pool had received chirpractic services, including about 1/4 of the pool receiving regular chiropractic maintenance. I ended up being the first juror selected. It was soooo boring to go over the plaintiff's testimony first with her own lawyer and then in cross-examination by the defendent's lawyer. A number of "I object's" with reasons and quick decisions by the judge (a woman in her late 40s I estimate). Both of the lawyers were beautiful, articulate young women who could give professional actresses playing lawyers on TV a run for their money...lovely, poised, on top of their game. One had a boss supervising, but neither needed help. Both worked for law firms, no public defender.I went to lunch at a nearby restaurant I haven't been to in a long time, but like taking visitors as it's unique in my experience. A cross between a French bistro and a 70s-era whole foods restaurant from hippiedom. Inexpensive, filling, tasty food. My lunch at Fast & French (real name is something like Gaulart & Maliclet, but everyone knows it as Nancy-) was one of the soups of the day, navy bean along with whole-grain rye toast w/veggie spread and raw shredded veggies. And two cups of strong Fench roast coffee to overcome my sleepiness. But the best part was my fellow patrons at the u-shaped counter. The 40something couple who live in the next county and came down to sight-see for the day. The couple about my age from Edisto, one of the sea islands, the guy runs a tugboat & barge business out of neighboring Yong's Island and his wife, a retired social worker, in town to celebrate their 33rd anniversary. I wish I hadn't been too shy to offer or ask for contact information. The final couple, a little older than me, lived here when husband served as a young dentist at the Navy yard (now closed). They live in North Carolina, but visit Charleston often.During our afternoon coffee break, the parties at trial settled. YAY! I get partial credit…I was getting so dozy despite the chill in the Courtroom and 2 coffees at lunch, so I asked for coffee during the afternoon break (I figured it must be available as there was coffeemate and packets of sweetener in a basket on the table in the jury room). They judge told the lawyers that the jury asking for coffee is a bad sign and she asked if the'd settle. And they did. The case was about a car accident that left the plaintiff, a professor at one fo the historically black state colleges in SC, with $7600 in uncovered medical bills. The defendant, driver of a cadillac de ville en route to a charity event at the time, was also sympathetic. I was glad they settled for the cost of the medical bills, which is the outcome I would've imposed had it been entirely up to me to decide the outcome.The selected jury was interesting…5 (and several devastatingly handsome-) black men, 5 white ladies, and 2 white men. None of the black women in the jury pool were selected. I presume the defendent's attorney struck them (each side got to strike 4 potential jurors).In Charleston County, you serve on the jury pool all week, so it's back in the pool for me today!
The entertainment doesn't quit. A single male juror from our jury yesterday sat by a single female juror also from our jury, both about age 30...they seem very interested in each other ;-) The nice young man I was seated next to yesterday in this big jury pool room came over to greet me before sitting next to a friend and fellow juror. if it weren't for CNN blaring, I'd be a happy camper. At least it isn't FOS Nooz, nearly ubiquitous in South Carolina. OMG mr single guy is trying to sell ms single gal an annuity or something. Destroy my faith in humanity, why don't you! I could overhear a description of the criminal trial if CNN weren't so loud, darnit.=alstro, live from the jury assembly room, Four Corners of Law
<<=alstro, live from the jury assembly room, Four Corners of Law>> And now a word from our sponsor.... Seattle Pioneer
In Charleston County, you serve on the jury pool all week, so it's back in the pool for me today! I'm glad we have a one day/one trial system.
I didn't end up on the juries for Wednesday's criminal trial for attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery, or Thursday's civil trial --homeowner vs mortgage company. And no trial starts today, so my jury service is done. I may never need to serve again, as I'm off the hook for 3 years, by which time I'll be over 65 and no longer need to serve (they may ask me to, but I can decline simply for being over 65--one person did so this week, but several in their late 60s served).So, being all done at 11am, I walked a block up Broad Street then a mile or so up King Street in the drizzle and did some downtown shopping, a rare event, and met my husband for lunch, an equally rare event. We tried a new Japanese noodle joint. meh--geared for American tastes I guess, not authentic--it was better in its previous incarnation as a sushi joint. And kinda rushed as DH had only an hour between teaching a class and meeting advisees most of the afternoon to help them get registered for next semester. The freshmen take especially long as they are unfamiliar with requirements for CS majors. And then DH stayed in his office late to finish grading (normally he would've worked through lunch--he seldom takes it.).
"And kinda rushed as DH had only an hour between teaching a class and meeting advisees most of the afternoon to help them get registered for next semester. The freshmen take especially long as they are unfamiliar with requirements for CS majors. And then DH stayed in his office late to finish grading (normally he would've worked through lunch--he seldom takes it.)." - alstromeriaLOL! I kind of recognize all those excuses since my wife also teaches at a college. You wouldn't believe all the stories she tells me about the numb-nuts things students do and try and get away with. Like trying to substitute required classes for much easier classes, not showing up for appointments and then giving lame excuses, or sitting there painting their nails during academic meetings, etc. Art
Astroe, you mentioned the Four Corners of Law, which is an area I LOVE. In fact, I was confirmed at St. Michael's many, many years ago.Donna (now getting homesick for Charleston again)
Art, many, many moons ago, after leaving Converse College (private college - upstate SC) for the University of SC, my dorm mate and I decided that we wanted to graduate with honors. We majored in Secretarial Sciences. The fun part was the those same courses were taught in our high school with much more stringent grading. The Dean of Women called my dorm mate and me in for a conference and politely told us we could not major in Secretarial Sciences. Shucks, we just knew we could coast through college. However, I changed my major to Political Science, minor in English, and she changed hers to Journalism.Donna (so much for crypt courses)
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