Justice

So Worldbuilders wrapped up yesterday. While we still have a lot of work to do, assigning and shipping out prizes over the next couple weeks,  there was a general sense of exhausted triumph in the air.

I won’t lie to you, it’s a lot of work making worldbuilders happen. It’s exhausting at times. But y’all made things worth it by stepping up and helping us raise more than I’d ever thought possible this year. I’ll do an official recap about the whole experience in just a couple of days.

Anyway, since Worldbuilders was done on the 7th, I celebrated by reporting for jury duty on the 8th.

I’ve never been called for jury duty before, and while I’m busy these days, I’ll admit that I was looking forward to it. For those of you who haven’t guessed, curiosity is one of my driving forces, and I really wanted to see what a jury trial was like. I’ve never seen any sort of trial, actually. I probably know more about the Renaissance legal system than the current one here in the US.

So no matter what happened, it was going to be news to me. So I got up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 so I could be at the courthouse at 8:00.

The first thing that I learned is that not all juries have 12 people in them. You can have a 6 person jury too. That’s the sort of jury they were going to use for this case.

What happens is this: They pick a bunch of jurors at random from a pool. Then those people have to show up at the courthouse. From that pool of potential jurors, they chose 12 of us, knowing that they’re going to pare that down to 6.

My name was the second name picked. So the second thing I learned is that the chairs in the jury box are really comfy.

Next they ask you questions to make sure that you can be a good juror. These were fairly straightforward. Do you know the plaintiff? Do you know either of the lawyers? Have any of you ever been to court? If so, do you think you were treated fairly?

They didn’t ask us these individually. They asked us as a group. It was rather casual, actually.

When the defense lawyer asked, “Is everyone here familiar with a person’s right to defend himself?” Everyone kinda nodded along.

(I’m paraphrasing here, the quotes are meant to indicate dialogue, not a verbatim transcript of the exact words said.)

I raised my hand and said, “I’m familiar with the *concept* of a person’s right to defend themselves,” I said. “In general moral terms. But I don’t know anything about a person’s *legal* right to defend themselves.”

The defense lawyer nodded and said, “That’s an important distinction.”

Then the other lawyer said to the judge, “Can we have a sidebar on this issue?”

The judge agreed.

The third thing I learned is that having a sidebar is when the lawers go up and talk to the judge privately.

That was pretty much it for the questions. They lawyers got to take turns crossing off members of the jury. It’s like the reverse of getting picked to be on someone’s team. You don’t get picked, you get un-picked.

I got unpicked.

I will admit, I felt a little snubbed. A little disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing the trial and doing my thing as a responsible citizen, being a vital part of the legal system.

I tried not to take it personally, either. I know that they had to cut 6 of us anyway. Statistically, it was a 50/50 shot.

And honestly, if I were a lawyer, I probably wouldn’t want me on a jury. Not only do I look like a hobo, but I overthink and tend to ask questions like, “What you you mean when you use the word ‘mean’?”

Nobody wants to deal with that. Nobody wants to be a part of the Stevens Point amateur production of “Six Angry Men.”

All in all, I was out of the courthouse by 9:15. And since I had my day free, I went and had pancakes.

So you see, the story had a happy ending.

*     *     *

Also, for those of you in the area, I’m going to be doing a reading/signing/Q&A in Wisconsin Rapids tonight at 7:00. I think I’m going to be reading a piece of the new novella, just to see how it sounds out loud…

Details, as always, are on the tour page

This entry was posted in appearances, day in the life. By Pat66 Responses

66 Comments

  1. Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Yay! Pancakes! I hope they were really good.

    The last time I had jury duty I was releases at 11am and I spent the rest of the day at the beach.

  2. katelyn
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Jealous. I’m a 3rd year law student, never been called for jury duty, and I think my window for ever being able to serve is quickly coming to a close. Not many lawyers want other lawyers on the panel. Although, I think, like you, they probably wouldn’t want me anyways… too “progressive” or whatever. Maybe you’ll get in next time!

  3. SunTzu
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    I would commit a crime only to have you sit on the jury that convicted me.

  4. amara64
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    You are too philosophical to be on a jury. On the bright side, making all those distinctions would make you a great lawyer!

  5. Barefootninja
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    ha I liked your little allusion to “12 angry men”

  6. Filipa
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Oh well, you probably got yourself out of arguing with people picked to eat up whatever the lawyers fed them. You may have dodged a bullet there, besides: pancakes!

    For those of us not in your continent, is there any chance of having someone film the event so we can also witness it? *pretty please*

    If you do I promise to let my ten year old sister play Diablo II on my laptop for as long as she likes! (even though she’s already deleted my champion assassin)

  7. Dianadomino
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    I”m a legal secretary and I never get picked either. I feel snubbed too.

    On another note, I have the best pancake recipe ever. Just sayin’.

    • Vaegrin
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

      As an attorney, I figure I will never survive jury selection. But I would love to be on a jury.

    • Pieman
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

      You can’t just say that you have the best pancake recipe ever! Share!

      • Dianadomino
        Posted February 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

        Pieman-Don’t say I never gave you anything!

        Best Pancakes Ever

        1 1/2 cups flour (I use King Arthur whole white wheat)
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use the kind without aluminum)
        1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt, iodized salt tastes weird.)
        3 Tablespoons sugar

        Sift the above ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix together:

        2 cups buttermilk (use more or less depending on the consistency you want)
        2 eggs
        4 Tablespoons melted butter

        Wisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, but don’t over mix, just get all the major lumps out. Those little bitty lumps actually help the pancakes rise higher. Make sure the consistency is wet enough to use a ladle to pour the batter onto a griddle (heated to about 375 or so). Frying pans work too, but with a griddle it’s easier to keep up with demand. ^_^

        Prepare to astound your family–these are really good. I add fresh blueberries or banana pieces sometimes, but you don’t have to do it if you are a pancake purist. If you have leftovers (good luck with that) they freeze really well in a baggie, and they reheat well too, but they aren’t quite as yummy.

  8. TheAman
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    First off, thanks for the great idea if I need to ever get out of jury duty.

    Secondly, how will someone know if they won the lottery? Do they get contacted first, or does a package just arrive at their doorstep?

    • Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

      I won a book from the lottery last year – it just showed up on my doorstep (best surprise of the year)

  9. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Is it “12 Angry Men” or more along the lines of “12 Monkeys?”

    I hear a lot of people (some of my professors) grumble about jury duty, but, like you, I find the idea somewhat fascinating. I’d be delighted to do my duty as a citizen and judge the guilty or innocent.

  10. Liam
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    “I raised my hand and said…”

    Knew how the story ended right there :)

    Trial by jury is a pretty big gamble already. Having armchair legal philosophers in the jury box just adds to the uncertainty.

  11. Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    Awesome. Note to self: to get out of jury duty, act smart.

    • DrFood
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

      That’s pretty much it, I’m afraid. I’ve never been called for jury duty, but from what I’ve heard from other doctors, as soon as they hear you’re a doctor, they deselect you. I think neither lawyer wants someone in the jury who is going to have a better than average ability to get the other jurors to see things their way.

  12. Library Lasciel
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    I got kicked off of mine too. I was really excited about it and everything – but I was like third off the initial pool – I didn’t even get to sit in the comfy jurors’ chairs!

    It felt surprisingly like when kids are picking teams for dodgeball in gymn, and even though you don’t particularly want to play dodgeball, you don’t want to be the last person picked for the teams? Sort of anxious to please and cerebrally interested in the process, but secretly hoping that they’ll magically not need you after all, and a little disillusioned about the whole process of getting hit with things even though it’s supposed to be good for your morals and you figure you sort of need to participate in order for everything to run smoothly.

    I think that’s the weirdest analogy I’ve ever made…

  13. Anna
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    I was selected to be on a jury about a month ago. 3 days of trial and then we went into deliberation and let me tell you something, we were TOTALLY 12 Angry Men. If you take the gender specificity out. We even had a lady who was foreign born and talked with an accent!

    Over all I was surprised to find that Nevada law states that circumstantial evidence is viewed as equal to actual physical evidence which meant that we had to convict the kid.

    During the initial stage of the selection I was shocked to see how many people were actively trying to get out of duty but like you I was super curious so I just kind of nodded my head along and only spoke out when they asked direct questions. This guaranteed that I got on. In no way will I ever grumble about jury duty because it was really interesting, I met some fun people AND they paid me over $100 to be there for the 3 days!

    • Vaegrin
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

      Some judges do a much better job at keeping jurors than others. I have seen some judges handle jury selection for a five day trial and nearly burn through a room full of sixty people just to seat an eight person jury. Other judges get the jurors so fired up to participate that the jurors in the box are practically begging to stay.

  14. Flugenblarg
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    I had a pretty similar experience. I wanted to serve and I was the second one picked as well (think they were going alphabetical) and unfortunately out of the initial group the first one removed.

    I did feel snubbed though, they asked questions but afterwards said they might remove some jurors for no real reason (as far as I can tell), and I was the first one removed when they started just picking people not to serve.

    I mean I do look kind of perpetually stoned (despite being completely sober) and was dressed in a slacks, a t-shirt with Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets dressed as Tigh and Adama from BSG and a Penny-Arcade hoodie, whereas most of the others were wearing button up shirts and the like, but still.

    • Little My
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      I think even without sporting a particular “look”, people can get booted just for their demographic, for better or worse. As you say, no real reason. Except they may know females between ages __ and __ are more likely to hold opinion C. Or something like that. In Pat’s case, no doubt they just figured he’d be a total pain in the ass.

      • brrbear
        Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

        It’s quite possible that Mr. Rothfuss’s question AND beard hearkened back a distant memory of “with Honors” in one (or both) of the lawyer’s heads, which quickly segued to visions of a “My Cousin Vinny”-esque 70’s tuxedoed author sitting in the too-comfortable jury chair…and rather than trying to avoid staring for the entire trial…

  15. Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    I’m curious, having been un-picked, could you have chosen to stay & watch from the public gallery if you had wanted to?

    (I mean, I understand the lure of pancakes is hard to resist, but if there had been No Pancakes?)

    I’ve never been called, but at least I’m no longer disqualified from serving if I am. (here in the UK the rules were changed quite recently, so being a lawyer no longer bars you from serving on a jury)

    • Vaegrin
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

      Yes. Trials in the U.S. are completely open to the public unless the judge specifically orders a closed trial. That does not happen very often. The standard for closure are very strict, and not easily overcome. Jurors are admonished that they are not to discuss the case with anyone except their fellow jurors, but that admonition would not apply to prospective jurors who are not selected.

      Another interesting fact: many courts commonly keep an extra juror in case one of the other jurors eventually bails. At the end of the trial, if all of the jurors are still present, one of them will be randomly selected as the “alternate” and typically will not be permitted to participate in final deliberations. Alternates are most commonly used during longer trials, because of the increased likelihood that one or more of the jurors will go AWOL. How excruciating would it be to sit through a ten day trial, only to have no say in the verdict?

      • Posted February 10, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

        Thanks. That’s what I thought (It’s the same here in the UK -)

        I don’t think we have jury alternates – but one person becoming ill wouldn’t prevent the other 11 delivering a verdict.
        We don’t have Jury Selection the way you do in the states, jurors have to disclose if they know any of the witneswesm, lawyers or defendants, but an advocate can only remove a juror if they can satisfy the Judge that the juror would be unable to give an impartial verdict.

  16. Vaegrin
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    A lot of attorneys will tell you that jury selection is where many cases are won and lost. Not during opening statements, not during the presentation of evidence, and not during closing arguments — jury selection. Some big time law firms actually hire professional jury consultants to sit with them during jury selection and help them decide which prospective jurors to strike.

    For most attorneys, at least some of the strikes are just gut calls, and it’s possible that you got booted because one of the attorneys thought you seemed like a wild card. But their goal is to use their strikes on whoever they think is the least likely to decide in their favor. It’s a very reasonable possibility that either the plaintiff’s attorney or the defendant’s attorney thought you were likely to end up leaning the other way. Interesting to think about. I wonder which side struck you?

    On another note, I had a similar experience about a year ago, when I was finally called for jury duty the first time. Like you, I was eager to experience that part of the process. I showed up on time, waited for my name to be called, and finally shuffled off to the courtroom. By some freak chance, it turns out they drew my name for the trial of a case I spend six months working on with my old law firm. But unlike you, I was never called into the jury box. I just had to sit there all morning until jury selection was complete, knowing I could never be a part of the jury, but unable to disclose my conflict of interest because I was not seated in the box.

    Needless to say, I was disappointed. Among other things.

  17. jayh
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, I hear the way to get out of it is to act like a know-it-all and saying things like “I can tell if they’re guilty from a mile away” will get you deselected really quick.
    Oh, and homemade cornmeal blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning. I hate it when the wife works from home. It was either that or I would have made waffles.

  18. Mark G. Schroeder
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Speaking as a prosecutor, I can tell you that I’d completely respect the response you gave noting the distinction between the moral right and legal right to defend one’s self.

    In a self defense case, defense attorney’s don’t generally want jurors who differentiate between the moral and legal right to self-defense. They want jurors who don’t make that fine distinction and whose analysis stops with the answer to the moral question. Or the people who think things like “He had it coming” and leave it at that. Particularly if the issue is whether the act of self-defense was probably legally justified but the amount of force used went beyond what was necessary.

    The prosecutor, on the other hand, might have thought you were over-thinking the whole thing, as you suggested you tend to do at times. The side-bar makes me think one of two things were likely: Either the prosecution didn’t believe self-defense was even an issue and thus he didn’t want there to be a long discussion of a potentially irrelevant topic, or your answer really troubled him for some reason. I don’t really see why, so my guess is that it was the former. While the prosecutor always has the burden of proof in a criminal matter (or in an “ordinance” case like this one may have been, since you can’t have a 6 person jury on a criminal case), the defense has what’s called a “burden of production” on the issue of self-defense. In other words the defense has to put in enough evidence that a reasonable jury could conclude that the defendant acted in self-defense. absent that level of proof, the defense doesn’t even get to make the argument. And if the prosecutor thinks they may not hit that level of proof, he’s going to jump in and ask for a sidebar so the issue doesn’t get talked to death during jury selection.

    My guess is that’s what was going on.

    If you’re really curious, just call one of the attorneys up and ask them what happened. I know the state prosecutors over there and they’re pretty good people who’d probably be willing to answer your questions if you ask them. I always try to make a point to doing so when a juror or someone who was just in the pool asks about something they saw happen in court. It’s kind of fun to have those conversations, and it helps them understand the process.

  19. Mantra
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    I wonder how many of Pats stories end with “.. I went and had pancakes.”?

    Not necessarily the written down ones.

    • Posted February 9, 2012 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

      I’m going to make a point of having more of my stories end like that….

  20. DARKWAD
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    So, did they pay you the $8 or so Jury Fee for showing up and doing your civic duty?

  21. Jaime
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    310k – so much awesome from so many people!

    I lived in Baltimore City for about eight years, and because the pool of pickable people is pretty small, I got something like five or six summonses, and I had to serve on a jury twice – one criminal, one civil (I escaped the rest by virtue of getting a number too high to have to go in). I was a twenty-something white female in retail who practiced regular acts of hygiene – no lawyer ever challenged my presence on either jury.

    All I can say after both experiences is that I hope I never have the misfortune to be on the other side of the jury box, because many of my peers in both cases were astonishingly prejudiced and ignorant. It wasn’t even a question of strongly-held beliefs so much as sheer willful stupidity. I laughed uproariously at the season finale of The Wire S1, where they were discussing juries in the city, because it was ALL TRUE. I moved four years ago and haven’t been called once. I’m okay with that – I’ve done my civic duty twice, that should carry me over at least another decade, right?

    • Tysterisk
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

      Ha! County resident, actually within walking distance of the Circuit Court building. I’m white, male, early 20s, clean-cut and athletic looking, so I saw my selection coming from a long way off. The cherry on top? I was alternate one out of two. While I appreciated the chance to see the inner workings of the justice system, I don’t think there’s any single thing in my memory that has made my faith in humanity plummet like a goddamned ROCK as much as being in that jury.

      It was actually a little frightening; Disregarding the fact that it would get people in deep shit because of a mistrial, a few of the jurors out of the group that went to lunch together decided to discuss the case. The other jurors’ grasp (or lack thereof) on the pertinent facts of the case was appalling enough that I eventually snapped and had to explain in clear terms the implications of a direct chain of evidence, including a rock-solid DNA test.

      Hell… The next time I’m called for jury duty I’m going to express my fervently held belief in the civic responsibility to practice jury nullification. That’ll get you out of a courtroom like an ICBM.

  22. Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, pancakes can turn a smile upside down all right. Though I must admit, I like homemade waffles better. And bacon never hurts either…

    I’m just finishing up a paper for my Philosophy of law course on the three jurisprudential theories of Natural Law, Legal Positivism, and Legal Realism. It’s interesting to see the role that moral values play. Though I like metaphysics and meta-ethics more than the philosophy of law.

    Wow – I’m just blabbing. Sorry everyone, I’ll shut up now.
    Let us know how the reading goes Pat.

  23. Jam
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think you look like a hobo Mr Rothfuss, you definitely don’t sound like any hobo I’ve ever met

  24. MarcFink
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    It’s sad that our system doesn’t want people who question things. They want peo

  25. pjmintz
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Wow. You got up at 7:30 and were at the courthouse at 8? There’s a lot to be said for living in a small town.

    I usually get called for jury duty to the federal courthouse down in lower Manhattan. And, since I live about as far from lower Manhattan as you can and still get called there, it takes me a full 3 hours door to door in the morning.

    I do not look forward to jury duty.

  26. cbmurphy7
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Your jury summons experience sounds like it was fun, and generally entertaining. I get called to jury about every two years, and remain get sent back to the pickable pool every single time since I have yet to actually serve on a jury.

    I’ve only made it to the phase you were in twice – where the lawyers got to talk to us. I got unpicked both times as a lawyer’s first choice. I got asked what I do for a job, and “chemistry professor” never seems to go over well. On the flip side, I tell this to my students as a “perk” of the profession.

    • Mike
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

      Sadly I cannot be on a jury in Canada because I am in the military

  27. Posted February 9, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Now for the really important question: Were they buckwheat pancakes? Buckwheat is the best.

  28. Sarah
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    I’m too tired to talk about jury duty….however, I’d like to mention that I’m coming to the High Point, NC tour stop for my birthday! Woohoo!

    *And there’s your random comment for the day*

  29. Ethrien
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    With shipping details for the lottery; at no point did Heifer ask for my address. Do you take the address straight from the PayPal receipts?

    • Ethrien
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

      Never mind, found where I put my address in.

  30. justajenjen
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never been called for jury duty. I once got a pre-screening survey for jury duty, though. I pretty much knew I’d get rejected on that alone.

    Oh well, pancakes are always awesome.

  31. Gavin
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Okay first time on this blog 1st question do all the awesome authors know each other and if so did they meet over pancakes or waffles something to absorb the ideas flying between them as the tension simmered.

    • Gavin
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

      simmers.

  32. Ripuli
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    I was summoned for jury duty once. After waiting in a room with 500 other people, we were separated into 4 groups. They then separated us into 2 smaller groups. They then told my group that we could go home.

    This took 4 hours.

    And while I got to stay off work the whole day, the only thing I got from the experience was a parking ticket.

    Wish I would have had the common sense to celebrate my parking ticket with pancakes…

  33. Mike Kremen
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    I often have this Clintonian “depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is” question as your “mean” comment above. For this reason, if I was ever called in for jury duty, I’d keep my trap shut.

    Sadly, as an admitted attorney, I think I’d get the boot too…

    • Posted February 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

      It seems like we have a whole lot of lawyers that read the blog.

      I wonder what the reason for that particular statistical blip is….

      • Liam
        Posted February 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

        You don’t get through 3-5 years of undergrad, 3 years of law school, and however many years of practicing law if you don’t like reading. Most kids in law school are also pretty nerdy.

      • Mike Kremen
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

        I agree with Liam on the reading thing. I’ve met a ton of kids that aren’t nerdy at all in law school though.

        I suspect the learned ability to deal with the machinations of the world (whether through courts, legislating, etc.) lends itself pretty well to world-building stories like epic fantasy. They have both the simplicity of escape and the convoluted nature of worlds with their own rules.

      • Posted February 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

        I agree, too, on the reading. And taking pleasure in complex, intelligent fiction.
        Plus, we learn to read fast, which can be an advantage in reading long books.

        • rmcphail
          Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

          I think its partially a function of the fact that many lawyers originally wanted to be something else and instead made the “sensible” choice. That “something else” is often fiction writer. So the blog of a successful fiction writer is irresistible. It is part fascination, part self-flagellation. Sort of: “If I had not gone to stupid law school I would be kicking back with Felicia Day right now instead of writing a brief on legal standard for fact pleading in a notice pleading jurisdiction.”

          Also this blog is awesome and I apparently use a lot of quotation marks.

          • Liam
            Posted February 15, 2012 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

            Definitely agree on all those points, especially being four years into the process on my own novel as well (funny how my most productive writing periods seem to be during exam season…).

            On a much more important note, we just had four lawyers/lawstudents post in a row without a single semi-colon. What’s going on?!

  34. rmcphail
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Actually, the old idea that they don’t pick lawyers for juries is no longer as true. I am a lawyer and got picked for one two years ago. I was one of two lawyers on the jury. The judge actually told us after we were done that a jury six months before had a judge on it. I got some cool insights into how a jury really sees things.

    Mostly though, boring and frustrating. Interesting that everyone assumes it was a criminal case. My guess was civil. Smaller civil trials often have 6 man juries. It may have been a battery case and self-defense was an issue. Don’t feel bad about being cut. In a civil case they want predictable results so they can plug it all into a settlement spreadsheet. Wild cards are bad. FYI, the part where they ask you questions is called “Voire Dire”.

    • Posted February 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

      That’s a cool term. Latin I’m guessing?

      (Goes to Google.)

      Ah. French. Makes sense, given the Norman invasion and all…

    • Jaime
      Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

      I always called Voire Dire the Sorting Ritual…

  35. IvoryDoom
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Worldbuilders did awesome this year! I’m so glad I got a peek at it before it concluded what a ton of fun! On the other side though, I’m looking forward to reading some of you more personal blogs like this one until Worldbuilders kicks into high gear again. This blog went well with my coffee :) LOL.

    • Posted February 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

      Yeah. In all honesty, I’m looking forward to writing more personal stuff again too. It’s more fun and less stress than Worldbuilders….

  36. lizzylizletitgo
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat! Great job with World builders. And I love reading your “day in the life posts”

  37. Kara J
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    Thank you for the awesome job you’re doing with Worldbuilders :)

    I stumbled across this cartoon today and since you’re a fan of Nathan Fillion I thought you’d appreciate it :D

  38. Colin_Mc
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Wish you would tour somewhere on the east coast.

  39. LaFleur
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

    He tours too much around the edge of the country. Time to hit some of the middle.

  40. rappy7
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    You should’ve snorted with the defence lawyer mentioned self-defence. Then made a pretentious hand-motion for him to carry-on talking. I mean, if you were going to get kicked off anyway you could have played this scene out better.

    Next time think of the blog readers Pat, THINK OF US!

    PS: A bank-heist post would attract more readers.

  41. Ctlacey
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    12 Angry Men was an awesome play, wonder how your proposed 6 angry men would have played out…

  42. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

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