Monday, January 11, 2010

My Experience As A Juror

Earlier in my career, when I was a federal prosecutor, I had an experience which has helped me tremendously as a divorce lawyer. I was actually summonsed and selected as a juror in two Augusta, Georgia divorce cases!
I was shocked that any of the divorce attorneys would want me, another lawyer, to sit as a juror in their cases. I don't remember much about one of the two cases, but, as to the other, I recall that we really stuck it to a wayward husband who had dumped his spouse for a "sweet young thing," after his spouse had worked hard helping him to build a nursery and landscaping business. I am confident that his lawyer wished that he had never put me on that jury! But I was thrilled to get selected and learned the following lessons from my "jury experience:"
1. Prospective jurors get tired of sitting and waiting! By the time I was chosen as a juror, I was already "bored out of my goard!"
2. Jurors expect the trial lawyers to be prepared and professional. I also learned firsthand, as a juror, that jurors get frustrated when a trial lawyer fumbles around with documents and appears to be unprepared.
3. Finally, I learned that jurors sometimes wish lawyers would get to the point and sit down. This is probably the most important lesson I learned as a juror. As a result, I have always tried, since then, as a trial lawyer, to be so prepared and organized that I can avoid wasting time, and can get to the point, and sit down!
Have you ever served as a juror? What did you think about the lawyers who presented the cases? What do you think about your own jury experience?

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