I’ve now sat on the jury for two days of the trial to which I’ve been assigned at Alameda County court. I can’t comment on the trial itself, but I think I’m on safe ground to wonder at the resources being devoted to a small (very, very small) civil case.
There are 12 jurors and two alternates. So 14 of us are having at least six days of our normal working life interrupted at who knows what cost to each of us. There are always at least three lawyers attending, and today there were four. In addition to the judge (who is very good, by the way), there is a court attendant, a clerk and a court reporter. And, of course, there’s the plaintiff and one person from one of the defendants. And then there are the various witnesses for the plaintiff and defence who come in for their hour (after hour, after hour) on stage. So at least 24 people are stuck in a courtroom to argue, hear and decide on very small case.
I know it’s a vital part of democracy, but it doesn’t make much sense to me for the subject at hand. On which I’ll have something to say when the trial is over.