Sitting in the box

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.

One thought on “Sitting in the box

  1. Guillaume Champeau

    Hi Lance,

    I’m sorry I have to use the comments section for this but please would it be possible to know your email address? I’m working on a project I’d very much like you to be involved in.

    You may post the address here or otherwise contact me at champeau |at|

    Talk to you soon,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *