It’s a privilege and even honor to serve on a jury. But if you ever want to get out of it anyway, I hereby bequeath unto you this 100% guaranteed way to avoid jury service, every time:
Wave to the defendant.
I accidentally discovered the almost alarming efficiency of this method about two weeks ago, when I found myself in a pool of potential jurors for a trial case. When the time came for the lawyers on both sides to ask me questions about myself, I did as the judge requested, and stood.
And then, before I could stop myself, I just sort of … waved to the defendant. I have no idea why I suddenly became Court Dork. Nervous, I guess. The guy was looking right at me. And I felt sorry for him. He looked so … worried.
“Move to dismiss.”
As the nearly-guffawing bailiff was showing me the door, I saw the longing with which the defendant’s lawyer was watching me leave.
Just to make sure the dismissal stuck, I held an invisible phone to my ear. Looking right at the defendant I mouthed, “Call me!”
No, I didn’t do that. But I did know I’d just discovered a sure-fire way to avoid jury duty. And now you know that way, too.