Bailing on Jury Duty

bail bonds signs, blankstareblink.comYesterday morning, I rode a packed 27 Muni Bus to Jury Duty. Or J-Duty as it is apparently referred to by those not of a certain age.

I didn’t have time for this. With two big presentations scheduled for this week, there was just no way I could serve on a trial, let alone take the time to commute to 850 Bryant to sit and wait my fate. Would there be wi-fi (yes, it turns out, there would be.)

I felt like a giant ass for practicing, in my head, the many reasons I had to bail from my civic duty. Will my “kitten” T-shirt with the big, pleading eyes engender sympathy? Or would it provoke disdain, like flipping the bird with my kitten, showing disrespect for a very respectable institution? In any event, I decided to close my jacket just in case.

LGB jacket, Etsy Kitten-T, Knucke-case iphone case (don't bring to court! Got confiscated!), Urban Ears headphones.

LGB jacket, Etsy Kitten-T, Knucklecase iphone case from Elizabeth Charles (don’t bring to court! Got confiscated!), Urban Ears headphones.

I hadn’t been to 850 Bryant since I was finger-printed and brought to court a few years ago, into another room on the 2nd floor to receive my DUI sentencing. I’ll never forgot how petrified I was, and how different, dark and sinister that place felt. Whereas before I cowered in the bathroom stall ready to vomit-out the scared, this time I just really had to pee.

Part of the problem with anything having to do with Superior Court is the utter lack of control we have over our fate there. With my DUI case, would I be sentenced to the utterly awful SWAP, (Sheriff Work Alternative Program) “swapping” jail time for community service? Or would I score the opposite fate and get sentenced to PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful)? Thanks to my fantastic lawyer, I ended up with the latter, avoiding the dreaded orange vest and weekends spent picking up garbage on 101. To this very day, neon outerwear makes me nervous.

In a much less dire fashion, Jury Duty fills one with that same lack of control, putting our schedule for the next few days to few months in the judge’s hands. I think about all of this as I file into the huge holding area. No one smiles in here. No one wants to be here. I know for most, this is not only a massive hassle (my case) but an utter nightmare: kids to take care of, a boss that will hold a grudge for missed work, or missed work without pay and the resulting inability to pay bills. Real hardship.

My brand of hardship rationale works (“professional disaster” is my plea) and I’m released. As much as I’m relieved, I’m also ashamed.

Someday, I’d love to serve. I think it would be fascinating and a great learning experience. As payback, I imagine I am assigned to an interesting case, only to be dismissed by the lawyers for one reason or an other. I have it coming. Serves me right for not serving.

In the meantime, for skirting my civic duties, I’m going to put my lower half in jail.


1. Striped Jersey Skirt, Whistles. 2. MSGM skirt, Farfetch. 3. Marc Jaobs sequined skirt, My Theresa. 4. Robert Rodriquez stretch skirt, IntermixOnline. 5. Michael Kors pleated skirt, Net-A-Porter. 6. Marc Jacobs twill skirt, Net-A-Porter. 7. Balmain stretch denim skirt, Net-A-Porter. 8. Acne Viola leather skirt, AcneStudios.

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