By C.J. Hirschfield
On a chilly day in January, the potential jury pool at the Alameda County Courthouse in downtown Oakland started out with what looked to be more than 150 people. Many were let go with hardship excuses; a good number needed to postpone their duty and were assigned later dates. I had already postponed once; summer is not a time when the boss at Children’s Fairyland can get away.
|Alameda County Courthouse, 1225 Fallon St., Oakland|
I’m old enough to have been required to take a civics course in high school, and I really do believe, as I’d been taught, that jurors are key to the administration of justice. So there I was, still kinda hoping I wouldn’t be called. When we were asked on a questionnaire whether we knew any lawyers, and I honestly answered that I’m married to one, I thought I might be disqualified. But no – I became juror number 12 in a civil case that was expected to last for five whole weeks. (One young lady literally threw some kind of fit in her quest to be excused—tears, muscle spasms and histrionics. It worked.)