TV, child care, and jurors

October 10, 2008
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Free child care. Free movies and wireless Internet. Time to shop during the day. These aren’t amenities law firms are giving employees to attract lawyers but are actually what some counties in the U.S. are doing to attract jurors.

No one likes receiving the jury summons in the mail. I received one earlier this year for Marion County, which required me to call a telephone number every evening to find out if my number had been selected. I got picked, showed up bright and early to the City-County Building and sat there for hours trying to pass the time with a book I brought. I saw a few magazines in the room, but beyond that, we prospective jurors were left to entertain and feed ourselves until we were called to serve on a jury or were dismissed.

Needless to say, it wasn’t an exciting morning.

Counties across the country recognize this, and some are providing free child care, free wireless Internet access, and TVs to play DVDs, according to a National Law Journal article. In fact, one county in Michigan gives its jurors a beeper so they are free to leave the building, shop, and eat, as long as they stay within a certain radius. If the beeper rings, you’ve been called back to serve.

But in this economy, where are counties and states getting the money to install televisions in juror waiting rooms, purchase beepers, and pay for day care for prospective jurors? I wonder if these courts have done a cost-benefit analysis and found the up-front investment for these items overall will save the courts money because trials will be less likely to be postponed and juror pools will be larger. I also have read some courts are considering cutting juror pay as a cost-saving method.

I’d like to see a way to bring in more jurors and increase the juror pool, and make the jurors not feel like being called to serve is a punishment or drag on the day. But will these types of amenities be enough to attract more jurors, or would cold, hard cash do the trick?
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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