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. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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