I have been seated as a juror on a "high profile civil case" at the L.A. County Courtroom for a 5 week trial.
Yes, you heard me - FIVE weeks.
I think I'm pretty much over the initial shock, as I had much time to ponder its effects on my life during this week's lengthy and tedious jury selection. The court initially seated twelve potential jurors into the jury box out of a large pool of at least eighty prescreened people. I have no idea how they got their first twelve and assume it was most likely random. I was not selected in that group so I sat in the jury room for two days listening to attorneys on both sides ask endless questions of the group.
Not knowing exactly how the process worked, I did figure however, that these twelve would probably not end up being the final jury. Sure enough, one by one, about half of them were excused and the empty seats began to be filled by people from my group. It didn't take long until my name was called and I entered the jury box for personal examination and cross examination from the attorneys.
Unfortunately for me, they must have liked my responses to their questioning. After I was seated, many others were excused and replaced, but I remained firmly in my seat. I have to admit I was secretly hoping that I would hear the familiar words spoken to me "the court would like to thank and excuse Karen Harasick"... but the words never came. And after four days, the attorneys agreed on the jury and we were sworn in. After standing to be sworn in, the twelve of us sat down, all looking a bit shocked and dazed, though no one dared to let out any audible signs of the reality that our lives had just been turned upside down.
So, I'm a "workin' woman" as Rich says. I leave the house at 7:30 am to battle traffic and be at the courthouse at 8:45 am. I leave the courtroom at 4:30 pm daily, and then battle traffic once again to arrive home around 5:30 pm. A very strange life for a woman who has been a homemaker for 22 years. Just putting on makeup every day is strange enough for me!
I am thankful for God's grace in it all. First of all, I was sicker than a dog this week when we began jury selection. My several ailments were keeping me up at night which resulted in me being dead tired and highly symptomatic in the courtroom. Do you know what it is like to cough, sneeze, and blow your nose every 2 minutes in a solemn and quiet court of law? Embarrassing would be an understatement. I finally went to the urgent care Wednesday night (I despise antibiotics so I tried to wait it out) for an infection I suspected, and the doctor told me what I thought was an additional infection was just bad allergies. She suggested Claritin and it really helped. The next day, one of the jurors commented to me "the courtroom is so quiet - are you feeling better?" I'm glad to know I was so discreet. :-) Anyways, everything is working now, and I'm sleeping again and feeling much better. I haven't been sick for at least 10 years - I forgot how miserable it can be!
I am also thankful, though I would honestly rather be doing something else with my time, at this time I am able to serve. I am also thankful for all the years that I raised my children and homeschooled them that I was able to avoid jury service. That was a huge blessing! It is kind of ironic that now that the kids are off at school, Master's Kids is well on its way and I've stepped back a bit, and my dad's party is through, that I now have this. I thought I'd be settling into a new kind of life with more free time... so much for that!
Oh, and one of the biggest blessings of all about it? Rich works a block away from the courthouse and I have a 1 1/2 hour lunch break everyday! This week we had lunch 3 times - so fun! He is so excited, borderline giddy I'd say, about the prospect of having me downtown. And I'm glad that I have something to brighten my day as well!
So, I'm sorry to say that the blog may be a little quiet the next month or so, since I obviously can't talk about the trial and my homemaking will be limited to survival mode. I'm wishing everyone a happy, cozy fall! Blessings!