Well at least I got a weekly bus pass out of it. But certainly no trial, which is what I wanted.
I boarded the No. 201 bus, which dropped me three blocks away from my destination at the Civil Central West Courthouse at Sixth and Commonwealth where I arrived 30 minutes ahead of my appointed time, made my way past the baggage exam table and up to Dept. 309 on the 14th Floor… where we were told to wait outside. Apparently court was in session for the case we’d be deciding so I had to loiter in the hall with the handful of jurors who’d shown up ahead of me.
Others showed up and I recognized some from the assembly room yesterday. Not a one was pleased to be there and several vocalized hope they’d be dismissed â€” including one shabby looking fellow who I’m pretty sure had already consulted with Jack Daniels prior to his arrival.
Eventually a court attendant gathered us together and said that the opposing counsels were in there trying to persuade the judge to accept their mutual decision to waive a jury trial. So “unofficially” we might be going home, but we were asked to wait a few minutes for the judge’s final word.
Couple minutes go by and the courtroom doors open and all the jurors (I’d guess more than 30) are asked inside. We parade in and the four lawyers look us each over and I can almost see them making quick judgments about our viability as jurors. Had there been a change of minds? Did the judge shoot down the request to waive us off?
No. He just wanted to thank us personally for our service. When told we were free to go the drinking dude actually cheered and couldn’t exit quick enough.
Me? I looked around the tiny little courtroom and the comfy looking chairs in the jury box, wondered what might have been, and left to go walk down Wilshire Boulevard past the Bullocks Wilshire Building brilliant in the morning sun then back up Vermont to catch the No. 201 bus back home.