Duty Calls

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7 Responses

  1. Len Rotman says:


    I am jealous. As a Canadian law professor, I am ineligible to serve on a jury, as is my spouse (which she claims is why she married me in the first place!).

    I often have wondered why it seems that those who are most interested in serving on a jury either cannot, as is the case with me, or are simply not called upon, while others who would rather do anything but serve on a jury (like my brother-in-law) are called repeatedly.

  2. Doug B. says:

    I had the great fortune to serve on a (small) county GRAND jury, and it was an extraordinary experience. I was only an alternate for some days, so I rarely even had a chance to vote, but I learned so much and would eagerly do it again if given the chance

  3. Eric T. says:

    I hope this answers your question about who gets picked…but the short answer is that you pick the one you want to have a beer with…


  4. Yes I served and yes I was the foreperson (despite my great reluctance).

  5. Adam Benforado says:

    Thanks, Len, Doug, Eric, and Michael – all interesting and helpful!

    Len, I didn’t know about the prohibition on law professors in Canada serving on juries – that’s surprising (and fascinating) to me. Do you know if that’s common in other Commonwealth countries or what the precise origin is?

  6. Brant Lee says:

    I’m late to this party, but a student alerted me to this thread, and I thought I’d chime in. I served as a juror on a med mal case a few years ago, and yes I was the foreperson. It came out on voir dire that one of the defense lawyers was a former student of mine (he seemed vaguely familiar, but I was embarassed not to remember him until he raised it with the court and I then confirmed). I was shocked to be kept on the jury.

    I remember wondering about how much persuasion to attempt, but there wasn’t any problem with me overly influencing the jury. It may be that my looking young and being a minority had something to do with it, but they weren’t much convinced by anything I had to say.

  7. Adam Benforado says:

    Brant, Thanks for the comment – I’m surprised that you were left on the jury as well (luckily, I’ve not been teaching long enough for this to be much of a concern)! On the persuasion front, I expect to encounter a similar dynamic but we shall see next week.