The Corner


Spent yesterday at the county courthouse after reporting for jury duty.

Actually spent most of it in an empanelling room where two attorneys

preparing a civil-litigation case (dental malpractice) were sorting through

20 or so of us to figure out which ones they wanted on their jury. I was

not picked, no idea why.

Sample exchanges:

Attorney: “Tell us about your work, Mr. Derbyshire.”

JD: “Well, I’m a writer. Had a book out last year, working on another one.

Do a lot of opinion journalism, you know, commentary, reviews and so on, for

conservative papers and magazines — especially National Review…”

Attorney: “Mr. Derbyshire, do you have any opinion about the merits of civil

litigation in general?”

JD: “Well, of course, it’s desirable and necessary in a free society that

people have access to some form of adjudicated redress when they feel they

are wronged. I do think, though, that there are some systemic problems to

be dealt with, mainly arising from the great political power accumulated by

the Trail Lawyers Association in recent years, as illustrated, for example,

by the tobacco litigation of the 1990s…”

Next! Oh, well, I’m off the hook for another 4 years. The irony is, that I

was probably the only person in the room who wouldn’t have minded serving on

a jury. My time is my own, so that’s no problem. I have the new citizen’s

keenness to do his civic duties; and I could probably have got a column out

of it.

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