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.
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