Shikima

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Has anyone experienced the thrill of being called up for Jury Duty as a Psychiatrist? What was your experience? Did you get out of it?

Mine's with Federal Court.... ugh.
 

OldPsychDoc

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Has anyone experienced the thrill of being called up for Jury Duty as a Psychiatrist? What was your experience? Did you get out of it?

Mine's with Federal Court.... ugh.
Yep--was able to defer once because they simply didn't give enough notice, but they made sure I got called up the next time. Ended up getting paneled, sat in on two sessions of a criminal trial (armed robbery) before the judge declared a mistrial (prosecution screwed up) and dismissed us. Have had at least one colleague and one resident get called as well in recent years.
 
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Shikima

Shikima

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I just got off of the phone with one of the court clerks, he was empathetic due to the timing of the case and the sleep boards which are every other year. At this time, the docket is pretty clear and asked me to contact him again in a few weeks time to keep abreast of the situation and how it develops.

I guess I could always allow myself to be excused by saying everyone is antisocial.
 

milesed

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I sat for a DUI case after I could not get out of it. It was 12 hours long. 12 hours!
 
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psych md jd

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I have to go in about every 2-3 years.

About 5 years ago, I actually was paneled. The plaintiff's attorney started asking me about where I went to school, my specialty, the types of patients etc. This goes on for some time. Eventually, the defense attorney objects asking if the plaintiff's attorney is trying to qualify me as an expert witness. Needless to say, I was bumped off the panel and was dismissed.

Getting out of jury duty? Don't try this:

http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2012-11-06/savannah-physician-wife-cited-criminal-contempt-court-fined-jury-forgery
 
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MacDonaldTriad

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20 years ago it was hard to find a psychiatrist who has served as a juror. We were called to jury duty, but almost never selected. I’m guessing it was some miss guided fear of our abilities to sway other jurists or some other belief in our magical powers. Lately, I think such beliefs are less prevalent. I know of a psychiatrist who was paneled for a domestic violence case and almost every other potential juror had a family history of domestic violence of some kind except her and she was the first thrown off.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I've had lawyer friends tell me that in many cases they don't want highly educated people on their jury, though in other cases it is much more about gender/race/etc. I have yet to actually make it to a case, but I would like the opportunity. I believe it is our civic responsibility as citizens to serve, though admittedly in my younger years I got out of it at least once because of work.
 

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I got called for federal jury as a resident, and they pretty much told me my only option was to reschedule rather than to get excused. I rescheduled, and they wound up not even needing to call me. Possibly one could keep on doing that and never have to serve?

I then got called by the county in fellowship and went ahead and served because you are not allowed to serve even if you wanted to for 24 months after serving, and I figured getting that out of the way in fellowship made sense. I got called for jury selection for 3 trials and didn't get picked for any. With both the psychiatrist thing and pre-medical background I have, I wasn't surprised. It was a pretty painless day and a great chance to do some observation. Jury duty is fascinating because all elements of your city's population are there. Sucks, though, if it costs you money. One thing I learned is that the vast, vast majority of trials are one to two days or less, so the odds are being called for anything extended are really small. So if you're employed and get jury duty pay, I'd say go for it.
 

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I remember, over the course of several years, I was called for jury duty, but wrote the judge that it would be very detrimental to my research experiments and a hardship for a number of people depending on me.

I was granted exemption every year.

Did I just come from a lucky district with a nice judge?

I imagine it would be even more likely to be approved from the framing of a medical professional that is responsible for the mental health of a number of potentially unstable citizens (ie that would potentially be missing their treatment if the provider is called for days and days of jury duty). Is this not the case?
 
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psych md jd

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I imagine it would be even more likely to be approved from the framing of a medical professional that is responsible for the mental health of a number of potentially unstable citizens (ie that would potentially be missing their treatment if the provider is called for days and days of jury duty). Is this not the case?
I tried that. I told the judge that I was responsible for sex offenders and the criminally insane in the community. Denied. YMMV.

You can try saying you believe in Jury Nullification of Law and see if they dismiss you.
Basically, the only cases that make it to trial these days are criminal cases and insurance defense cases.

When the judge asks you if you have any questions I would say: Is this a death penalty case? If no, follow up with: Can we make it one?

Or, on the civil side, I would mention my feelings about insurance companies taking my premiums year after year and not paying my claim.
 
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I tried that. I told the judge that I was responsible for sex offenders and the criminally insane in the community. Denied. YMMV.



Basically, the only cases that make it to trial these days are criminal cases and insurance defense cases.

When the judge asks you if you have any questions I would say: Is this a death penalty case? If no, follow up with: Can we make it one?

Or, on the civil side, I would mention my feelings about insurance companies taking my premiums year after year and not paying my claim.
:bow:
 

whopper

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I was asked to do jury duty about 2 months ago.

In some localities judges are stringent and will not let doctors go. In NJ legislation was passed to prevent doctors from using practice as an excuse out of jury duty but literally after only a few months with lots of doctors complaining and patients experiencing bad outcomes because of it the legislation was tossed out. I was in my teens when this happened and remember my dad, a surgeon, was called in for jury duty and he actually had to show up. The judge (or whoever it was) did let him go but before he wouldn't have had to show up at all. He had to tell the judge to excuse him and wait in line for over an hour before the judge got to see him.

I was told in my locality sometimes judges don't let doctors go. What I really think got me out of it is I'm also the doctor at the county jail so if the defendant was in jail there immediately would've been a conflict of interest.
 

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It was a pretty painless day and a great chance to do some observation. Jury duty is fascinating because all elements of your city's population are there. Sucks, though, if it costs you money.
My buddy lives in the pacific northwest and live tweeted his observations from jury duty (not during the actual trial, but the process leading up to the case). He said he felt overdressed showing up in a collared golf shirt and pants, as some people (women) showed up in spandex and a t-shirt. I think it cost him something like $15-$20 to park and he got something like $10 for the "experience." His job is very flexible, though I can see how that is tough for many people to be out an entire day (or more).
 
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nitemagi

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I just called called up again. We'll see how it goes. Last time was a gang related shooting and they dismissed me -- seemingly because I had too much experience with either police or treating gang members, and one of the sides thought I'd be too sympathetic to the other.
 
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wolfvgang22

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This has me wondering if the VA would try to make me use my vacation or sick days if I got called for jury duty.
 

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Yeah. I was called for the first jury pool of the day. Case was wrongful death for the drowning of a mentally ill person at a day treatment facility. They would ask questions to all potential jurors and raise our placard if they applied to us. Do you have personal experience with mental illness? Do you know CPR? Do you know what an AED is? Etc. My arm got sore and eventually they started asking if anyone other than Dr X...

I wasn't selected for the jury.
 
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Still Kickin

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One of my residency supervisors had an interesting story about being called in for jury duty. All the potential jurors were there and they were interviewing them. So, they ask him if he knows (or knows of) a certain Dr. X in town (who apparently was going to be an expert witness in the trial) and if so, what is his opinion of Dr. X. He asked if they *really* wanted him to answer this question in front of all of the other potential jurors, but they said that yes, he had to. So, he told them that it is basically known in the local psychiatric community that Dr. X will say whatever Dr. X is being paid to say. (This is indeed Dr. X's reputation, not something that was said just to get out of jury duty).

Obviously, he was not selected for the case. He wondered if he may have influenced the thinking of the rest of the juror pool (why he had asked if they *really* wanted him to state his opinion...)
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Yeah. I was called for the first jury pool of the day. Case was wrongful death for the drowning of a mentally ill person at a day treatment facility. They would ask questions to all potential jurors and raise our placard if they applied to us. Do you have personal experience with mental illness? Do you know CPR? Do you know what an AED is? Etc. My arm got sore and eventually they started asking if anyone other than Dr X...
...He asked if they *really* wanted him to answer this question in front of all of the other potential jurors, but they said that yes, he had to. So, he told them that it is basically known in the local psychiatric community that Dr. X will say whatever Dr. X is being paid to say. (This is indeed Dr. X's reputation, not something that was said just to get out of jury duty).
Well….*this* conversation just got a little awkward….:laugh:
 

Doctor Bagel

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My buddy lives in the pacific northwest and live tweeted his observations from jury duty (not during the actual trial, but the process leading up to the case). He said he felt overdressed showing up in a collared golf shirt and pants, as some people (women) showed up in spandex and a t-shirt. I think it cost him something like $15-$20 to park and he got something like $10 for the "experience." His job is very flexible, though I can see how that is tough for many people to be out an entire day (or more).
I discovered my city really is full of people with MFAs who work for nonprofits, aspire to make documentaries and spend their weekends hiking, yodeling and making kombucha. Oh yeah, there's the occasional plumber and retiree thrown in there as well.

It really is a big burden for lots of people, including low wage hourly employees who lose much needed income for missing a few days of work and caretakers for young children (babies get you excused, older kids don't). I'm not sure doctors are unique in having hardships that prevent us from serving and can see why judges would get a little annoyed when we always try to get out of it. Most of us work in systems where we have coverage, and the world doesn't fall apart if we miss one or two days of work to serve on a jury. As I mentioned above, getting called for jury duty doesn't mean you'll be called for a multi week murder trial -- those hardly ever actually go to trial anyway.
 

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You can try saying you believe in Jury Nullification of Law and see if they dismiss you.
Pretty much this. I was recently called for jury duty and the judge asked everyone if they had any other views of their responsibilities other than to simply judge the facts of the case and accept the law as he interpreted/gave it to us. I had to raise my hand and explain that I believed in the right of the jury to judge not only the facts of the case but also the law itself and that this represented, in my opinion, the last defense of a free people against a tyrannical government. He thanked me for my 'candor' and I was not among those selected.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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It really is a big burden for lots of people, including low wage hourly employees who lose much needed income for missing a few days of work and caretakers for young children (babies get you excused, older kids don't). I'm not sure doctors are unique in having hardships that prevent us from serving...
I agree with all of that…though I'm sure many will still try. I know in some places you can elect to defer and/or set a timeframe of when you'd be available to serve. I would vastly prefer this approach, as I can at least somewhat plan to be absent for more than a day (as needed).
 

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In addition to what was already said above in cleverly mentioning that you, as a potential juror, is well aware of the concept of jury nullification. I especially love this post by:

Pretty much this. I was recently called for jury duty and the judge asked everyone if they had any other views of their responsibilities other than to simply judge the facts of the case and accept the law as he interpreted/gave it to us. I had to raise my hand and explain that I believed in the right of the jury to judge not only the facts of the case but also the law itself and that this represented, in my opinion, the last defense of a free people against a tyrannical government. He thanked me for my 'candor' and I was not among those selected.
When I was called for jury duty couple years ago, it was a case of a man suing a police officer for using exessive force.

They were asking questions regarding what were your feelings toward police, toward use of force in arrests, etc.

And then they asked about what you would consider as solid evidence. For me I raised my hand and voice my strong opinion that if the evidence was not video taped (which it was not) then I would have a very hard time being convinced of EITHER side of the truth based simply on testimony and circumstantial evidence. I was not chosen.

Also I noticed many jurors who spoke up very opinionated on either one side or another were slashed from the pool.

In the end the people who seemed more balanced/fair and also some who did not speak at all were chosen.

So the easy way is not to try to get out and get excused...but to be very opinionated to one side or another.

If I do get called up again I would love to express my opinion on jury nullification.

heres a nice video:
 
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