Today, however, communications are very different than they were just 10-15 years ago because of the Internet and Social Media. There are countless articles online that offer a variety of suggestions about how to get out of jury duty, serving as an encyclopedia of excuses that is available 24/7. Websites ranging from credible news sources to blogs offer advice, pointers, personal experiences that worked and didn’t work for potential jurors.
This led me to wonder just how many potential jurors are looking to the Internet to find ways not to serve. I recently surveyed 73 mock jurors from Los Angeles County. These individuals were recruited to reflect the diverse demographic characteristics of jurors who serve in Los Angeles County Superior Courts. We asked a coupe of questions:
(1) Have you ever “made up” a reason why you could not serve as a juror in an attempt to get out of serving as a juror?
(2) Have you ever looked online for suggestions about getting out of jury service?
Of the 73 participants, 5, or approximately 7% admitted either making up an excuse or embellishing a reason why they could not serve. None of the 73 said that they had ever looked online for a reason or suggestion to get out of service.
Fortunately, 93% reported that they have never concocted a reason to get out of jury duty. However, those who did had no problems successfully coming up with a reason on their own. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Los Angeles County jurors looked to the Groundlings for excuses?