Runcible Blog

My Civic Obligation

I never mentioned my secret government mission from a couple weeks ago: jury duty. Unfortunately it wasn't exciting, and the jury didn't get a chance to deliberate because the judge dismissed the case half-way through. It turns out the plaintiff (it was a civil case involving a car accident) didn't have enough evidence to prove that she was not at fault for taking a left turn in front of the defendant. The judge spoke with us to explain the law after dismissing the case.

What bugged me was that the plaintiff's lawyer must have known that he didn't have enough evidence, yet they pursued with the suit anyway and dragged it through the system. I felt bad for the defendant, a janitor who doesn't speak English, because he had to go through all the legal wrangling and financial burden for something that most likely wasn't his fault.

So, I guess that if somebody had lots of money to pay an attorney, he could sue whomever he didn't like and hope that that victim runs out of money, goes bankrupt, whatever. And it wouldn't matter that the plaintiff had no legitimate case. Sounds unfair, eh?

But anyway, jury duty was a very eye-opening experience. I think people shouldn't be so reluctant or angry about serving. After all, it's the only form of direct democracy prescribed in the constitution. I'd say that's a pretty big deal and not something to take lightly.