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Life of an Entrepreneur--the Jury Summons


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There's nothing more frustrating than being an entrepreneur and receiving a Jury summons.  There is no being excused from Jury Duty as an entrepreneur.  Excuses range from financial hardship--probably the closest to what a Jury summons means to an entrepreneur, though their narrow definition of hardship is highly skewed to soley wage-earning, fulltime workers.  The second is 6 month postponement.  If any high tech entrepreneur had a crystal ball and could tell if their company would be in a place that they could let one of their key people disappear in 6 months because the company is doing so well, that crystal ball would be worth a mint.   

If you are personally responsible for the viability, health, customer adoption, and funding of a startup when seconds and minutes count as the difference between being around next month, then a week of Jury duty can be devastating.  Even worse, if you actually have investors and employees that at great risk to their own money and careers are depending on you to keep the company moving forward and viable, how do you convey that to someone who has never done a startup or been an entrepreneur themselves? 

There should be an entrepreneur exemption for Jury Duty. 

No there shouldn't be an entrepreneur exemption?

There should be a medical researcher exemption.  Someone looking for a cure ....

I can see that, but there already are peace officer and government worker exemptions.  I see your point though, not all of them are time critical.  I think the point is, not all availabilities are equal.  If people's lives, jobs, or livelihoods critically depend on you and are time critical or recusal-based, then I say go ahead. Step one is to seriously revamp the pre-jury selection/jury pool process.  I think lawyers should be able to electronically choose from a jury pool with various pre-qualifying questions online without the mandatory waste of time which is in-person jury pool waiting.   Step two is that I think there should be more subject-specific professional juries.  Not like a grand jury, but more like people who are familiar with the specific issues relevant to a class of cases.   They would be professionally selected and compensated.  Step three is that there are many employers and people who are available to serve on juries and are more willing to.  Why not qualify people by availability? Last time I posted something about professional juries, I got half a dozen inquiries about people trying to pay someone to go to jury duty for them.  Just to be clear: *that's* highly illegal and not what I'm talking about by professional juries. 

Can someone tell me how a reasonable verdict should be expected from the person, who's brain is completely occupied by their business on hold for weeks?

People's brains are completely occupied with all sorts of stuff.

Ok, now I know why Zimmerman is free.

who would serve on juries then?  would the justice system improve with better juries? Most cases do not go to court.  

I do like some of the screening people done randomly and electronically.  

People with normal jobs would serve on them. 

you're thinking like a normal person.  get your crazy on. do a little homework on the case.  then, when you get interviewed by the defense/prosecution team just unleash it.  become their worst nightmare juror.  you'll get "released" from your obligation. and it may be just the right way to spend a little time away from the grind so that creative inspiration will stay juiced for your startup.  just sayin'... life's short. have fun.

Sadly, the strategy Christine mentions does work. 

If you really want out of jury duty, unleash it.

liz lemon's star wars?

I like it!  Although, they don't really tell you about the case until after the question you, right?  Last time I was in Jury Duty I sat around for two days doing nothing with 500 other people before they told us we could all go home. 

@Adam I'd be a little concerned being "marked" as a crazy person, plus despite not having time to do it due to very pressing obligations, I do take my civic responsibility seriously.  You have to look at it from the other side.  If I depended on a jury for resolution of some issue regarding deep conviction (the only way it would get to court), then I would want the jury to be responsible. 


so, you can usually get on state's online court systems and see case information.  i'm a fan of the get your crazy on and get out of it approach exactly for the reason Jared called out: if you aren't all in you are not serving justice or due process - and those dependent on it - well at all. in fact, you just might be the reason it fails. and i don't believe the cost is worth it.  but that's just me.

@Greg, pull a Nick Easter:  Tell the judge you need to compete in the Madden Challenge. 

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