Friday, July 11, 2008

OUTSTANDING IN HER FIELD...OR HOW TO GET OUT OF JURY DUTY

It was only a matter of time...

"You are hearby summoned...for...JURY DUTY!!! Ta DA!!!
Okay I admit it... my husband was telling me to do my civic duty, but my first thought was, "how can I get out of this?"
You see I would be the WORLD'S WORST JURIST. I know this. I'm a novelist. I'm not what lawyers have in mind when they say "an impartial group of your peers."
So I came up with a list:

WHY NOVELISTS MAKE THE WORST JURISTS

1. They recognize purple prose and hyperbole...("he is an upstanding, good, honest, incorruptible citizen." (Only ONE (1) adjective allowed)

2. They have an overactive imagination... (So what if he was in Texas and the murder was in Japan -- it could happen with his own personal speed-of-light learjet and custom laser weapon of doom.)

3. They don't go with this "presumed innocent" stuff... (HE looks guilty, his WIFE looks guilty - even his DOG looks guilty...in fact he looks exactly like one of the characters in my last novel and He DEFINITELY was guilty.)

4. They get distracted easily. (What a GREAT name for a character...I'm writing that down. Wait! What did the judge say? That sounded cool.Oh! The gavel! That made me jump. I wonder when lunch is?)

I'm sure there are LOTS of other reasons. I need to build my case. Give me a hand bloggers. Can you think of any more?

20 comments:

Stephen Parrish said...

They get irritated at the defendant for telling rather than showing.

They tune out the prosecutor's opening remarks because he reveals how the story ends.

They have giggle fits wondering if someone's going to say, "It was a dark and stormy night."

laughingwolf said...

...they always make things up, the gorier the better

...'i have a previous commitment, at a book signing, in england, and can't POSSIBLY find a thing to wear'

...the judge seems to be more guilty than the defendant, did S/HE do it/

ORION said...

OMG!!! I hadn't THOUGHT of what to wear...

Katie Alender said...

When I was on jury duty last year, the judge asked me specifically what I wrote. Probably if I'd said, "Crime novels" instead of "novels for young adults," I could have gotten off. Especially if I'd said, "Crime novels, specifically dealing with DUI cases."

We were told no flip flops, no tank tops, and no shorts.

laughingwolf said...

lol

Lisa said...

How about "confidentiality goes out the window...I'm so going to write about this case."

Chumplet said...

Yeah, say you'll treat it as research!

ORION said...

Okay I have my flipflops AND my tank top on and I'm bringing my notebook and taking notes...

Kanani said...

they bring their laptop and continue writing their own book.

Karen said...

Wear a T-shirt to the jury selection that reads, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel." That will make both lawyers so nervous they'll both want to disqualify you.

Doug said...

Hi, I'm Stephen Parrish's brother Doug. I learned about your novel on Stephen's blog and just finished reading it about 5 minutes ago. It's the best thing I've read in a long time.

lisaalber said...

Here's one: We're likely to make up our own stories about the defendant and other courtroom players and forget what the point of the trial was...

Enjoyed your talk at Annie Bloom's. Recommended "Lottery" to my book group.

Holly Kennedy said...

Ack!!! I think you should do it. Consider it research for a future novel, take notes like mad, draw pictures of the judge, make faces at the defendant. They'll throw you out soon enough AND you might even get some free publicity for LOTTERY in the process.

You know. "Author of debut novel LOTTERY thrown out of court after disrupting the rest of the jury..."

ORION said...

thank you Doug!!!

Kimber An said...

Lactating mother. Uh, whattaya mean it won't work? Oh, right. It won't work for me anymore either. Dang.

nancorbett said...

Writers have an abnormal level of empathy. It's what helps us get inside of our characters' heads and understand motivations and emotions. Somewhere during the police's testimony, you would be in grave danger of standing up before the court and exclaiming, "I did it. I confess." Do you really want to write your next book from the slammer? Hey! maybe there are fewer distractions...

ORION said...

Thank you lisa!!

Mia King said...

Let them see your angst. All writers have angst ... wait, except you. How is that possible? ;-)

Ask a lot of annoying questions. Ha! I just had a thought. Knowing you, you'd probably end up as the foreman or foreperson! Never a dull moment ...

Good luck!

ChrisEldin said...

HAHAHAHA! Your list made me laugh out loud!!
:-)

Mary Witzl said...

Some of us have trouble distinguishing non-fiction and fiction -- that would be a huge disadvantage for a jurist. And worse still, some of us don't care which is which.