Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a mock juror.
I never even knew opportunities like this existed until 2 weeks ago.
My phone rang one evening, and it was a company that I am registered with to do random market testing. I have done projects with them in the past, but they have been minor projects and I hadn't hear from them in a long time. (Usually the projects consist of some type of survey or taste test.)
This time, they were asking me if I wanted to participate in a mock jury project. It was an all day project on a Saturday, at a local hotel, and I would be paid $225 for my time. They would also feed me breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.
$225? And food?
Well, sure. Why not? I didn't have anything going on this particular Saturday, and it sounded like it might be an interesting experience.
So they asked me a series of questions to see if I would qualify. (I did).
I received instructions on where to go and what to do, and then all I had to do was show up.
I arrived at the hotel at 7:30. (I actually didn't have to be there until 8. But if I arrived before 7:30, my name was entered in a drawing to receive an additional $75. Unfortunately, I didn't win). Anyway, we had to fill out some questionnaires. After all the paperwork was completed we were moved into another room where we received further instructions.
After the instructions, we were presented the case by the attorneys. I have to admit that I was fascinated. I had expected the day to be boring and long. But, it was really amazing and very interesting. I personally have never served on a jury in real life. So this opportunity actually made me realize how cool it would be to be part of a real jury.
After hearing the case, we then had an opportunity to break into groups, and we actually had to deliberate and come to a unanimous agreement just like a real jury would.
Due to confidentiality reasons, I cannot disclose the name of the marketing company or what the actual case was about. But, I will tell you that I was riveted, and intrigued most of the day. I wasn't bored. In fact, I was fascinated by the details of the case.
When the day ended, I felt like I had completed my civic duty in an odd, sort of pretend way. I would definitely do this again, if I ever have the opportunity. I felt like it was a true learning experience. I felt privileged that I was able to know and understand the details of a real case that will go to trial someday. I also felt like my input will ultimately help the attorneys in preparing their case for the trial. It was...awesome.