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What can I expect if called for jury duty?

Chances are that if you have not already been called for jury duty, you will be. In Connecticut our courts have a system where if you are not selected to sit on a jury the day you appear for jury duty you will have fulfilled your obligation as a potential juror for a year. You will typically be instructed to call a phone number the night before your scheduled jury duty and a recorded message will tell you if you have to report the next day. Sometimes there are no proceedings requiring jurors and you will not have to report.Jurors may be selected to decide either criminal or civil cases. You will be asked questions by the attorneys involved in the matter to see if you can be fair to the parties involved in the case. Some of the questions may seem quite personal, but the attorneys have an obligation to find out about some of your life experiences and opinions on issues that may relate to the case. They need to be assured that if you become a juror that you will be fair and impartial.

If you are selected as a juror, the presiding judge will caution you not to discuss the case with anyone, including your fellow jurors, until the end of the trial when all the evidence has been heard. Jurors are to consider only the evidence presented during the trial. For example, jurors are not to conduct their own investigation of the events involved in the case. In one case recently tried in Connecticut involving a fire, one juror confided to the other jurors that he did his own investigation. The case had to be retried as a result of what that juror did.

Through our court system, impartial citizens decide whether a crime has been committed or a civil wrong has occurred. It is through the collective wisdom of a jury made up of people from diverse backgrounds that our system of justice is able to function successfully.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. See competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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