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Jury Service

Jury Service

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I know it's not accounting / tax related, but there's no longer a time out section.

I've been called up for jury service, and I'm surprised at the loss of earnings amounts. It is woefully low (just over the national living wage).

Unfortunately, my employer doesn't pay me whilst I'm there so I'll be quite a lot out of pocket just on my wage - and that's without taking into consideration the expensive city centre parking that I've been refused reimbursement of.

Whilst I am sure it will be an experience, it leaves a bitter taste knowing that you've paid for the 'experience'.

Has anyone else had the call? How did you find it?

 

 

Replies (51)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
29th Aug 2017 13:20

Typical of the lip service the Government pays to - well, just about anything.

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By Chris Mann
29th Aug 2017 14:52

Let's hope that your service doesn't last as long as this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40946653

When any of my client's have been called for jury service they seem to be active for no more than two weeks. Generally they find the event "informative" and, most come away more worldly wise!

Regretfully, the bitter taste of the personal "cost" of the exercise will remain for a good while.

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Replying to Chris Mann:
By mrme89
29th Aug 2017 16:00

I had seen that over the weekend. Don’t jinx me!

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By andy.partridge
29th Aug 2017 14:58

Have done it twice and, frankly, loved every moment. If there were professional juries that paid decently I'd be out of this accountancy lark in a heartbeat.

Here's a tip. If you don't want to do it, turn up in a very smart suit and tie. Defence will soon object, but instead of going home you might have to hang around for the start of a different case (and be objected to again).

In any event, take a book or something to do because there is a lot if dead time.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
By mrme89
29th Aug 2017 16:02

I might have to try the suit. Knowing my luck, I'd probably just get asked to take my jacket off.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
29th Aug 2017 16:25

Yes, I've heard the same about the effect a suit has. I think the general idea is to look like a "lock 'em up / jail's too good for them" type. Frown sternly a lot.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
05th Oct 2017 11:24

Don't forget to carry the Daily Telegraph.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
29th Aug 2017 16:29

I did it about 15 years ago and enjoyed the process. There is a lot of sitting about and most days you get sent home by about 11.

What tends to happen is most people panic when they get to the doors of the court and plead guilty to reduce fine/sentence so most of the time a jury is not needed.

They must have tightened up the expenses thing as I got mileage rate + Parking and they gave you a charge card to use in the canteen

You could take laptops in so could work whilst you were sitting about.

I got on 2 cases within the fortnight which were very good. What was frightening is how stupid some of the folk on the jury were.

I would hate to think i was up against anything serious with some of the plonkers who were there.

With regards loss of earnings court clerk said to self employed or higher paid employees that you claim on your home insurance if you have legal cover attached to it but not sure on how that would work or even if he knew what he was talking about.

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Replying to Glennzy:
By mrme89
29th Aug 2017 17:19

Common theme seems to be that there's a lot of sitting around not doing much.

It's management accounts week that week at my employment, so it is quite inconvenient work wise.

I have heard of the legal insurance aspect. Unfortunately, I only rent my home, so I don't have the most comprehensive of insurance policies. I'll certainly check, but I won't be holding my breath.

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Replying to Glennzy:
Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
30th Aug 2017 09:27

"I got on 2 cases within the fortnight which were very good. What was frightening is how stupid some of the folk on the jury were.

I would hate to think i was up against anything serious with some of the plonkers who were there."

Yes I found that quite worrying.

The ease with which you could get other jurors to change their opinion just by general discussion made me think most of them hadn't listened during the trial and had formed an opinion based on whether they liked/disliked the defendant.

I did it about 17 years ago and enjoyed it, was asked to do it again 3 years ago but was too busy so got out of it. If I was called to do it again I'd be happy to do it - see you there @Red Leader, @ Andy P.

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Replying to Kent accountant:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
30th Aug 2017 11:55

Ha ha
The case I was foreman for involved and man and woman walking home from pub when some lads made a few naughty comments to the guys wife. He carried on walking her home got his baseball bat and went back around and thrashed the pair of them.

It was clear he had done it. 2 people on jury basically said "well he did do it, but i am saying not guilty as they deserved it for calling his wife a [***]".

It took about half an hour to explain that it was the judges role to decide on punishment and mitigating factors we had to decide on if he done what what he was accused regardless if they deserved it or not.

I would defo do it again as most of the cases in Newcastle involve people on stag do's ending up fighting whilst dressed as Ironman and are almost comical when you hear the police reading out their notes of the evening.

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Replying to Kent accountant:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
30th Aug 2017 12:00

Locutus and Glennzy are keen too. Maybe we could get together and see if there's a market for "rent-a-jury".

I've just checked and unfortunately it turns out the Krays thought of that years ago. We're too late.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
29th Aug 2017 16:24

Have you looked into deferring?

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Replying to Red Leader:
By mrme89
29th Aug 2017 16:29

I considered it. But it's just going to delay the inevitable.

I'll just make the most out of the experience.

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Replying to mrme89:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
29th Aug 2017 16:34

mrme89 wrote:

I considered it. But it's just going to delay the inevitable.

I'll just make the most out of the experience.


I deferred and didn't get asked again. Now I'm quieter at work, I would love to do jury service. As Andy said, if it paid it would be a great job!
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Replying to mrme89:
RLI
By lionofludesch
29th Aug 2017 17:06

Yes but you could be dead before you're asked again, making deferral worthwhile.

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Replying to Red Leader:
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By thestudyman
01st Sep 2017 00:21

Red Leader wrote:

Have you looked into deferring?

Well he's an accountant , he should know all about deferred expenses!

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Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
29th Aug 2017 16:41

Just get yourself arrested and bailed, pending further enquiries. Job's a good 'un!

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David Winch
By David Winch
29th Aug 2017 18:35

I have never been on jury service but I have spent a fair amount of time in the Crown Court (as an expert witness).
I agree with most of the comments on here (usually a fortnight, a lot of hanging about, poor remuneration & possibly more than one case to be on over the two weeks).
The suit thing I don't think is a goer (since 1988 the defence have not been permitted to challenge a juror without cause).
Most Crown Courts no longer have a cafe. There may be some vending machines.
If you try to take your own drink into the building you may be asked to take a sip from it to 'prove' it is genuinely a drink.
Expect airport style security on entry (metal detector, bags searched).
David

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Replying to davidwinch:
By mrme89
30th Aug 2017 10:03

Thanks for your insight, David.

I won't be attending a crown court, but I expect it be very similar to a crown court.

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Replying to mrme89:
David Winch
By David Winch
30th Aug 2017 10:28

My experience is limited to England & Wales, sorry! Other jurisdictions may differ .....
David

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Replying to davidwinch:
By mrme89
30th Aug 2017 10:37

It's England :)

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Replying to mrme89:
David Winch
By David Winch
30th Aug 2017 11:11

OK. I won't ask for more details. The experience may be different from the Crown Court jury experience - but outside my area of expertise.
Good luck.
David

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
29th Aug 2017 19:45

I did jury service 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. Mine lasted just under 3 weeks, since the second trial that I was on took me beyond the usual fortnight.

Expect a lot of waiting before you get called to sit on a jury - much of my first week was spent sitting around in the assembly room. That wasn't too bad for me, as I could do some work on my laptop when I was not sitting on a jury.

It was a really interesting experience, which I would love to repeat again. Although, sadly, it felt like quite an inefficient use of the time and money of the criminal justice system for the nature of the crimes that I heard.

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Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
30th Aug 2017 09:56

It's not often I'm grateful for my mental illness and neurodiverse brain, but getting out of jury service is one of the (few) perks!

mrme89, hope it goes ok. The lack of decent remuneration is awful, yet unsurprising, sadly.

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Replying to Monsoon:
By mrme89
30th Aug 2017 10:06

Lucky you ... I think? Ha.

It could be worse. The pain would be much worse if I was very wealthy and I was only reimbursed the £60 per day or whatever it is.

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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 12:13

Like others, I found a few brainless people on the jury to the extent that their views were comical. An absolute refusal to consider the evidence because they were blinded by prejudice. To me it makes it all the more important to contribute.

If I were before a jury on trumped up charges I'm not sure I would want my liberty in the hands of the unemployable.

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By fiona_howells
30th Aug 2017 12:22

I was called up nearly 20 years ago and was so excited! I worked out my costs to get there etc and I assume I called them and they said it was too much money so they'd let me off! I didn't drive and lived in the country. I've not been asked since and am gutted!

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By MBK
30th Aug 2017 14:18

Contrary to most posters I have no desire at all to do jury service.

So much so that I've tried to take myself off the electoral roll - which is where the selection is made from. Try doing that without moving house.

Unless anybody knows better .......

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Replying to MBK:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 16:26

Are you an anarchist?

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Replying to andy.partridge:
RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Aug 2017 16:51

He's probably just someone who expects to be paid for his time. As are judges, barristers, solicitors, the polis, court officials ........

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 17:13

I'm all for people being paid to do their job, but to do their civic duty?

Maybe we shouldn't report crimes because we are not going to be paid for it. Now that would free up the system.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Aug 2017 17:29

Ah - Andy - you've fallen into the "civic duty" trap.

"Civic Duty" is just a phrase that the Government uses to bully the punters to work for nothing, PAYE, auto enrolment, jury service, VAT, crime reporting, monitoring terrorism and money laundering.

Being an MP, MLA, MSP, AC or local councillor is a "civic duty". However, these carry salaries because they're the guys making the rules up.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 18:15

You might be on to something. That's it, then. I refuse to check on my elderly neighbour from time to time unless he pays me a retainer.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
By mrme89
30th Aug 2017 18:04

Checking on your elderly neighbour or reporting crime doesn't hinder your ability to earn a living.

Sitting on a jury for weeks, possibly months can do.

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Replying to mrme89:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 18:17

My 'spare' time is measured in terms of minutes I can not bill to a client, but I understand it's not the same for you. So perhaps you could look in on my neighbour. Thanks!

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Replying to andy.partridge:
By mrme89
30th Aug 2017 18:59

A few minutes isn't going to have an impact on your finances.

If you were assigned a case spanning months, it would.

I also think you have a moral duty to look out for your vulnerable neighbours and report a crime. Personally, I don't feel a moral duty to save the government a few quid.

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Replying to mrme89:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 19:50

Fair enough, but many people actually enjoy the experience. That has a value and at least you don't have to pay for the privilege. Some time ago I was thinking of volunteering on a project in Africa. I was a bit slow on the uptake. It would have cost the same as a luxury cruise.

But more seriously, the government doesn't have any money of its own to save by not paying jurors, does it? It is just a [***] custodian of our own money.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Aug 2017 18:53

andy.partridge wrote:

You might be on to something. That's it, then. I refuse to check on my elderly neighbour from time to time unless he pays me a retainer.

Ach - if he needs checking on all the time, he's just a drain on the NHS anyway.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By andy.partridge
30th Aug 2017 19:53

We all are. From conception, no - preconception onwards.

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Replying to MBK:
Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
05th Oct 2017 14:01

Lots of things are "civic duty" but they either apply to everyone or they aren't a serious drain on one's time and energy. For example voting, keeping an eye on elderly or sick neighbours, picking up litter, getting out of the way of emergency vehicles, trimming your pavement facing greenery, and so on.

Jury Service is of a different order. Allocated at random it seriously inconveniences a small portion of the population that is unlucky enough to be chosen. Fine if you have nothing that you want to do more than sit on a jury, and/or if you only earn minimum wage anyway. Otherwise it is an unfair obligation selected by ballot; the very opposite of societal pooling of risk. As others have pointed out, everyone else working there is being paid for their time, and as such everyone else is happy to pad proceedings out to nauseating and pointless length, as they're on the clock for payment. Only the poor mugs deciding innocence/guilt are working in their own time, and they have no control over how long the process takes except for deliberation.

I suspect that when the system was first instituted cases were usually dealt with much faster.

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Quack
By Constantly Confused
30th Aug 2017 17:15

I had to do it while on placement from university at 21. I sat there for 2 weeks and read books, usually got sent home earlier than if I'd been at work and got paid the same as for being at work. I never even got called out of the room to even go near being needed, just sat and read.

Awesome 2 weeks but now I earn more I would find it a pain I'm sure.

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By Marion Hayes
31st Aug 2017 17:12

To all those interested in being paid - I saw a Trailer for a show where they put together Juries to retry real cases from the past. If you have a team of professional financial experts a producer might be interested in a similar show using intelligent(?) jurors to see if they get the same answers. I believe there are also firms of Jury consultants trying to predict how evidence should be presented to get the desired outcome....

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By DavidRoberts
01st Sep 2017 10:17

If you have a moral objection to sitting in judgement on your fellow man I understand you can decline

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By mrme89
05th Oct 2017 08:36

Some of the comments were spot on about the stupid people on the jury. Yesterday, we had to explain for an hour to another juror that he could not use his opinion to arrive at his verdict. He kept arguing that his opinion is based on what he heard in court. Essentially, is opinion was that he would have done something different to what one of the witnesses did and why didn’t the witness do it if they had common sense. At one point the same guy answered a question that a barrister asked to the witness.

What came as a surprise to me was the organisation of the place. It has been a shambles. The first morning was delayed because they couldn’t find a stapler. After 20 minutes, they found one. But then they needed a staple extractor. 20 minutes later they found one. Ready to start? Nope. Off someone went again, and another 20 minutes later another stapler was found that worked properly this time.

Whilst deinerating, we kept getting interrupted. People passing through the room, and on one occasion, someone wanted to borrow one of our tea bags.

The proceedings, however, were interesting, and in some parts, quite graphic which was upsetting to some of the jurors.

It has been an experience.

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Replying to mrme89:
David Winch
By David Winch
05th Oct 2017 09:17

Are you able to say whether you ultimately all agreed on a verdict?
David

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Replying to davidwinch:
By mrme89
05th Oct 2017 14:01

There was no verdict as such.

It was actually a coroners court that I attended for an inquest.

The closing statement from the coroner is a timeline of events. This incorporates evidence that he deemed to be relevant.
We had to essentially reconstruct that closing statement but as how we had seen things.
I was the jury foreman, and had to read this statement out in court, and the jurors signed it afterwards.

That was some disagreements between us. But that was to be expected as there were some technical aspects with different witnesses and evidence to consider.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
05th Oct 2017 13:15

The jury I was on a few years ago wins the stupid award. We tried a high profile case that made the National news, with the accused being sent down for 10 years. But the guilty verdict was extremely flawed because most of the jury simply didn't understand the charges.

In his summing up the judge had instructed us, the jury, to consider the serious charge A, and that should we find the accused guilty of charge A then don't bother considering the less serious charges B and C. If however we found the accused not guilty of charge A, we should consider less serious charge B and, in similar fashion, only consider minor charge C if we found the accused not guilty of B.

So upon retiring to the jury room after more than a week of listening to this protracted case, a straw poll was conducted by common accord. Ten of the jurors voted guilty, which left myself and a switched-on middle aged lady to explain to them the A, B, C, hierarchy of the charges we were supposed to be considering which had evidently passed over their heads. The ten all thought the accused guilty, but were unable to tell us just which charge(s) they thought the accused guilty of. (The charges were as wide ranging as could be, with A being along the lines of Attempted Murder, B along the lines of ABH, and C along the lines of assault).

That impasse was solved by our returning to the courtroom - we had a very busy usher lurking in the room who was instrumental in this - to ask the judge for reiteration of that guidance for the the benefit of the ten doubters. But when our rather weak foreman began to ask for clarification, he was cut-off by the rather overbearing judge who asked "Have you reached a verdict upon which you are all agreed?" The foreman affirmed a guilty verdict, the judge inferred that to mean charge A, and the accused was brought up and sentenced immediately.

The case was an emotive one that involved a small child, so it was hard to feel any real sympathy for the accused. But, regardless of whether the result was karma or justice, it serves to illustrate that the man on the Clapham Omnibus is not nearly so bright as you'd hope.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By andy.partridge
05th Oct 2017 13:37

All the more reason for educated people not to shirk their responsibility. One day any one of us might be falsely accused and the only thing on the mind of the prosecution barrister is not 'justice' as the lay person might define it, but to win the case.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By andy.partridge
05th Oct 2017 14:43

Duped.

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