The SuperCheats Top 10 Launch Day Excuses

04. Jury Duty

This one you need to set up well in advance. A decent lead-time should be at least a month if not six weeks, and when you let HR know you have to have the day off on X date, be sure to sound annoyed and displeased about that.

A great alternative to that is to act all patriotic: like the stereotypical Eagle Scout with over-the-top “I am determined to do my civic duty” feeling of a sort that totally allows you to wear a T-Shirt that says “Captain America loves me!” and totally not feel awkward at all!

It will help you to understand how Jury Duty works and just what it is before you use this one though.

It also will help reassure you to know that in almost every state it is actually ILLEGAL for an employer to punish an employee for taking time off for Jury Duty.

What is Jury Duty? Well it really is a civic duty - and one that you owe your community as part of the responsibilities of being a contributing member of it.

Caption: Finding a way to enjoy the full weight of the legal system in video games is not an easy task. Oh, to be sure, you can see plenty of examples of what it is like to be an attorney - even a prosecutor - such as is the example in the video illustration embedded above from 2001's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney! Yep, they did not make a better lawyer game play experience for Nintendo's handheld consoles (including GBA and 3DS) but did you know you can ALSO play it on iOS? Well you can!

In America the lists of people who get Jury Duty are made up exclusively from the Voter Registration Database for your town, county, and state and, in the case of Federal Jury Duty, for the national elections.

In Australia and the United Kingdom they use what is called an “adversarial system,” with potential jurors randomly selected from the electoral roll.

Elsewhere in the world they use a variety of different systems - where they actually have juries that is... The most common is property tax rolls, as a lot of places only allow land owners to serve on juries - a throw-back to the days when serfs and peasants could not be trusted for such a weighty responsibility.

Either way though, Jury Duty is recognized as one of those annoying things that are not easily avoided. Once they have your name and you have been summoned, you are pretty much screwed.

As a general rule you are notified by registered mail, and given a date to appear in the Jury Room at the designated court where you may - or may not - be promoted to become a member of a Jury who will sit a case and determine the guilt - or the innocence - of the accused.

The important thing to take away from this is that the courts treat the Jury System very seriously - and the higher the court, the more serious they take it.

Jury service has a very bad reputation - at least in America - due largely to the system of plea agreements that tend to dominate criminal law in America.

What happens is a person gets called to serve, appears and then sits around all day waiting for a jury to be empaneled. That said though it is important to understand that you are NOT a prisoner. The summons to Jury Duty is applied to ONE person (you), for ONE court, and for only ONE day unless you know, you actually get promoted to a jury, at which point if they do not plea out you could be in for weeks or even months of service.

That weeks or months thing? That is a worse case scenario that generally only applies to the highest of the state courts or the federal courts and, generally, only happens in cases like murder or financial crimes.

A more common experience is to arrive, spend most of the day in the Jury Room, get called up, and then have one of the attorneys challenge you (for any number of reasons) at which point you are dismissed!

That or you end up waiting all day, finally get promoted to a jury, finally enter the court room and sit in the Jury Box, learn who you are (on a jury you get assigned a number and that is what you are called by) only to find yourself dismissed because the case was concluded by a plea agreement.

You can also end up spending the day in the Jury Room, never getting called to a case at all.

The good news though is that either way, whether you serve on a jury or just spend the day reading a book in the Jury Room, it still counts as Jury Service so, in theory anyway, you have satisfied your civic duty for one calender year! If you actually WERE called to Jury Duty. But remember we are NOT ding Jury Duty, we are doing Launch-Day Duty!

Posted: 16th Aug 2015 by CMBF