So, I’m on the jury, drawn together with a diverse group of 14 Angelenos, 12 jurors and 2 alternates, none of whom I have ever met before, indeed have not even known about the existence of any of these people with whom I will be in close quarters for the better part of the next several work days.
We cannot take about the case — even among ourselves. (We can’t discuss it until we begin our deliberations.) So, here we are, this group of 14 strangers and can’t talk about the one thing we have in common.
Normally, when you go to a conference, oftentimes with people you don’t know and break for coffee and/or lunch, you talk about what you just experienced during the break. But, during our breaks, we have to talk about anything but what we just experienced.
Given that we can’t talk about the trial, we have had a great opportunity to get to know each other. The jury pool (as well as the final jury) is a small scale version of the great diversity that is Los Angeles County. This service offers us Angelenos a rare opportunity to come into contact with the richness that is our region.
This being Los Angeles, we have talked a great deal about movies — and the movie business, noting how tough it is to make it in that industry. And how too many filmmakers today have lost sight of the classic flicks, focusing more on the art of making blockbusters and on theories of screenplay structure than on crafting pictures which appeal to contemporary audiences and address eternal themes of the human heart.
And we’ve discussed politics. I’ve appreciated that those jurors to whom I have come out as a Republican have shown respect for my ideas, with one (at least) even reading this blog while he and another have questioned me thoughtfully about my support for the president, listening to my responses and sharing my criticisms.
I’m grateful that I’m serving with some pretty decent people — and delight in this opportunity to interact with Angelenos whom I would not otherwise met, but for the circumstances of our shared jury duty.