The Best Time to Have Jury Duty

Thursday, December 29th 2016

This might seem unusual, but I actually like jury duty. Maybe it's because I'm self-employed and the free wifi in the juror lounge makes the whole ordeal surprisingly non-disruptive to my daily routine. It might also be that I like people, and stories, learning about new things and thinking critically. I've had the opportunity to serve three times and was actually selected once. Seeing our legal system in action gave me a newfound appreciation for it.

But I understand why most people are not excited by the prospect of jury duty. It's disruptive for most lines of work, as an employer or employee, and can be disruptive for those with busy lives. This most recent bout of jury duty was actually a reschedule after realizing the original dates conflicted with a beginning programming course I'd committed to teaching this winter.

So I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I think I may have discovered the perfect time — for those that would rather jury duty take up the least amount of time possible — to defer your civic obligation. The best time to have jury duty is the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Can I prove this? No, it's completely anecdotal. But I can tell you that two days in a row we were dismissed at 10:30am without a single person being called. It makes sense though. Lawyers and judges probably do their best to avoid scheduling cases for this time, if they can help it.

So if you need to defer your jury duty and hope for it to take up the least amount of time possible, try to land it somewhere between December 26th and the 31st.

If you're looking for the opposite of the most efficient & quick time to land jury duty, you can always watch Paulie Shore's mid-90s "masterpiece" Jury Duty. It's... not great. I can really only recommend it for that slim segment of 90s nostalgia and civic duty enthusiasts. All three of you.