Duty calls

So, I got called up for jury duty about 30 minutes past the four-year mark of my last date of service.  Last time, I was in and out by lunch.  This time, I’ve been picked as a juror on a trial and as gigantic a disruption as this is in my already over-booked life, I do feel that it is a privilege to serve and to watch the legal system do its thing up close and personal.



All this, however, means that my usually scintillating blog post is reduced to an invitation for you to tell me what your favorite books about the law (be they thrillers, literary fiction, or nonfiction) are.  And since I’m in need of suggestions for good tv series to keep me on the elliptical, feel free to throw in some suggestions for your favorite things to watch in the category.


5 Responses to Duty calls

  1. D. C. DaCosta says:

    The Mr. Tutt series of short stories by Arthur Train. Popular in the 1920s and ’30s, they deal with an old-fashioned NYC lawyer whose unconventional exercise of the law and rather elastic sense of ethics do not endear him to the (rather corrupt) prosecutorial authorities.

  2. Katie Newingham says:

    D.C. – I may check your selection out after finishing my very long read. I’m done for the year with anything over 350 pgs.

    Nothing new but To Kill a Mockingbird stays with me.

    As far as tv, I’m still a fan of Law and Order SVU.

  3. Joelle says:

    My husband was just in the play Inherit the Wind. I’m not sure I recommend it though, as it is all still so applicable today that it really pissed me off. It’s based on the Scopes Monkey Trials and when I lived in Tennessee, we went to visit the courthouse where they took place. It’s now a museum of sorts. Pretty interesting stuff.

    Personally, I’m a fan of Perry Mason!

    When I was called for jury duty, we had to report every day for two weeks. Sometimes we’d get let go early, but a lot of the time, we sat around in a big holding area. They had a GIANT screen TV. Guess what we watched? The OJ Simpson trial.

  4. Judith Burnett Schneider says:

    Miriam, I served on the jury of a criminal trial — the rape of a six-year old girl. It will go down as one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. It taught me a lot about how people (jurors) behave in stressful situations. What was most amazing to me was how some individuals were so easily influenced by the opinions of others. And how others were so unreasonably inflexible. I guess that’s what makes the world go ’round. The bottom line is this: Stay on the good side of the law. You don’t want your fate to be determined by 12 individuals who want to get reimbursed for parking and go home! I don’t know that I’ve seen realistic jury deliberation in fiction. Some of the utterings of my fellow jurors were far too scary to put into print!

  5. Terri Weiss says:

    Hi Miriam,

    Trust me, the lawyers appreciate your positive, civic-minded attitude!

    My favorite legal novels are Anatomy Of A Murder, and Presumed Innocent (despite the latter’s misogyny). The Verdict, My Cousin Vinny, Anatomy Of A Murder, and Judgment At Nuremberg are my personal top movie picks. Damages, of course, for TV.

    Here’s a link to the ABA Journal’s top 25 movie, book and TV show selections. Some are a bit unexpected: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/25_greatest_law_novels

    Here’s hoping that both the case, and the lawyering, are interesting!

    : )

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