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  • Jury duty - physician occupation an exception?

    I received letter stating I might be called to Federal jury duty.

    Question: is being a physician a reasonable cause to ask for exception? Thought is that my job is caring for the health of others...

    Looking for advice from previous experience of others.

    Thanks,
    Brad

  • #2
    No.

    They'll work with you to reschedule it but you'll eventually need to go down to jury selection. It's relatively easy to avoid being selected though if that's what you want. Just make statements like:

    If he wasn't guilty the cops wouldn't have arrested him or

    I hate cops so I'm going to vote to let this guy free.

    Attorneys don't like docs on their juries, so don't expect to spend more than a few hours down there for your $18.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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    • #3
      Being a physician used to be an excuse for jury duty in the old days.  No longer, physician colleagues have actually been empaneled on juries on occasion, the most recent being on a criminal case.

      My own experience... I was called for jury duty, and questioned regarding a tenant suing the landlord for orthopedic injuries after slipping in a bathtub. During voire dire the attorney asked me if my prior experience with orthopedic injuries would enter into my assessment of the plaintiff's injuries.  I said yes and was immediately excused.

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      • #4
        I was surprised to be selected to be on a jury after I retired. I had heard that they generally did not like doctors to serve. I would imagine you might be able to get out if it if you pleaded the case that your absence would result in excessive hardship on the docs that have to work your shifts if your ED is already stretched thin as to scheduling. But if being off work only affects you then that would not work.

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        • #5
          i have been called to jury duty like 5 times in the last 10 years!  each time i just call the lady at the courthouse and explain that there are only 2 of us within 60 miles that treat ENT problems.  That my partner will be out of town at least one day that the trial is set for.  therefore the whole surrounding 60 miles will be without an ENT those days.  they tell me to forget about it.  but they apparently don't take my name off the list!

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          • #6
            Was selected for a DUI case during residency. Tried to get out of it but the judge had 0 sympathy. Defense attorney really wanted me once he heard I was a doc, despite saying that I hated addicts and drunks based on my own family. Client seemed like a POS (repeat offender), but prosecution had no actual case. 12-0 for acquit in under 5 minutes. I felt gross afterwards, but at least it was only 1 day

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            • #7
              You can only get out of Jury duty as a physician if you prove that serving would create a hardship for your patients, such as being the only doc in a small town. Other than that, you're out of luck.

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              • #8
                Look up "jury nullification", you're welcome.

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                • #9
                  I have been called a couple of times over the years. Our Hospital writes a letter that a doc’s participation may risk the health of the community, and we get off. I have heard that the no-show rate for jury selection is so high that enforcement has no teeth (or vice versa).

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                  • #10
                    Also Otodoc is 100% correct. If you're one of 6, in 100 sq mi area where Medicare won't let people get treated unless you're physically in the building that's a legitimate excuse. I've used it a dozen times. The alternative is not to vote in elections and I like to vote.

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                    • #11
                      I have written a letter twice about being a solo Ob/Gyn and have been excused. They will not automatically excuse you but they will if you sound like it is a problem for  patients.

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                      • #12
                        I was selected for jury duty as a resident. It was only a day or two, but frankly, it was a welcome reprieve.

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                        • #13
                          I've been notified tons of times. Lots in LA for some reason, but was a student so got off. Quite a bit later on as well, but I've never written an excuse, I used to just throw them away honestly. Theyre not certified so its not like they can prove you received it. Now I just put the business card and check the self employed box. Our county has gotten more aggressive since the no show rate is so high.

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                          • #14
                            currently serving--they didn't like bullshit answers from people trying to claim biases. victims of crime serving on a criminal case were sent to civil trials and vice versa. welcome to nyc--where jury duty is 2 days and you are very likely to get selected!

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                            • #15
                              I've never been selected somehow but my husband has and sat on a very interesting criminal trial. I don't think I'd mind doing it as long as I could use my sick time to cover it.

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