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JudgeTimes have changed, even when serving jury duty. It used to be that all the judge had to do was warn jurors not to read about the case to which they were assigned in the newspapers, listen to any reports about it on radio or watch any related discussion on TV. The multimedia world holds far greater threats to jury impartiality these days!

Surprisingly, I was picked to serve on my first civil trial this week. Usually, lawyers in such lawsuits want nothing to do with anyone who has as much experience covering insurance (especially fraud) as I do. But both lawyers seemed content that as a journalist, trained to seek out both sides of a story, I could be counted on to be objective about the facts in their situation.

All I was told is that the case involves an auto accident, and that it would likely take a few days to try. I was admonished not to discuss the actual facts of the case or the people involved until after the proceeding is concluded, and I shall abide by that oath.

However, I found it very interesting to hear all the many other concerns raised by the two attorneys in terms of assuring that all we know about the case is solely based on the evidence and testimony they present.

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