Image of a jury box - Dress Code Jury Duty and 9 other Valuable Lessons

Dress Code Jury Duty and 9 Other Valuable Lessons Learned

Dress Code Jury Duty and 9 Other Valuable Lessons Learned during my recent jury summons.

My work for The Dietitian Resource was put on hold for a few weeks in October and November. I received my first juror summons. The summons said the case could run up to three weeks! 

All I had to do after completing the info on-line was show up at the stated date and time.

Image of a calendar with "Jury Summon" written.

1. Jury Selection

I arrived at the courthouse at 8am to receive my juror number and additional paperwork.  The paperwork asked for payment info (with the option to waive jurors’ pay) and miles travelled for compensation.

There were around 100-150 potential jurors in the room by the time jury selection began.

Day one consisted of juror numbers being called up as potential jurors.

The court started with two sets of 14 jurors. For the trial, they planned to have 12 jurors and 2 alternates (in case of illness/injury).

The District Attorneys (DA) and the defense lawyer each had their time to ask questions of the potential jurors.  If someone was unable to fulfill the requirements as a juror, they were allowed to leave and had fulfilled their requirements for that juror summons.

Jury selection Q&A took most of the day.  From the final 28 potential jurors, I was selected as one of 14 (including the two alternates).

The next day, the trial began, and we were asked to arrive at the jurors’ room by 9am.

2. Juror Pay

During juror selection, we were notified jurors receive $10/day for their service and 8-cents per mile for transportation. If the trial ran longer than two days, jurors receive $25/day on the third and subsequent days (in Oregon).

Image of a judge's gavel with the words "Jury Duty" on paper.

3. Dress Code Jury Duty

We were told there was no dress code for jury duty except no hats are allowed to be worn in the courtroom. This meant we could dress as comfortably as we liked.

The courtroom was chilly, so we were encouraged to bring a blanket and/or wear layers to remain warm.

From my experience, most jurors dressed in jeans with layers on top.

4. Jurors’ Room

The jurors’ room had 2 large windows, a large table, 14 chairs, a white board with marker, microwave, Keurig, mini fridge, and an electric pencil sharpener.

Image of a sign saying "Tea - Coffee Hot & Cold Snacks"

5. Snacks and Beverages

The court provided us with a new basket of snacks every day. Snacks included chips, crackers, donuts, chocolate, hard candy, and popcorn. We were also encouraged to bring our own food.

Coffee, tea, cocoa, cream, and sugar were provided.  In addition, water (plain and flavored), various flavored soda, and milk (regular and chocolate) were available.

The snacks were furnished by the court through juror’s fees waived by previous jurors (jurors have the right to waive their pay).

6. Other Jurors

My experience as a juror was really positive. During our time together we shared a birthday, Halloween, several life challenges, and lots of laughs. 

Each day we got to know each other better. This group, as a whole, had a tremendous sense of humor and a positive outlook on our common challenging experience.

We were not allowed to discuss the case (amongst ourselves or with anyone else) until deliberations. So, this left us with a good amount of time to share stories, build puzzles, and learn from each other’s expertise.

7. Chairs and the Jury Box

The chairs in the jury box were constructed of solid wood with cushions.  The chairs were situated tightly within the jurors’ box, which was a challenge for those of us over 5’7” (I am just under 6’ tall).  There wasn’t a lot of room to wiggle or stretch out, and by the end of each day, many of us were praying for some Ibuprofen.

Beverages (bottles with caps, coffee cups with lids) were allowed in the courtroom to assist with hydration and staying alert.

Image of a table, chairs, notebooks, and pens.

8. Note taking

Each juror was provided a 6×9 Steno Notebook with a pen or pencil. By the end of the 2 weeks, I had filled out 3 notebooks and started a 4th.  I had used all the ink from one pen. My writing hand was much stronger (Ha)!

Our notebooks were allowed in the courtroom and the jurors’ room.  At night, they were required to stay in the jurors’ room.

The notebooks could be used during deliberation to help recall testimony and evidence from the trial.

9. Breaks

There were 3 scheduled breaks each day:

  • One 15-minute break in the morning
  • 1-hour for lunch
  • and another 15-minute break in the afternoon.

Sometimes these breaks ran a little longer than expected due to other court obligations.

During these breaks, jurors could go for walks, stay in the jurors’ room, use the restroom, etc.  For the longer lunch break, the same was true.  Many jurors ventured out into the community to have lunch at a local restaurant, run errands, or go home (if they lived close enough).

10. Out in the Community

Each juror was given a badged lanyard that identified us as a juror.  We were required to wear them during the day, in the courthouse, and out in the community, to prevent us from being in the same place as someone involved in the trial.

Some jurors mentioned ending up in the same restaurant as a lawyer, witness, or defendant, but either the juror or the other party would leave to prevent any potential conflicts.

Image of a judge holding a scale.

Final Thoughts on Dress Code Jury Duty and 9 Other Valuable Lessons

Being called for a long trial was a challenge for all of us, but I am grateful for the opportunity. Not only did I meet some incredible people, but I was reminded of the importance of having a trial among your peers. It is a big responsibility, and an important one.

I have a much better understanding of the legal system. Although very stressful, this experience really did change my perspective and my life in a positive way.

I know this article was not specifically focused on the needs of RDs, but I am hopeful it was informative and interesting!

For more information about The Dietitian Resource, visit our site or check out the blog.  Thanks for visiting!

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More About Rochelle

Rochelle Inwood MS, RDN, ACSM EP-C

Hello there! I’m Rochelle Inwood, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Exercise Physiologist (ACSM EP-C). With over 14 years of experience, I have sharpened my expertise through diverse roles, including weight management program co-coordinator, patient/employee gym supervisor, outpatient dietitian, program manager, dietetic internship preceptor, and more. I am passionate about learning, creating, teaching, and supporting personal growth and development.