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Send in the juries | Marcel Strigberger

Friday, October 02, 2020 @ 2:37 PM | By Marcel Strigberger

Marcel Strigberger %>
Marcel Strigberger
It’s a mad, mad, world. The province of Ontario in its wisdom has resumed jury trials.

I cannot imagine the stress anyone being summoned for a jury pool must undergo. They would have to think about getting exempted. They might have to send a letter to the sheriff along these lines.

Dear Sheriff:

I am sending this letter to the courthouse address as instructed, though if you are working from your house, I trust that it will reach you quickly.

Normally I wouldn’t mind spending hours sitting in a crowded room with other potential jurors but there are rumours out there about a pandemic called COVID-19. Some claim it’s all a hoax or a conspiracy. However, I have some concerns.

I hear blood pressure issues makes people high risk for getting COVID. I note that your summons to me has now put me into the high-risk category. Maybe it’s just me.

To date I have taken all precautions to avoid getting nailed by the disease. I get my food orders delivered or curbside. But don't get me wrong, I’m sure unlike a supermarket, the virus would not dare venture into a courthouse. After all, no doubt all folks entering must sanitize their hands, wear a mask and answer that screening questionnaire. I do take great comfort in that. After all we are all honest. 

While we’re on the screening subject, I have a question. I have not to my knowledge been in contact with anyone testing positive. I have visited Pearson International Airport a few times as being a proud citizen, I like to greet visitors arriving to our country. Then again, I doubt we allow flights to land here carrying passengers testing positive. Is that a problem?

I actually like a challenge and would really love to sit on a jury for days, at no pay. I do not really mind that B.C. and other provinces have not resumed jury trials. After all, I ask not what my province can do for me but rather what I can do for my province. 

However, I may have difficulty following the evidence as I fidget in my seat eyeballing others in the courtroom, looking for signs and symptoms of infection and trying to breathe comfortably with my mask on for too long. I’m fine with that as I doubt anyone will pay attention to my sporadic nervous cough. And I do have a tendency to lift my mask as I gasp for air and my face starts turning a light shade of blue.

Also, were I to be selected on a motor vehicle case, I'll confess, I know all about the fact that car owners have insurance, and that there is $40,000 or thereabouts deductible before the car accident victim sees a nickel. But I would be objective. I would follow the judge’s charges diligently. I’m sure I should be able to hear most of the charge through all the plexiglass.    

If you still want me, I am at your service. But do you really want anyone on a jury who is wacky enough to actually show up?   

Stay safe.

Yours truly.

Marcel Strigberger retired from his Greater Toronto Area litigation practice and continues the more serious business of humorous author and speaker. Visit Follow him @MarcelsHumour.

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