The Dynamic Duo Rocks On!
Almost the exact day my notice to report for jury duty arrived, I began receiving tips from friends and family on how to avoid doing it. This proposed assistance was coming from the exact peers that I would hope would be on my own jury if I was ever on trial for anything. It made me wonder if I am part of a dying breed that still believes in our justice system and performing our civic duty. Check-in at the courthouse a month later, reinforced those thoughts as the people around me manufactured excuse after excuse.
Over the decades, I have reported for jury duty at least 25 times. The closest I got to serving was the jury box for voir dire and then excused…happy to go home, but disappointed that they didn’t want me. This time they chose to keep me. My new position as juror #9 was both exciting and, of course confusing.
After all – how do you rearrange your life to fit three weeks of absence from it?
When we began the trial, jurors were forbidden to speak of it even to each other. Mind you, that just might be the most difficult challenge when doing your service. There were 14 of us, spending hour after hour, day after day together. We could discuss our jobs or lack thereof, our kids, the weather, the not-so-exciting dining room fare and best of what the defendant’s attorneys were wearing that day. Oh yeah, baby! These two know how to dress.
Both the plaintiff and the defendant had two attorneys each. One side would come in wearing outdated, ill-fitting suits while the other side was always dressed to the nines. I have never been one for judging people by what they wear, but I have to say my mind has been forever changed and my wardrobe is already in the process of being updated. We all had more respect and admiration for the better-dressed team. Looking, sounding, and acting like full professionals as opposed to just sort of showing up to do a job certainly afforded them the upper-hand.
The witnesses were fascinating. Some were a pleasure to listen to and learn from. Others were determined to show how great they were. One in particular, worked very hard to prove a point. His point. He made it clear that only he knew exactly what happened. He wasn’t present at the accident and he would not accept that his opinion was pure conjecture, not fact. The best part was his use of the Pythagorean Theorem to deduce a distance he felt was important (it wasn’t). The problem was, he never finished the math problem. If he had finished it, he might have noticed that his own brilliance proved him sorely wrong.
I have been in the medical field all my life, so hearing the medically-oriented testimony was awesome. It refreshed me on some points and educated me on others. Best of all, two days after the trial ended, I met a neuro-chiropractor and because of things I learned during the trial, I was able to converse with her on a much better level that I could have the month prior to the trial.
Jury duty is certainly a learning experience. I couldn’t wait to see the jury room where we would deliberate. I was secretly hoping I would get to be the foreperson but once in the jury room, I attempted a magnanimous effort, of recommending someone else. He in turn suggested I do it. As soon as he did, someone else said, “You have had so much fun on the trial, you might as well finish it with a bang.” She was right. I had a good time. Did I mention that I caught a horrific case of the flu on day one and coughed my way through most of the trial? And, because I didn’t feel I could bail on everybody, I continued coming and sharing my lovely infection. Yepp. By mid-trial there were at least five who joined me in what the Bailiff referred to as an orchestra of coughs.
As foreperson, I was handed three envelopes that included verdict sheets for everyone, directions, and a final verdict sheet to turn in. Then the Bailiff went to get the court exhibits for us. She said we could start discussions. We did. When she got back five minutes later with those exhibits, we were done. It was unanimous. We presented our verdict to the court, were polled for validation/accuracy and then excused.
We had the opportunity afterwards to meet our new heroes. We all agreed that if we are ever in need of an attorney, these were the ones we wanted. We didn’t really know anything except the names by which the judge referred to them: Mr. Jolly and Ms. Berry. But we knew that they had presented the most amazing, professional, positive, thorough and well-organized defense anyone could have. We were able to interview the defendant as well as his attorneys in the hallway after we were dismissed. The entire jury stayed and spent 30 minutes picking their brains. It was our pleasure.
So, if you are ever in need of a great pair of trial attorneys; me and my 13 new friends can highly recommend the dynamic duo of Leah Berry and Kevin Jolly at Jolly Berry Law.
“We were in a bad situation and things seemed as if there was no hope. If you’ve ever had that feeling of hopelessness you know what I’m taking about. We spoke to Leah about our case while she took copious notes and asked us a lot of questions – uncomfortable ones. All the while she kept her professional composure and gave us the honest to God truth…..truth about our options and how things were going to go down depending on what happens. It was a tough day. As we progressed into the process we were introduced to Kevin who supported Leah’s strategy and provided more insight. Together they showed compassion and empathy for our situation. Right from the get go we knew Leah and Kevin’s professionalism and extensive knowledge in trial was going to benefit us. They knew people, best strategy and possible outlook. Things were looking much better. We decided our best option was to go to trial and it was a good decision. Watching Leah and Kevin in action picking out the jury, lining up the witness stand and re-strategizing after objections was an amazing experience. We won 12-0 in our favor. If you are ever in a situation that you need an attorney you need to call Leah and Kevin – you won’t regret it. “
Marian and James Thompson
“We have had the pleasure of working with Leah Berry with the Jolly Berry Law Firm this year. She has a thorough knowledge of the law and a deep understanding of our legal system. Above all, Leah’s exceptional communication skills are what set her apart from other attorneys we have known. She is very proactive and kept us informed every step of the way through our legal proceeding. Best of all, she won our case!
Leah has an amazing talent and personality for bringing calm to the most stressful situations. We highly recommend Leah Berry and her law firm if you are looking for the highest level of professional legal care.“
The Harris Family,
Mission Viejo, Ca.
“Leah Berry and Kevin Jolly are the ultimate advocates. Their experience, their attention to detail, their research, and their preparedness are second to none. They are not afraid to try cases and can connect with a jury to produce favorable results. More importantly, they care about their clients and their cause. They bring a passion to their litigation and advocacy skills that directly translate to favorable settlements and verdicts.“
Decision Analysis, Inc.
“‘I’ve got your back.’ Four of the best words you can hear when something goes terribly wrong. Those were the four words that Leah Berry said to me in our first meeting after my accident. It was an extremely traumatic experience for me and the plaintiff involved. I needed someone I could trust and would represent me, I needed the best. Leah was there for me every step of the way throughout the process, was extremely knowledgeable, knew exactly how to navigate the complicated matters in my case and provided the support and updates I needed. I highly recommend Jolly Berry Law they gave me piece of mind when I needed it the most.”
“We wanted to thank you for representing us in the lawsuit. Our case was settled out of court because of your time, dedication, and effort. We can now sleep and have piece of mind. You and your wife are always in my prayers to continue your good work.”
Efren and Ruth Topacio
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