In another report about the economy and jury duty, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports that more prospective jurors are begging off jury duty because they're hesitant to spend time away from their jobs or job searches. The longer the trial is expected to be, the greater the reluctance to serve. As a result, the time needed to select a jury is increasing significantly–sometimes doubling. That is driving up the cost of some trials by thousands of dollars. (The reference apparently was to civil cases but probably is true of criminal cases also.)
Plaintiffs’ attorney Michael D'Amico has encountered no resistance from defense counsel when it comes to automatically excusing potential jurors who are worried about finances. A distracted juror who is miffed about serving is a potential “ticking time bomb for either side,” he said. Another attorney, Ka thleen Nastri, said people's concerns about their financial well-being are “having a huge effect” on the jury selection process. “I never expected [the jury pool] to go from 35 potential jurors down to 10” in a matter of minutes based solely on financial worries, said Nastri. “Some days you're done by 2 o'clock because you run out” of potential jurors.