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How to Get Out of Jury Duty

The days when you could duck service simply by returning the summons with a lame excuse are long gone. So you’re gonna have to get more creative.


  • Step 1: Have a legitimate reason You may have a legitimate reason and not even know it. If you are over 70 years old, do not understand English, or are the sole caretaker of small children or elderly adults, you will usually be granted a request to be excused.
  • TIP: If you don’t have a good excuse not to serve at all, ask to serve in August or December. Both are big holiday months, and so you’re more likely to get out early.
  • Step 2: Forego showers and deodorant Neither lawyer is going to want to pick you for the jury if you smell like someone whose bodily secretions have been marinating in the heat for several days.
  • Step 3: Dress offensively Show up in your dirtiest, rattiest clothes so that your fellow potential jurors are loath to sit near you.
  • TIP: Wear a t-shirt that’s sure to offend, like 'Kill All The Lawyers.'
  • Step 4: Pick a side During the 'voir dire' process—when the lawyers interview you to see if you’re impartial—pick a side. If it’s a civil case involving damages, say you’re sick of people getting rich on accidents, noting eloquently that 'shit happens.'
  • Step 5: Invoke loved ones in red flag professions Mention loved ones that suggest you may be biased in this case. In general, defense attorneys don’t want people related to cops, and attorneys handling medical malpractice cases will excuse anyone connected to a doctor.
  • TIP: Whenever either attorney asks if you think you can remain fair and impartial, say no, and then offer an outrageous reason like, 'Everyone knows redheads can’t drive.'
  • Step 6: Show you’re a free thinker When asked if you could uphold a law that you don’t agree with, say, 'No way.' Add something menacing like, 'In fact, I am the law.' Howl maniacally.
  • FACT: Nationally, only about 46% of people summoned show up for jury duty.

You Will Need

  • Willingness to forego bathing
  • Some acting skills
  • Offensive clothes

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