Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Fountain Pen Prep For Jury Duty?



Recommended Posts

I received a summons to jury duty today - the first time since 1994, when I was in college and wrote with a strict diet of uni-ball Vision Elite, felt-tip, and the occasional Varsity disposable pens.

 

Nowadays, I prefer fountain pens, though I'll usually pack a Retro 51 roller in black for good measure. But I've mainly worked from home this century, both as a freelancer and as a remote worker. So I never really have to worry about things like running out of ink in a pen in the middle of a day, since all my pens and ink are always close at hand. And I also don't write copiously during a normal day, whereas my main recollection of my prior jury duty was filling two legal pads with notes over the course of a two-day trial. So, I'm likely to do a month's worth of writing every day for as long as I'm on duty, and I'll be stuck at a courthouse far from home. Any tips for how best to prep? Bring extra pens? Dig into that box of cartridges I've never used? Etc.?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • LizEF

    6

  • amberleadavis

    4

  • praxim

    3

  • arrScott

    2

Interesting question. From a purely practical standpoint, a pen with a large ink capacity, or multiple pens, so you don't have to refill during the trial, seems wise. I suppose cartridges would also be good, though the Jury box probably doesn't have a trash can. ;) A nice new Pineider Pen Filler might be just the ticket if you don't want to use cartridges. Finer nibs and good paper that doesn't suck up as much ink might help the ink last longer - and make the writing experience more pleasant.

 

A hard, spiral-bound notebook (or multiple) might make it easier to take notes. Barring that, a large clipboard would be nice (I have a big 16x16 artist's clipboard I sometimes use for taking notes where I won't have a desk).

 

A convenient way to get at your pens is good - don't want to have to dig through a bag / pack to find them. :)

 

On a less practical note, I might want to use graph paper so I could diagram and/or draw - something like a landscape-oriented Mnemosyne notebook. I might also want different colors of inks - I'd probably have to spend some time beforehand sorting out what I wanted different colors to represent.

 

Other than that (and sounding slightly contradictory), it seems like simple is best - the less you have to worry about, the better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
amberleadavis

Much to my disgust in most jurisdictions once you are in the jury box, you won't be allowed to write notes. So, the pens are for all the waiting time until you are in the box. My advice, take lots of pens that are not expensive (you don't want to be the one on trial if someone takes your pen), and take lots of ink colors and a water brush. Then take good paper with a stiff back so that when you don't have a desk you can still write / draw. Then take a list of names for letters and list of doodle prompts.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

Link to post
Share on other sites

Much to my disgust in most jurisdictions once you are in the jury box, you won't be allowed to write notes.

 

(NOTE: I know you have no say in this, didn't choose it, etc., and this rant isn't directed at you, just a comment on the rule.) IMO, unless this is accompanied by testing each juror to see how good their auditory learning is, it's a stupid holdover from long ago when writing was far less common and people were forced to be better at remembering what they hear.

 

Auditory learning is my weakest learning method. Visual is strongest. I cannot remember what I hear for very long at all, but if I take notes, they can help me recall things in detail. Given what has been revealed about typed notes, I can understand banning those - as the typists won't be processing what they're hearing. But written notes are another story.

 

The cynic in me says this rule is kept so that the most impressive orator will win, regardless of the facts presented.

 

Question: The lawyers on both sides (and assistants, if any) are allowed to take notes, correct? Also, assuming an audience is allowed in the courtroom, they're allowed to have writing materials and take notes, aren't they?

 

(This question made me think that next year, when I no longer have a job, I might go and sit in on some trials, just for the experience, but if I can't take notes, it probably won't be a very good learning experience for me.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
amberleadavis

Everybody but the jury can take notes and even doodle. We know that when jurors take notes they are more likely to stay awake. :)

 

https://courts.uslegal.com/jury-system/issues-pertaining-to-the-jurys-performance-of-its-duties/notetaking-by-jurors/

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about all jurisdictions, but spectators have not been allowed to write anything; only reporters are allowed to take notes. I always had to show a press pass as soon as I began writing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody but the jury can take notes and even doodle. We know that when jurors take notes they are more likely to stay awake. :)

 

https://courts.uslegal.com/jury-system/issues-pertaining-to-the-jurys-performance-of-its-duties/notetaking-by-jurors/

 

Thanks! And I totally agree about the "stay awake" bit - just listening to people drone on for hours has to get pretty boring, especially when a lot of them probably don't want to be there. (I'm assuming, of course, that normal court isn't nearly so interesting as TV courtroom dramas make it out to be. ;) )

 

I don't know about all jurisdictions, but spectators have not been allowed to write anything; only reporters are allowed to take notes. I always had to show a press pass as soon as I began writing.

 

Fascinating, and weird. As long as a person is quiet, what is there to be afraid of? And if not afraid, what reason is there to care? Thanks for the info. Guess if I decide to try this, I'll just have to go ask. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

OK, I'm sorry, but from that article....

 

Many judges oppose juror notetaking because in their view jurors cannot make the distinction between important and trivial evidence. As a result, the more vital evidence may not be recorded and the less important may be, making it impossible for a jury to reach a rational verdict.

 

If they cannot make a distinction between important and trivial:

 

a) Why in the world are we trusting them with someone's freedom, life, and / or money?

 

B) What makes them think the notetaking will make this worse than the listening? After all, what's retained in auditory memory may be the "less important" while the "more vital evidence" - which they couldn't distinguish - gets forgotten two minutes after they hear it.

 

:rolleyes:

 

I thought lawyers were supposed to be good with logic. (Or are judges like management? Every promotion removes 1/4 of the brain.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can not distinguish A from B then it matters now whether you listen, write it down, or make a cubist artwork of it. If the idea of trial before twelve of your peers is valid, then let them work as best suits them.

 

edit:typo

Edited by praxim

X

Link to post
Share on other sites
amberleadavis

I don't know about all jurisdictions, but spectators have not been allowed to write anything; only reporters are allowed to take notes. I always had to show a press pass as soon as I began writing.

 

 

I can only speak to to Nevada.

 

I am totally FOR letting jurors write as much as they want.

 

Nevertheless, the OP asked about what pens to take so I'm sorry for derailing the conversation.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting question indeed. I've been called for jury duty three times that I recall, but never ended up on an actual jury. The last time was, I think, two years ago, but I only got as far as being in the group of prospective jurors for a civil trial. I wasn't picked. I was actually in the building for a few hours, most of it in a waiting room. I didn't bring any fountain pens in with me, because I didn't expect to be doing any writing, and didn't know how the security might treat unfamiliar objects As I recall, I did end up filling out one questionnaire with the felt tip pen that I brought, and I had a mechanical pencil and a small book of crossword puzzles.

 

If I were put on a jury, and had the option to keep notes, I would seriously consider a mechanical pencil, so as not to have to think of capping and uncapping, or remembering to click my Capless Decimo closed when not writing. I'd probably have a fountain for writing whatever I wanted during my own time if they put us up somewhere. But I've found that for keeping notes where the need to write something down is unpredictable, a pencil is a good choice. A slightly softer than normal, dark smooth lead.

 

It would be a bit annoying if we didn't have the option to keep notes. Although I'm not the sort to try writing everything down, it helps to have reminders of key points.

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."

 

- Benjamin Franklin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looked up the status of Juror notes here in Florida. The following was copied from a Florida lawyers website in answer to questions asked:

 

Jurors are allowed to take notes when they are in court. The court will provide a series of pens and paper with pads so that the jurors can take notes. There are some very specific instructions about how to take notes in a criminal case. The judge will tell the jury, “If you would like to take notes during the trial, you may do so. On the other hand, you are not required to take notes if you do not want to.” The judge goes on to state, “You will be provided with a notepad and a pen for use if you wish to take notes”, and then the judge will state very clearly that any notes you take will be for your personal use. You should not take them with you from the courtroom. During the recesses, the bailiff will take possession of your notes and will return them to you when you reconvene. After you have completed your deliberations, the bailiff will return your notes to the judge.

The instruction goes on to say that at the conclusion of the trial, all juror notes will be destroyed. The judge will also give a caution that if you take notes, do not get so involved in note-taking that you become distracted from the proceeding. Your notes should be used only as aid for your memory. The judge will instruct that “You should rely on your memory of the evidence and you should not be unduly influenced by the notes of other jurors”. When jurors begin to deliberate, they start comparing notes, and sometimes there is a difference in notes. The notes can be used to jog the memory, but should not be used as a form of evidence. The final line in that jury instruction says, “Notes are not entitled to any greater weight than each juror’s memory of the evidence”. So, it is very important that while you take notes, you use them to jog memory and not as a verbatim reflection of testimony.

It appears you cannot use your favorite pen.. the court will furnish pens and paper in pads... and your notes will be collected during recess, and at the end of the trial.

So much for using your favorite fountain pens and a variety of colors of ink.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue ink is preferred for legal documents since it makes it easier to see an original vs a copy if anything is taken for record.

 

I'd go as fine and as permanent blue as possible. Noodlers liberty's elysium and the finest, quickest writer I have with a slip cap. Probably a wing sung 601.

 

I don't know if the court will allow you to use your own pen, but they will provide the pad for notes. I haven't been in court more than a dozen or so times, and never as a juror (no idea how I've gone so many years without jury duty) but my personal pen was never a problem

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

Link to post
Share on other sites
TennesseeTrash

My experience in Tennessee matches what was posted from Florida above. Im in a rural circuit, but many jurors use their own pens despite pens being provided by the court.

 

Federal court may be much more strict.

 

The judges are usually very kind to jurors, so asking about using your own pen will not offend them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was fortunate enough (I loved it) to be asked to serve on a jury here in the UK. We were told to only use the pencils and pads supplied and were not allowed to take them away. We were told they would be destroyed at the end of the trial.

 

Id have loved to take in loads of pens 🖊 and made sketches of my own.

 

Best of luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One and only call for jury duty was a few decades ago. We were not permitted to take notes. On the other hand, we went home after daily proceedings with the only stricture being on communication. It was a criminal trial.

 

A note which amused me then and now: Channelling my best sociopathic tendencies, I decided this jury would need some organisation, so at our first gathering I nicked a seat at one head of the table then was the first to observe that we were obliged to select a foreman. Remarkably enough, they voted for me.

 

edit:typo

Edited by praxim

X

Link to post
Share on other sites
inkstainedruth

I"ve only been called up once for jury duty, for a civil case (I got booted because it was a dog bite case and my brother got bitten by a dog when he was in middle school or high school riding somewhere on his bike). Spent most of the day playing musical chairs -- literally, because they kept moving the jury pool from one section of the courtroom to another. This was in my pre-FP days. But at least nobody objected to me knitting. I'm one of those people who gets all fidgety if I can't do something with my hands while having to listen to something -- write, draw, knit, etc. And yes, I CAN multitask in those instances....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Link to post
Share on other sites

My one time on a jury was exactly the same as Tas. Court issued pads and pencils, not to leave the premises - collected at the end of the day, given out in the morning. It was only a short trial, but still we disputed over facts and had to refer to our notes. It was twenty-five years ago in Los Angeles, though - things may have changed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that, contrary to what many of us think, fountain pens are indeed writing implements, but leisure writing implements nonetheless, to be used at your discretion, while sitting at your desk.

 

I have no idea what a court box is like - we use civil law here, and jurors are nothing but an alien idea around here - but if it is anything as shown in movie, then I'd bring a bic matic #2 with me.

 

Also, out of pure question from a law student: how much exactly can jurors influence a judge's decision again? And do they participate in all trials, or are exempt from penal trials?

Link to post
Share on other sites
BaronWulfraed

For the US, a trial without a jury is probably on the rare side. Especially criminal proceedings. Civil cases, OTOH, may be before a judge only -- but typically that requires both parties to agree to forego the jury before the trial even begins.

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/sixth_amendment

 

Only Supreme Court does not have a jury -- as it is ruling on the validity of the laws themselves, not the person charged under said laws. If it finds that a law is flawed, it may order a retrial by lower courts to be done.

 

Judges control the activity in the courtroom, and may in rare cases reject the jury findings -- but will likely have to justify that action.. They have discretion in regards to the penalty (though some statutes specify fixed penalties -- things like "found guilty in a crime in which a firearm was used -- five years fixed for the gun on top of whatever the crime itself is given")

 

As for "influence"... Read up on "jury nullification" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37634
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30400
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25570
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • halffriedchicken
      Not sure if this has been suggested already but would a setting for localized regions or chapters in FPN be helpful? I don't know if there is a way to find local FPN members who would be nearby. I don't know if we want to be discoverable but a setting to know how many members are in 25, 50, or a 100 miles of each other might be helpful. We can create a regions specific network like Craigslist where people could use that to connect with nearby members, conduct in person sales, arrange FPN meetups
    • Daneaxe
      Hi again all, I forgot to tell y'all that I made the post about Sweden ink PIF. Most have probably found it long ago, but here's a link, anyway:      
    • Ayami_109
      I read your blog post and all the replies with much interest. I'm a FP user in Australia. Been part of this forum for years but rarely post. I did come across your ink sharing thread and considered participation. For me it's not lack of interest but lack of time to play around with FP and inks. I'd feel bad to put my hand up for the box and just have it sit until gosh knows when...   I also think that the FP community in Australia is smaller, and I wonder how many in the community are
    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
    • LizEF
      If one wanted to do this, one could just use the "About Me" field which appears to be unlimited in size.  And if a bunch of people wanted to cooperate, the Member Title field (or signature) could be used to this end - "Ink Giver" (or some such) could be used by those with inks to give...  No software edits required.
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 6 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 6 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 6 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 6 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 6 months
  • Random Adverts

    • By JNeffLind
      51 years and 6 months
    • By jiamu166
      51 years and 6 months
    • By chumpowie
      51 years and 6 months
    • By geodesigner
      51 years and 6 months
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. ajk13a
      ajk13a
      (77 years old)
    2. Anachronist
      Anachronist
      (35 years old)
    3. Bisquitlips
      Bisquitlips
    4. BonZa
      BonZa
      (67 years old)
    5. Boxsterist
      Boxsterist
      (87 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...