HR Strange But True!
May 19, 2011

The dreaded two-word phrase—jury duty. We’ve all heard countless stories about attempts to avoid the civic duty. Many of them don’t work, or worse, land the prospective juror in legal trouble. (Don’t believe us, read Jury Duty Don’ts.) However, recently a woman got her wish and was dismissed from jury duty. Her excuse, she had tickets to see Oprah.

That’s right! What would normally seem like a hopeless plea to get out of jury duty, the “I have tickets to a talk show taping” excuse actually worked. Why? It was one of the final tapings of Oprah, and the woman considered it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Apparently the attorneys agreed, because they dismissed the woman.

Perhaps only Oprah, an influential and inspirational media figure, could be involved in such an incident. But don’t stop reading, it gets even stranger. Not one, but two people used the Oprah ticket excuse.

Another woman in Chicago also claimed that the jury duty process would prevent her from attending one of Oprah’s final shows. According to a local news source, the U.S. District Judge, who is presiding over the case, playfully asked the attorneys, “Who’s going to be the responsible for telling her she can’t go to Oprah?”

The women was allowed to attend the taping but was instructed to return to court the following day.

The similarities don’t stop there. Both cases are high profile, the retrial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich and the trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana for alleged connections with 2008 terrorist attack.


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