Massachusetts uses the One Day/One Trial jury system where a trial juror serves for one day or for the duration of one trial, unless the court orders otherwise. About 95 percent of jurors serve three days or less; 80 percent serve for just one day. A resident of a county, or an inhabitant of a county for more than 50% of the time, whether or not a registered voter in that state, shall be qualified to serve as a trial juror in that county. Students who live out of state and study here must serve. Jury duty is mandatory for everyone in Massachusetts (including medical students and physicians) so a letter from TUSM cannot exempt you from service.
If necessary, you may postpone your jury duty to any week day (excluding holidays), a school break or vacation, for example, as long as it is not more than one year from your originally scheduled date. You do not have to provide a reason to postpone your jury duty. You may postpone jury duty only once. If you decide to postpone, consider selecting a Friday as your reporting date as often the trials that start then are shorter. You are urged to complete your jury duty during your preclinical years as it is generally easier and less stressful for students.
Students are excused from classes/clerkships to report for jury duty (depending on what is scheduled that day, a make-up assignment or of the missed time might be required). Before you report for service, we recommend that you request a letter from the OSA to bring with you to the courthouse. This letter will confirm that you are enrolled as a medical student and indicate that due to the nature of the curriculum it would be preferable if you were not assigned to a long trial. You may not need to present the letter and will just serve a day or two. However, we have had students who were initially assigned to trials of a week or longer and when they explained their student status (and had the letter as backup), they were excused from that trial. It is also possible it won’t make a difference but you may want to bring a letter, just in case.
To request this letter, fill out the “Request form for various documents.” If you have additional questions or would like input on a postponement date, please contact either Deans Duffey or Kerle.
If you have additional questions or would like input on a postponement date, please contact either Deans Duffey or Kerle.