Every year, during the second full week of May, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the Superior Courts in California team up to recognize the millions of Californians who answer the call and the serve on juries in our great state. California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) would like to also applaud these great Californians who take the time to serve their state.

This is not sometimes a perfect system, but it does work and it is truly a system of the people, by the people and for the people. As Chief Justice Ronald George has stated, "trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the fundamental democratic ideals of our nation. Serving as jurors reminds us that these ideals exist only as long as individual citizens are willing to uphold them."

Our jury system has come a long way. Some statistics compiled by the AOC show directly what an impressive system we have in California.

In 2007 statewide, millions of Californians participated in jury service:

* 10,584,616 people were summoned to jury service.

* 3,111,843 were eligible and available to serve.

* 2,417,679 completed service in one day.

* 178,566 jurors were selected and sworn in to sit on a jury.

And skipping jury service is not the answer, just ask Douglas Maupin in Texas who skipped jury duty and was jailed for 83 days. Our state rarely asks us to serve and when that summons comes in the mail, we should take the time to serve. While it is sometimes frustrating, it is painless and it is very important. Just be thankful we have a jury system.

Congratulations to everyone who has taken the time to serve on a jury.