Anyone recently had jury duty at the Moakley Courthouse?

All instructions say no electronic devices but I am interested to see people's experiences - no cell phones, no laptops? Thanks!

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Absolutely no cell phones!

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I worked over there in the early 2000s and would go there for lunch and the rule was - no cell phones or laptops. I went there as recently as 2013 for an evening event with my kids and they would not let me bring my phone in. They hold your phone and give you a tag/ticket so you can retrieve it later.

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Phew

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I'm really glad to hear they at least let you check the phone. Otherwise you'd have to leave it at home, or perhaps hide it in a bush...

(I've had to do the latter with my Swiss Army knife a few times when I forgot to leave it at home when visiting City Hall or whatnot.)

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No dress code

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You could wear a collared shirt and jeans, you’d fit right in.

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Dress for the occasion

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As a juror a person is dealing with the lives of others, whether in criminal or civil cases. In spite of the desire of certain individuals to turn this into another massive dictatorship we're still dealing with individual's lives as jurors.

Baggy pants, sweatpants, pants that make your butt look read to explode are not welcome. Folks wear jeans. They look like they're from the hills used to cows and sheep as their best friend.

Khakis and a button down or similar is fine. Suits are not necessary.

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Yawn

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Not everyone can afford such frippery.

Nice dogwhistles, too.

Professional grownups wear jeans (excuuuuuuuse me DUNGarees) all the time.

Get over yourself.

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I think the costliness excuse -- "More formal clothes

are frippery that only rich people can afford" -- has gotten pretty feeble with the advent of fast-casual retail (H&M, Primark, Uniqlo, etc.). Thrifting is another option I rely on for affordable tailored clothing. There aren't many excuses for any man not to own a few pieces suitable for dressing more formally when the occasion calls for it.

Nowadays in America, those fancier occasions seem limited to funerals, weddings, and interactions with government officials, especially in the legal system. I'd include jury duty on this list, though I've been on many panels where few of the men bothered to get beyond the sweatpants/t-shirt level. I know a lot of dudes who can't be bothered to elevate their dress sense for *any* occasion: life is a one-size-fits-all experience for them.

I like to remind my young male relatives that no clothing choice is neutral: you're sending messages about your values and your identity with what you wear every day. You may be trying to say, "I'm not the kind of shallow, superficial person who worries about clothing," but some people whose opinions might matter to you may read your choice as, "That person is too lazy or immature to care about the semiotics of their appearance."

I don't need you to dress up, but I would prefer that you at least understand the messages you're sending. The great men's clothing blog Put This On has a useful piece on this subject here, as well as good advice in general on dressing like a grownup.

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And How

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I was in Superior Court a few weeks ago, where I was meeting the other party's attorneys for the first time. I made sure to dress better than my own attorney. (Suit = $14 Salvation Army / Well coordinated tie = $1 from some other thrift I can't remember.) It made a difference. They treat you with much more respect than they would otherwise. Which can translate into tangible benefits.

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The Dude abides.

I love that movie, but it took me a long time to figure out that the Coens were doing a gloss on Raymond Chandler: the world-weary detective with a distinctive personal moral code, the twisty pursuit of a MacGuffin constantly thwarted by corrupt authority figures and assorted lower-tier criminals, the encounter with the delicious femme fatale, the routine beatings into unconsciousness.

It finally dawned on me: Jeff Bridges is Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe, but with weed, White Russians and an aloha shirt instead of tobacco, rye whiskey and a sharp suit and fedora. Genius.

I'm not a pure adherent of Dudeism, but The Rug gave me one touchstone for clothes: I'm always looking for that one detail that really ties the figurative room together.

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Frippery???

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"..semiotics of their appearance"?????? Clearly you would not think of dining without a tie. When you grow up and develop some self confidence you will understand that image is superficial and formal dressing for dinner is a bit anachronistic

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Who said anything about dressing for dinner?

I wrote with some regret about that ship sailing back in 2011, after Locke-Ober killed Boston's last restaurant jacket-required dress code for men: http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/2011/04/jackets-required-fine-dining-is-dyi...

I wear more sport coats than is typical for Bostonians, many of them the kind of vintage that won't ever get me mistaken for a banker, but I rarely wear a tie anymore, let alone to a restaurant. I just cited weddings, funerals, and government interactions as three of the remaining occasions where Americans recognize a need to elevate their dress sense a little, and even then only sometimes.

As I said: you may consider expending any care on your appearance to be superficial. I'm suggesting that doesn't always work in your best interests, that it's naive to think it never matters. Dressing with a little more seriousness and formality at certain times isn't frippery, in my book: it's a sign of maturity, respect for the occasion, and common sense.

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British country-gentleman sports: riding,

hunting, shooting, fishing, and boating, especially crew.

Sport coats were originally distinguished from fancier indoor clothes by features that made them more comfortable and practical for outdoor leisure sports: sturdier fabrics like tweed, belts and straps and big pockets for holding cartridges, etc., vents and box pleats for easier movement, a neck flap so you could turn up the lapels and button the jacket all the way up against cold or rain, leather patches at stress points like elbows and shoulders.

Most of those details and uses have fallen away from modern sport coats, but that's the etymology.

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James Bond in a brown tweed hacking

jacket, a sport coat traditionally worn when riding a horse for leisure on a country estate, and a signifier that he's the kind of dude that does that sort of thing. The picture is from an early scene in Goldfinger, after Bond has gone from a swank British country club to the Swiss mountains in this jacket: it usefully works for both.

Connery is still my favorite Bond, a ruthless assassin who wears fusty, old-fashioned clothes with grace and ease. (Note from personal experience: you can own a jacket in this general vein, but at best you will be mistaken for a doddering Harvard prof, never a glamorous, Walther-PPK-packing spy. A tweed sport coat can only do so much.)

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It is possible

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to look sloppy in business/dress attire and neat and put together in affordable casual clothes.

You see this a lot if you work somewhere with a vague dress code that values tick boxes (like no jeans ever! company t-shirts only!) over an overall professional image. Someone will get in trouble for wearing tailored dark wash jeans and a button up, or a dress and sandals, while someone in stained khakis that are two sizes too big and a pilled swag pullover tie-dye hoodie and Crocs gets the A-OK for following the dress code (no jeans, no sandals, logo shirt) even though they look like it's laundry day.

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Yep, modern business dress codes are confusing. I

work in one of those casual-everyday industries; lots of my colleagues wear company-logo swag on the regular.

My strategy has always been to wear the uniform (golf shirts, khakis, sneakers) long enough to establish myself as a valuable contributor, then gradually shift back to my slightly dressier look. It becomes a tolerated, amusing eccentricity that way, as opposed to a company-culture tone deafness from the get-go.

It's still enough of a meritocracy that I can get away with it. I imagine most of my colleagues don't grok that dressing that way helps make me a happier, more productive worker. It's not exactly putting on armor for battle, but the ritual of donning careful choices in clothes is as important a part of my gearing-up routine as the morning workout and good coffee.

In that light, I'll gladly settle for ""That guy dresses a little odd, but he gets the job done."

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Haven't had Federal jury duty

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Haven't had Federal jury duty, but their instructions seem explicit.

Electronic Equipment Restrictions
Please note that cellular phones, cameras, computers, recorders, etc., are not allowed in the Federal Courthouse.

http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/jurors/federal-information-more.htm#equipment

Definitely sounds more restrictive than state duty. I've had Superior Court the last two times I was called. There, you could have them in the pool room while you waited.

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The instructions are correct

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The Court's policy hasn't changed and it is what they enumerate at http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/general/electronic.htm. No cellphones or laptops unless you are an attorney, credentialed member of the media, or courthouse staff.

There is a small exception for visitors to the First Circuit Library who negotiate permission in advance with the library staff. See the General Information link at http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/circuit-library. I would not advise trying to use this as a juror.

The comment about after-hours events is odd, because the written policy explicitly permits the general public to bring in phones for after hours events after 6pm. Not sure what's up with that.

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Last time I was there, no one

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Last time I was there, no one was allowed electronic devices at all, other than lawyers who could show their Bar card. Even for people in the gallery.

However, this does not mean you need to be without Internet access: IP over Avian Carriers has got you covered.

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in March?

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That may sound good, but are they really going to keep the courthouse windows open for you? In March?

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The Jamaica Plain (aka West

The Jamaica Plain (aka West Roxbury) court house is the same way. Not sure about jurors. They will tell you to leave it at the convenience store down the street and they charge you to keep it. Just don't bring it.

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No cell phones is for the General Public, not Jurors

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The entire point is to stop people showing up in court and taking photos of witnesses. (That whole snitches get stitches thing). I believe all the examples given above were for "visitors" to the courthouse.

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When I did duty in Dorchester

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When I did duty in Dorchester, all juror had cell phones and some purses with then.

Tbh, I would always want my cell on me

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Well, I did bring them in last Nov 2017

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I was there a full day 8-3pm...had my laptop and used my cell phone as a mobile hot spot, it was totally fine and I was not spoken to while we waited. Is it a new policy for 2018????

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This thread is about federal court

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This thread is about the United States federal district court in the Seaport, the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse at One Courthouse Way.

The rules are very different for state court (e.g. Superior Court, Boston Municipal Court, Anytown District Court). The state courts generally allow cell phones.

When you say "I was there" did you mean federal court?

The no phones policies we are describing are not new, they have essentially been in place forever.

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The question was asked, the question was answered

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Most of us when we hear "I was there last year" take it at face value. We do not jump to "Are you sure you're not just too stupid to understand the question?" If you look at the links above they are for visitors, not jurors. No need to go all Rain Man on us.

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No.

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No.

If you actually read the links that John Hawkinson and I provided in comments upstream

- the "no devices" instruction I linked was in a section about jurors
- the "permitted persons" information John linked to said nothing about jurors

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