Bar produces jury service documentary

As part of its continuing effort to educate the public about the legal system, the State Bar has produced a short documentary, Juries on Trial, which explores declining public faith in the jury system.

The program features discussions with legislators, judges, lawyers, jurors and ordinary members of the public. It includes findings from recent studies on public attitudes, a look at how juries work and an overview of recommendations to alter the system.

Juries on Trial also takes a humorous look at excuses potential jurors use to avoid service.

While a recent poll suggests that most citizens do not view jury service as a civic duty and many would simply avoid it, other studies show that four out of five jurors describe their service as a good experience and most end up believing that the system works.

The 26-minute documentary's host -- tenured CBS talent and producer Mike Hegedus -- solicits the views of random people in informal man-on-the-street interviews to explore the many concerns and competing issues which affect today's pool of potential jurors.

The program is currently being aired on PBS stations throughout the state. Nearly 50 PBS stations across the country also plan to televise the program, including stations in Alaska, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Rhode Island, Kentucky and Nebraska.

For more information about the film and airing schedules, contact Kim McCready at 415/561-8287.