The last time I was summoned for jury duty it was mid-week in January, and I made a point of telling the lawyers during questioning that I would have to be home before sunset on Friday. They were not concerned (and I was picked for the jury, and they settled the case an hour later so it ended up not mattering). A friend was recently seated on a jury where the trial ran longer than anticipated and they convened court on Saturday. My understanding is that they were told, not asked, about this scheduling. This made me wonder how one ought to handle this as a juror. I would hope that the answer is not "always try to get out of jury duty" because this is an important civic obligation that we should take seriously if we can do it without violating halacha.
So my question is: how should a prospective juror handle a trial that might run into Shabbat? What kinds of accommodations might be available?
I was in a jury pool on a winter Friday and told the bailiff that I would need to leave early. The judge brought up the issue publicly and said that she would not want me to miss out on such an important privilege because of my religious requirements. She dismissed the entire pool at 3:00. Needless to say, I was highly popular that day.
If you get a letter telling you that you have been selected for Jury Duty during the winter season when Shabbos starts at 4:00pm is to write a letter to see if you could postpone it either June or July when Shabbos starts at 8:00pm.
If you get a letter from the mail a month earlier before you have to go to Jury Duty is to write a letter to the Judge or the court Secretary right away as soon you get the letter right away into telling them that if you could select me to go on Jury Duty From Mondays through Thursday and the best thing to do is to sent a written letter from the Rabbi a long with it into telling them that i cannot make it on a Friday because of the shabbos