Hi, I’m in school to be a paralegal, and right now we are covering UPL which got me thinking about jury duty. Can a paralegal still be called to jury duty, and if so, are there any risks to violating UPL guidelines? What would some examples be? I have never done jury duty before, so I don’t really know what all in entails. Thank you.
Yeh, well, if you tell the other jurors and the Judge and the attorneys in the courtroom than you’re an attorney, that would be a problem. If you contradict the jury instructions because you “know better,” 1) you’re probably wrong; 2) you should send a written question to the judge about the “incorrect” instruction before opening your mouth; 3) it’s the judge’s and attorneys’ responsibility to provide correct jury instructions, not yours; and 4) you might cause a mistrial, be held in contempt of court, and fined or jailed. Is this a limitation on your freedom of speech? You betcha.