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Phone: 215-238-6300 •

March 16, 2001

Philly Bar Chancellor will Answer Summons on Monday (3/19)

Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Carl S. Primavera has been summoned.

And even though he’ll have to leave his computer terminal, surrender his cell phone and give up his day job for a while, the Chancellor is anxious to respond to the summons and appear as directed.

That’s because Primavera, a Philadelphia resident, has been called to jury duty on Monday, March 19 at 8:15 a.m in Room 101 of the Criminal Justice Center at 1301 Filbert Street. There, he will join his fellow citizens as part of that day’s jury pool for Common Pleas Court.

Primavera, who has been working hard to support efforts to convince citizens to answer the call to jury service, says "there really is nothing more important than this. I wouldn’t think of not serving." Currently, more than a third of those summoned to jury service in Philadelphia fail to show. Even though that’s better than a no-show rate that has been as high as 57%, the Chancellor thinks it can still be improved. "Most people can and should show up as directed. It doesn’t matter who they are or how important they may think they are. This is the highest duty a citizen can perform."

The Chancellor commended the local courts and the Jury Project of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) for their efforts "to stress the positive value of jury service and encourage more people to serve."

PMC's Jury Project seeks to make the jury system more "juror friendly" since studies show a direct correlation between serving as a juror and an elevated opinion of the justice system. PMC has entered into a partnership with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to:

  • Enhance jurors' understanding of the jury process;
  • Develop effective procedures to deal with people who do not appear;
  • Improve the morning orientation program;
  • Improve the standard jury summons;
  • Encourage businesses to pay wages of employees who serve as jurors.

Primavera and PMC also support legislation to increase the nominal fee jurors are paid. "But you don’t do this for the money," he adds. "You do it because it’s right. I’m not doing anything special. In fact, it’s an honor to join the many who have served. Hopefully, I’ll set a good example," he concluded.

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