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Apr. 1, 2024

Jury service can be traumatic

Jurors may be exposed to disturbing testimony or evidence that can cause secondary trauma. Some courts offer counseling services to help them cope.

Laura W. Halgren

Judge (ret.),

UCLA School of Law


When the jury summons arrives, some people are excited but many express dismay. Often, they are concerned about the time away from work or home, or the burden of traveling to the courthouse. Few consider that serving on a jury could lead to trauma.

Secondary trauma has become a frequent topic of concern for judges and lawyers. It may occur when hearing from a witness or victim testifying about their personal traumatic experience or viewing...

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