A client called last week and wanted help.  The client had filed a Petition for a Name Change due to sex reassignment medical procedures and asked me how to get the sex changed on the birth certificate in addition to the name change.  My response was haven’t got the foggiest idea, but I will sort it out.  The court date was two days away.  This person didn’t want the complications of living as one sex and having a birth certificate specify a different sex.  The client wanted my help to make things go smoothly.  I said yes I would help and did my research.  It turned out to be simpler than I thought.

In Nevada there is a code section which provides for the Department of Vital Statistics changing the sex on a birth certificate if a court orders it.  The DMV has a form to change the sex on your driver’s license you need is a letter from the appropriate doctor.  The State Department has a form so that the sex on your passport matches your sex, you need a supporting letter from the appropriate doctor.

Long story short, In the process of physically changing your sex you need to get your forms of identification changed also.

Jury Duty

I was recently called for jury duty and had mixed emotions.  As the judge said it is our civic duty to serve as jurors and he also recognized that it is an inconvenience.  Boy is it an inconvenience.

The first day I went down and sat in the big room waiting to be sent to a court room.  However, each person in the group I was assigned to was given a questionnaire to fill out and told to return the next week.  The group I was in was a pool of jurors intended to hear a murder trial.  The questionnaire was designed to elicit our feelings about various actors in the justice system, such as the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, etc.  It also asked about our experiences with drug users and our attitudes about them.  When we returned the next week, we were sent to the court room for Voir Dire, where the attorneys ask question of potential jurors to determine who they want on their jury.  This is a very interesting process.  Attorneys are interested in potential learning jurors’ experiences and attitudes about certain things that are involved in the case.  An attorney can educate potential jurors about a case just by what questions are asked and how they are asked.  I enjoyed watching the attorneys “educate” the potential jurors in their voir dire.  Ultimately I was not selected.  I was not told why and I didn’t ask.  There is a popular myth that certain professions, including lawyers, are exempt from juror duty.  While that may have been true at one point in time it is not longer true.  I was talking with court staff and learned that Judge Villani had served on a jury.

During the jury selection process we were repeatedly told not to do any independent investigation about the case.  We were given the name of the Defendant and could have googled it.  After being cut from the jury, I did do some investigation into the case, read newspaper accounts and the case file that is available to the public.  Based on that investigation I formed an opinions about the guilt of the Defendant.  I will follow the case in the news to see what the jury decided.

If you get the opportunity to serve on a jury do it.  My mother has done so several times and afterwards asked me all sorts of questions.