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The area's top state judge and the president of the Erie County Bar Association will greet each person arriving for jury duty Monday morning at 25 Delaware Ave.

The welcome will kick off Jury Appreciation Week, an effort initiated in 1994 by Chief State Judge Judith S. Kaye to highlight the system's commitment to jury reform and improving the juror experience.

State Supreme Court Justice Sharon S. Townsend, administrative judge of all state courts in Western New York, and Bar Association President James M. Shaw will thank each of the 250 to 280 prospective jurors expected to arrive at the newly renamed Erie County Court Building.

Mehrl F. King, Erie County commissioner of jurors, said judges throughout the seven-county 8th Judicial District will be conduction similar welcomes.

Each day of the week, jurors waiting to be called for court duty will be able to hear health programs in the Jury Assembly Room conducted by Erie County Health Department staffers. Coffee and doughnuts will be served all five days.

Townsend and King said the effort launched by Kaye 10 years ago has so far led to reforms that have created a more juror-friendly environment and lessened the hardships of jury service.

Townsend said the next phase of jury reform is slated to include increased time between calls for service and the use of techniques to speed up the resolution of civil jury trials.

King said about 96,000 Erie County adults who are U.S. citizens are summoned annually for service in State Supreme Court, Erie County Court, the three local city courts, 25 town courts and 13 village courts. Another 4,000 are called for grand jury duty.

King said additional information on jury duty is available by calling his office at 845-2555 or online at or


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