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THOSE CALLED FOR JURY DUTY TO BE HAILED

State court officials and representatives of the legal community today will begin offering a week-long collective "thank you" to the approximately 100,000 Erie County residents called to jury duty annually.

State Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dillon and David L. Edmunds Jr., president of the Erie County Bar Association, will greet jurors at 9:30 a.m. during a ceremony in the fourth-floor jury assembly room at the Erie County Hall Annex at 25 Delaware Ave.

Mehrl F. King, Erie County commissioner of jurors, said the week's activities will highlight recent initiatives to improve the jury experience, including an increase in jury fees to $40 a day, and improved facilities.

Also helping has been the elimination of occupational exemptions to jury service and the expansion of sources' lists to include registered voters, state taxpayers, licensed drivers, and recipients of both public assistance and state unemployment compensation and service, King said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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