THE thought of spending the day listening to lawyers argue, or absorbing graphic criminal evidence is too much for some potential jurors. When a jury is to be sworn in for a long trial, members of the panel are allowed to address the judge if they feel they have a good reason for being excused. Frequently, the reasons put forward relate to commitments at work or to holidays, but these are rarely considered enough to be excused jury service. A woman juror in a trial arising from disgraced former government lawyer Warwick Reid's escape from Hong Kong argued that she should be excused to attend her best friend's wedding. She told the judge it was a 'once in a lifetime wedding'. Deputy Judge Jones rejected her plea. The rate of pay for serving as a juror is $240 a day. The allowance may be doubled, at the discretion of the Chief Justice or the trial judge, if special circumstances exist, such as a particularly long and complex fraud trial. One of the simplest ways to avoid jury service is to land a job which falls into one of the exemptions set out in Section 5 of the Jury Ordinance. Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils are excluded, along with Urban and Regional Council members. Becoming a full-time nun or monk would ensure you will not be pressed into service. Clergymen, priests, and ministers of Christian or Jewish congregations are also exempt. Others excluded are registered medical practitioners, veterinary surgeons, chemists, pilots and daily newspaper editors. You might expect the best-qualified jurors to be members of the legal profession. But solicitors, barristers, magistrates, judges, court officials, tribunal members, Legal Department officers and Legal Aid officials are all exempt. The wife of the Chief Justice and any High Court or Appeal Court judge also escapes. Police officers and members of the armed forces are not required to sit on juries. Neither are members of the Immigration Service, Correctional Service Officers, Independent Commission Against Corruption officers, or members of the fire services.