Due to the nature of jury service and the court process itself, there are often periods of waiting. Sometimes, for example, the parties to a trial will continue to negotiate and settle the matter after a jury panel has been assembled; or the judge may be hearing arguments on last minute points of law.
Occasionally, the lawyers may talk with the judge out of the hearing of the jury, or the judge may excuse the jury from the courtroom so that a point of law or an objection may be argued.
Often, the reason for the delays may not be explained to you. Please remember that this time is spent discussing and simplifying issues. Sometimes a case even reaches settlement during such conferences. While this may seem to be a waste of time, obviously a case that doesn't have to be tried saves time and tax dollars.
As jurors, you are, by your presence and readiness to sit in trial of a case, actively serving our system of justice. Sometimes cases are settled "on the courthouse steps" or during the course of the trial because the parties and their lawyers may feel jurors might decide their dispute in a manner less favorable to them.