Texas Tries A Pandemic First: A Jury Trial By Zoom

 Tuesday, May 19, 2020

 Reuters

With jury trials on hold throughout the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, court officials in Texas are trying something new: let jurors hear a case through Zoom.

Lawyers in an insurance dispute in Collin County District Court on Monday picked a jury to hear the case by videoconference, in what officials believe is the first virtual jury trial to be held nationally amid the COVID-19 crisis.

More than two dozen potential jurors logged in by smartphone, laptop and tablet for jury selection, which was streamed live on YouTube here with a judge occasionally providing tech advice on how to best use their devices.

The one-day trial is a so-called summary jury trial, in which jurors hear a condensed version of a case and deliver a non-binding verdict.

The parties, having seen how their case could fare before a jury in a full-blown trial, will sit down for mediation and try to negotiate a settlement on Tuesday.
Litigation
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