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.