A court in Texas is holding the first jury trial by Zoom
Published on: 2020-05-19 01:08:02 | Category: Softwares | By: admin
Zoom's first jury trial is being held by a Texas court. The news comes as the country's court systems face a choice between postponing trials before the pandemic ends or conducting distant proceedings. The case in Texas is an insurance dispute in the Collin County District, as reported by Reuters. On Monday morning Judge Emily Miskel streamed the jury selection process live via her YouTube channel.
Next, jurors will hear an abbreviated version of the dispute — a lawsuit against State Farm for not covering property damages that occurred during a 2017 storm — and deliver a non-binding verdict. "Officials say the abbreviated format and non-binding verdict make it suitable to remotely test the feasibility of conducting jury trials," Reuters reports. Since March national court systems have stopped in-person hearings to help avoid COVID-19 spreading. Trials that could not be delayed have started to push toward Zoom. However, the Texas case is considered to be the first jury trial to be held on the videoconference program.
The courthouse in San Francisco was one of the first to begin distant trials when the pandemic began. In late April, Judge Vince Chhabria, who started hearing civil cases on Zoom and live streaming proceedings to the public, told The Verge he hoped the process would add more accountability to the courtroom.
But Chhabria was also skeptical about switching jury trials to Zoom. "Having a feeling for the courtroom and the people in the courtroom, and what's interesting to them, is so much trying a case from the prospect of the lawyers," he told The Verge. "As a judge so much of presiding over a court has to do with emotion. I think it would be unfortunate if the new standard were to become too reliant on distant proceedings.'
There's the potential for technological issues, too. Miskel has trained prospective jurors about how to use Zoom about their computers during the jury selection process. "Could you turn your system on this way? "The juror told her to turn her iPad horizontally. The juror agreed, but then her image was seen sideways. Miskel then walked her patiently through how she could adjust her settings to fix the problem. "Oh come on Kathy, come on you should do this," murmured the juror. "Hey it's all right, we 're all new to this," answered Miskel.