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In context: Though Covid-19 is winding down in some areas (for now), it still poses a threat. As such, many corporations and governments have made changes to the way they operate to help mitigate its spread and reduce the risk of infection. Whether that's instituting work-from-home policies on the corporate side, or practicing social distancing during local government meet-ups and lawmaking sessions, everybody (for the most part) is doing their best to combat the virus.
For one Texas court, that meant embracing the concept of a one-day virtual jury trial. This was a clever idea due to the crowded nature of many courtrooms (particularly when a jury is involved).
When you're trying to slow an infectious virus down, the last thing you want to do is force a large group of people to sit together in a small space for an extended period of time.
The Collin County trial in question took place five hours ago, and it focused on an insurance dispute. Lawyers on both sides of the case presented their arguments using videoconference software Zoom. The jury selection portion of the trial was streamed live on Judge Emily Miskel's YouTube channel, and you can watch the recording above.
This was a "summary jury trial," which gives lawyers the chance to present their arguments and receive a "non-binding verdict." Tomorrow, both parties are expected to "attend mediation" to attempt to reach a settlement, Judge Miskel explains.
Everything seemed to go relatively smoothly, and this virtual trial's apparent success might pave the way for other courts to conduct similar experiments amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.