Jury By Zoom: Texas – Juror Walks Off to Take Phone Call as State Tests First Jury Trial Via Zoom

Law.com reports

In what may be a first across the United States since the coronavirus pandemic canceled jury trials, Texas judges on Monday invited a jury pool to a court proceeding over video teleconference. Monday’s hearing in an insurance dispute was actually a “summary jury trial,” which is an alternative dispute resolution process.


In what may be a first for the nation, judges and lawyers in Texas picked a jury remotely over Zoom video conference, for a “summary jury trial” proceeding, which is an alternative dispute resolution process in which parties get a one-day jury trial, followed immediately by mediation to try to settle their dispute.














Fox News reports

The incident unfolded Monday during an insurance case that was being heard in Collin County. It was also live streamed on YouTube.

During the jury selection process, 470th District Judge Emily Miskel created three Zoom videoconferencing rooms – one where attorneys could question a group of prospective jurors, a second for those awaiting questioning and a third where Miskel could speak to the lawyers privately.

After conferring with the attorneys during a break, Miskel returned to one of the rooms only to find that a candidate had walked off-screen. He was heard talking on his phone.

When the juror was called to return, they got no answer as his computer audio was being transmitted through a pair of headphones he wasn’t wearing, according to Law.com.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-county-tests-zoom-trial