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NEWS

Short Update: US states try different approaches while resuming jury trials in the courtroom

FT Admin - June 10, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Access to a lawyer

With a number of states in the US set to resume jury trials in the next few weeks, court administrators across the country have turned to math, measuring tapes and diagrams to figure out a number of things including how many people a jury box can safely hold, or how long it will take to transport a socially distanced jury pool by elevator. Plexiglass barriers for witness stands have also been installed and pondered texting as a means of client-lawyer communication. 

In Portland, a request to ask potential jurors to remove their masks while they are questioned, and for witnesses to be asked to remove them while on the stand was granted.  

Texas has decreed that judges need not seek consent before conducting remote proceedings, and while the state has not yet conducted a remote criminal jury trial, it has experimented with jury selection by Zoom in a civil dispute.  

The Arizona Supreme Court, anticipating that many calls to jury duty would be ignored, has reduced the number of potential jurors that can be struck by each side to two, from the usual six. 

Read the story here.

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