This week, a Texas court held what is believed to be the first jury trial on Zoom. However, legal minds are concerned after one of the jurors walked away to take a phone call.
The first ever Zoom jury selection for an insurance case in Collin County was going smoothly on Monday. Until one juror held up the process for several minutes when he walked away from his computer. The incident was streamed live on YouTube during the jury selection process for the Collin County District Court. That video has since been taken down from the YouTube page where it was originally posted. The incident appeared to be a relatively brief hiccup, but KTRH legal analyst Chris Tritico says situation highlights a bigger problem with videoconferencing.
“You have no control over whether they’re actually paying attention, whether or not they’re actually in their seat watching the trial. They could be reading the newspaper, doing any number of things, and that is a due process issue,” Tritico said.
In this case, the jurors heard a condensed version of the case and delivered a non-binding verdict. However, Tritico does not think Zoom will be practical for most jury trails.