Judge Emily Miskel County of Collin, Texas (USA), on Monday held a procedure of forming the jury panel, which will be held using the Zoom. The court will hear a brief version of the case, discuss it and reach a verdict using only the remote communication. The verdict is optional, and the event is experimental.
To use the Zoom platform and its analogues for the work of judges in the United States began with the beginning of the epidemic in this country. The first was judge Vince Chhabria from San Francisco who have made significant progress in the consideration of civil claims in remote format. But he was against a virtual trial by jury, largely because of the complexity of organizing such a process.
The courts are knowingly carried out in special buildings and according to the established Protocol, it allows you to focus on the work and the details of the process. And when a trial selection of the jury through the Zoom was all messed up. After all, it is ordinary people who get in touch from his home. Someone forgot to charge the tablet, someone can not put a web camera at the right angle, a third had problems with the tie and the shirt, and many complained about the quality of the connection.
Most judges support Chhabria and postponed to the future cases that require dialogue and personal contact of the parties. On the other hand, the timing of the end of the epidemic may not be called one, and the pressure on the judicial system increases. Therefore, it was decided to conduct a pilot trial by jury in Texas – if they fail, the verdict will not include the matter will be postponed. The case itself is simple enough – a dispute over the amount of insurance that does not cover the damage from the storm in one of the farms in the state.