NCSC to Host Webinar with Court Leaders Who Implemented Practices for Conducting Jury Trials During the Pandemic
Next Wednesday, October 28, beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT, the National Center for State Courts will host a free webinar called “Jury Trial Innovations During COVID-19.” Court leaders from across the country will describe their innovations and lessons learned from resuming jury trials safely during the pandemic. The panelists will be Chief Judge Robert Greenberg (Montgomery County, Maryland, Circuit Court), Chief Judge Mark Mahon (Florida 4th Judicial Circuit), Pete Hernandez (Manager–Office of the Jury Commissioner, Orange County, California, Superior Court), and Kyle Rimel (IT Director, Superior Court of Mohave County, Arizona). Among other things, participants will learn how the Orange County Superior Court has been able to conduct 100 in-person jury trials since court operations resumed in May. You can register here.
Jurors in Canada Participate in For-Cause Rulings
The Telegram news outlet in Newfoundland reports that the Canadian Supreme Court affirmed the convictions of suspected terrorists Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier after finding the trial judge’s failure to follow proper jury selection procedures was harmless error. The story is noteworthy because it educates us about a variety of voir dire practices that differ from American practices. For example, once two jurors are selected, they become ”triers,” having a say in whether or not other prospective jurors should become jurors before the Crown and defense lawyers make a final call. Each selected juror replaces one of the two triers. In addition, if a trial court decides to seat more than 12 jurors, those extras must be dismissed by the court in a blind random draw before deliberations begin.
First Federal Zoom Trial in Washington State Results in $1.35 Million Verdict
In the first remote jury trial in the Western District of Washington, the jury awarded 84-year-old Margaret Dallo $1.35 million in damages against the Holland America cruise line. The trial took place on ZoomGov with the Box.com platform for exhibits.