Jurors curled up in bed, working out on an elliptical machine, getting up to check if the stove’s burner was on.

That was virtual voir dire for Edward Hugo and his firm colleagues who represent a defendant in an asbestos trial set to open Tuesday before Judge Brad Seligman of the Alameda County Superior Court in California. The seated jury, Hugo said, is “far from ideal.” On top of that, on the first day of voir dire, Hugo showed up at the courthouse but found himself in the hallway, with five prospective jurors who did not have Internet access, exchanging emails with the courtroom staff. “Eventually, the court allowed those jurors in, along with the court attendant, and the door closed,” he said, “and I’m out in the hall.”

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