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SLEEPING DUTY - Litigators are sounding the alarm about the danger of distracted juries during virtual trials, with some arguing that allowing jurors to appear remotely from the comfort of their own homes is an invitation to inattentiveness. And indeed, there have been some doozies recently, with reports of jurors and prospective jurors applying makeup, playing video games, folding laundry, eating, sleeping, vaping, walking around and even talking on the phone during proceedings. But are Zoom trials really the problem? Or are they simply providing a 1920px by 1080px window into the age-old struggles that come with plucking people out of their daily routines and asking them to remain alert and engaged for hours on end, motivated by little more than a sense of civic duty? As we explore in this week’s Law.com Litigation Trendspotter, it appears the jury’s still out—probably for a smoke break. I’m interested to hear what you think: Are jurors really any more prone to distraction and inattentiveness during remote trials? If so, is there anything judges and courts can do to better control their virtual courtrooms? Let me know at [email protected].

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