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Edwin Buffmire, James Carlos McFall and Miguel Ortiz From left, Edwin Buffmire, James Carlos McFall and Miguel Ortiz, of the Dallas office of Jackson Walker. (Courtesy photo)

Courts across the country are experimenting with hearings and bench trials by Zoom and WebEx to attempt to ensure the continued administration of justice during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, a Collin County district court held a one-day civil jury trial via Zoom. The trial is believed to be the first ever remote jury trial to take place on a videoconferencing platform. Requiring parties to conduct a jury trial remotely raises a number of practical and legal issues. Indeed, as Texas Lawyer reported, a survey by the Harris County judiciary found that 74% of attorneys were opposed to remote jury trials.

Lawyers and courts should be asking whether the convenience of the technology is outweighed by the deprivations accompanying this new form of remote justice. Here are some considerations:

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