August 19, 2020

First asbestos trials on Zoom marred by distracted jurors and technical problems

Jurors were working on other things, joking with plaintiffs and possibly even napping during the first asbestos trials held in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic, leading the defense to ask for a mistrial, according to a report in Legal Newsline.

Two ongoing trials in California’s Alameda County have defendants objecting to being forced to participate on Zoom, where they say jurors clearly have their attention split with other things as they are asked to weigh the complex issues presented in asbestos trials. Because the trial is not being recorded there is some dispute as to what went on when jurors and the plaintiff were left alone in the virtual meeting.

According to a member of the defense who stayed in the main trial chatroom, someone asked a juror if he was in a real courtroom. That juror had set up a courtroom as his Zoom virtual background, then scrolled through space and Golden Gate Bridge backgrounds as other jurors “were smiling and sounds of ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ could be heard,” the motion for mistrial says.

The defense has also asked that future proceedings be recorded so there can be no dispute over what happens during the rest of the trial, if it proceeds.

News WV Gov. Justice Signs Intermediate Court Bill Into Law News ILR and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Partner with Howard Law School for New Fellowship, Scholarships Other Issues News Judge Blocks Prop 65 Lawsuits Citing 'Unresolved Scientific Debate' Class Action Litigation News Asbestos Lawyer Who Was Prevented From Practicing In Iowa Is Now Trying To Practice In South Carolina News In The News Today-April 7, 2021 Third Party Litigation Funding (TPLF)
We Use Cookies to Make your Experience Better

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies and similar technologies to recognize your repeat visits and preferences, as well as to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and analyze traffic. To learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, view our Cookie Policy. By clicking "I Accept" or "X" on this banner, or using our site, you consent to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.