Ex-Fla. Rep. Gets New Trial After Removal of Faith-Inspired Juror
On January 29, the Jur-E Bulletin reported the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would be convening en banc to determine whether the conviction of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown on 18 felony counts should be vacated because the trial judge replaced a deliberating juror who said the “Holy Spirit” had told him Brown was innocent. Last week, the en banc panel vacated the verdicts and ordered a new trial because the trial court had improperly removed that juror. The lengthy opinion in United States v. Brown gathers together jurisprudence on standards for dismissing deliberating jurors and provides an interesting parsing of how the influence of religious beliefs can square with a jury charge to follow only the law and the evidence presented in the courtroom.
Federal Judge Orders Disclosure of Vaccine Status of Courtroom Actors
In Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healey, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodcock ordered the trial attorneys and other trial participants to confidentially inform him of their vaccine status during the bench trial scheduled to begin in June. Law 360 quoted the judge to say, “HIPAA regulations are fairly demanding, obviously, and while a court order trumps HIPAA, I don't want to do that lightly. But I do think back to my responsibility of making sure everybody is safe." But see Considerations about Collecting Information on COVID-19 Vaccine Status from Prospective Jurors, recently released by the CCJ/COSCA Rapid Response Team.
Broadband Access Expanding in Ohio – Will More Citizens Now Participate in Virtual or Hybrid Jury Trials?
Cleveland.com reports House Bill 2 cleared the state legislature and is awaiting approval by Governor Mike DeWine. It aims to help parts of the state where it’s currently cost-prohibitive for telecommunications companies to extend high-speed (or, in many cases, any) internet service. The bill would mostly help rural areas, proponents say, though they add that the grants would help Ohioans in every legislative district in the state. If signed by DeWine, HB2 would provide $20 million this fiscal year for broadband grants.
Veteran Litigators in Favor of Virtual Civil Trials
A trio of trial lawyers at Dechert LLP have published an examination of how courts and parties have successfully transitioned to holding virtual civil jury trials in product liability cases, The authors highlight some of the positive attributes of virtual proceedings and identify factors for successfully trying cases with virtual components.
Voice of America Unpacks Derek Chauvin Jury Trial for World Populations
The world watched the trial. Now VOA does a postmortem assessment for audiences around the globe.
"The Online Courtroom Now and Post-Pandemic: Skills and Tools for Remote Advocacy"
In a previous issue of the Jur-E Bulletin, we alerted readers to a 90-minute webinar in which judges from Florida, New Jersey, and Washington State described their remote court procedures and the keys to successful preparation and presentations for online hearings, bench, and jury trials. They discussed the efficiencies, challenges, and opportunities for remote court proceedings that are likely to continue even after the pandemic. A replay of the webinar is now available in a two-step login process beginning here.