A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


COVID-19
CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The Court emphasized that these are just guidelines, not law, and may still be objected to. Here are some highlights:

Jury Selection

  • Various screening measures and a mask requirement
  • Potential jurors will be split into groups of 25, with no more than two groups in the courthouse at a time

Deliberations

  • Deliberations (and breaks) will be in the adjacent courtroom, with windows papered over and microphones disabled, rather than the usual jury room
  • No mask requirement in the adjacent courtroom if jurors are 6 feet apart
  • Jurors will get a computer with exhibits and a projector; one juror will operate

Courtroom Procedures

  • All individuals generally wear masks
  • Counsel "speaking from a socially-distanced location within the courtroom" may remove masks
  • Witnesses will remove masks when testifying
  • Counsel to avoid touching/passing out paper by exchanging exhibits electronically beforehand
  • Separate podiums and microphones for each side, with counsel responsible for cleaning
  • Shared document camera, cleaned by counsel after each use

Courtroom Setup Example

  • Expanded jury box
  • Plexiglass shields on podiums
  • A witness box on an elevated stand in the gallery, with plexiglass shield

Other Rules and Notes

  • Videoconferencing may be necessary, for some witnesses
  • Overflow rooms may be used; video not guaranteed (may only have audio)
  • Sidebars will involve either an "electronic transceiver" (headsets) between the judge and the attorneys, or a combination of e-mails and/or clearing the jury from the courtroom

So far, I haven't heard of any civil jury trials actually taking place.

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