Collin County Court Holds First Trial Over Zoom

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By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

MCKINNEY (1080 KRLD) - An experiment is underway in Collin County as a virtual trial is being held. It's a civil court case over storm damages, but the matter is being held on Zoom.

It may be the first trial in the nation ever done by Zoom.

It's not a criminal case, it's not even a trial. It's called a summary trial.

The trial is being held on the conferencing website Zoom. Jurors are in their homes, judges and attorneys are also remote. Public viewers can watch as well on YouTube.

"How exciting is this that we all get to experience this together we know in Texas, but maybe even the country," says Attorney Amy Stewart.

This has all the procedures of a trial, right down to questioning jurors. As the trial continues, there will be witnesses and jurors can see their faces on Zoom, but not their body language as they testify. 

Consider it a test run. In a summary trial, attorneys get an idea how their case will play out. A summery trial is non-binding.

It's also a test run for the Texas and US court system, seeing how jurors can operate on a laptop in their own homes.

Some lawyers say this could be a way to see if civil matters can be successfully tried without using a courtroom.

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