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June 30, 2020      5:24 PM

Courts in Texas confront new logistics during pandemic

The state Office of Court Administration bought 3,000 Zoom licenses for 3,220 judges; well over half are using Zoom to conduct business, logging 340,000 hours of Zoom hearings with about 525,000 participants

Judicial leaders in Texas have to determine what to keep and what to throw out from the new Zoom-based reality of COVID-19, with a potential deadline to August 1 looming as the date to return to jury trials in the state.

That August 1 deadline may be pushed back to September or even October, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht told the Supreme Court Advisory Committee just this past week. A handful of cases are being tried in person, with social distancing additions, but most judicial hearings in the state are now conducted by Zoom.

“All over the country, courts are trying to figure out, how do you try jury cases?” Hecht said.

“We’re still finding our way.”

By Kimberly Reeves

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