First fully virtual trial in the State to take place in Duval County

First fully virtual trial in the State to take place in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For the first time ever, and the first time in the state, Duval County will hold a fully virtual trial.

Brian Corrigan, the Duval County Clerk of Courts, said mock trials have been held for weeks.

“Everything from jury selection all the way through deliberations to the final verdict will all be done remotely,” Corrigan said.

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The judge presiding over the case will be on the bench and appear virtually.

Any jurors who do not have the technology to participate can go to one of five libraries and join in, in a private space.

The case being tried is an employee of a business alleging another employee caused harm.

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said a virtual trial could present some issues.

“In a real trial, the jurors get to sense whether the witnesses are telling the truth. Sensing things remotely, virtually is not really what humans are designed to do.” Carson said,

Another concern is appeals. Corrigan said special documentation has been drawn up where both parties agree, no appeals on virtual grounds.

“They are agreeing to appear remotely, and give up the right to appeal based on that issue.”

Anyone will be able to watch the trial online. Virtual jury selection will begin Thursday.