Calif. Jurors' Zoom Chat Not Grounds For Mistrial, Judge Says

By Daniel Siegal (August 19, 2020, 10:24 PM EDT) -- A California judge on Wednesday rejected an insulation company's bid for a mistrial in a fully remote jury trial over a retired Navy admiral's mesothelioma, ruling that a friendly discussion between the admiral and two jurors about how to put up a Zoom virtual background didn't unfairly influence the panel.

Jurors chatting with the plaintiff about Zoom backgrounds during a remote trial is not grounds for a mistrial, a California judge has ruled. In photo, Zoom advertising in New York in 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) In a five-page order, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman rejected defendant Metalclad Insulation LLC's second...

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