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Content May Soon Run Out

What will we write about when all the courts have closed? We are rapidly on the way to finding out, especially in the federal system. Here’s a summary of recent federal district court orders on jury trials: Eastern District of Arkansas: Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled before January 15, 2021 are continued to a later date. District of Colorado: Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled before January 8, 2021 are continued to a later date. Northern District of Illinois: Civil and criminal jury trials suspended indefinitely. Central District of Illinois: Civil and criminal jury trials suspended and shall be reset for a date after January 25, 2021. Southern District of Illinois: Civil and criminal jury trials set through January 24, 2021 are cancelled and will be reset. Northern District of Indiana: All jury trials scheduled to begin before January 29, 2021, are continued and will be rescheduled by the presiding judge “unless the presiding judge, in their...

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Minnesota Resumes Federal Trials, but Are They Safe?

The US District Court for the District of Minnesota resumed federal trials this week, with a civil bench trial and a criminal jury trial. Mask and sterilization procedures were followed. The lawyers had headphones that they could use to speak with each other and to replace sidebars. The jury trial is a short, single-defendant trial, and the case is set to go to the jury today. The resumption of jury trials in the district is not without controversy, however. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: Not all experts agree it is safe enough, noting that barriers and masks can block larger droplets produced by coughing but are not as useful in stopping the spread of smaller particles that circulate from breathing and talking.   Dr. Lisa M. Brosseau, an industrial hygienist at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said there still should be no jury trials.   “People should not be spending a lot of time in a...

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 McDermott’s litigation team monitors US courts as they reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

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