Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

EDTX & NDTX Monthly Wrap-Up – November 2020: Texas Trials Come to a Halt

December 29, 2020

EDTX & NDTX Monthly Wrap-Up – November 2020: Texas Trials Come to a Halt

December 29, 2020

Home » Resources » COVID-19

COVID in the Courtroom – Texas Trials Come to a Halt

Following a mistrial in a Sherman, Texas courthouse, all four Federal Districts in Texas ordered continuances of their upcoming in-person jury trials.

On November 17, Judge Mazzant granted a mistrial after several participants tested positive for COVID-19.[1]  The trial began on November 2, but by the sixth day, one of the jurors informed the court that they had tested positive.  In response, the court suspended the trial and requested all jurors to get tested by November 13.[2]  The trial was to resume on November 17 if everyone tested negative.[3]

By November 13, however, the number of positive cases had risen to seven.[4]  And by November 17, fifteen participants had tested positive.[5]  While five jurors remained healthy and willing to continue, the defendant was unwilling to proceed, and the court granted a mistrial.[6]

A few days later, Chief Judge Gilstrap continued all trials scheduled in his Eastern District courthouse through February 2021.[7]  The Northern,[8] Southern,[9] and Western[10] Districts issued similar orders in the days and weeks preceding.  Judge Gilstrap noted that his court conducted its first in-person jury trial in August without known incident, and additional trials took place in September, October, and November.[11]   Nonetheless, the court recognized the rising number of cases and thus continued its upcoming trials to later in 2021.[12]

[1] Resman, LLC v. Karya Prop. Mgmt., LLC, No. 4:19-CV-00402 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 17, 2020).

[2] Resman, LLC v. Karya Prop. Mgmt., LLC, No. 4:19-CV-00402 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 9, 2020).

[3] Id.

[4] Resman, LLC v. Karya Prop. Mgmt., LLC, No. 4:19-CV-00402 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 13, 2020).

[5] Resman, LLC v. Karya Prop. Mgmt., LLC, No. 4:19-CV-00402 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 17, 2020).

[6] Id.

[7] See, e.g., Infernal Tech., LLC v. Sony Interactive Entm’t LLC, No. 2:19-CV-00248-JRG (E.D. Tex. Nov. 20, 2020).

[8] http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/documents/SO13-18.pdf

[9] https://www.txs.uscourts.gov/sites/txs/files/Special%20Order%20M-2020-10%20Court%20Operations%20in%20McAllen%20During%20COVID-19.pdf; https://www.txs.uscourts.gov/sites/txs/files/Special%20Order%20H-2020-24%20Eighth%20Supplemental%20Court%20Operations%20in%20Houston%20and%20Galveston%20During%20COVID-19.pdf; https://www.txs.uscourts.gov/sites/txs/files/Special%20Order%20C-2020-23%20Court%20Operations%20in%20Corpus%20Christi%20During%20COVID-19.pdf

[10] https://www.txwd.uscourts.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/OLGOrderTenthSupplementalCOVID111820.pdf

[11] See Infernal Tech., No. 2:19-CV-00248-JRG (E.D. Tex. Nov. 20, 2020).

[12] Id.


The opinions expressed are those of the authors on the date noted above and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fish & Richardson P.C., any other of its lawyers, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This post is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed.

Related Tags

eastern-district-of-texas
northern-district-of-texas

Blog Authors

Headshot
Aaron Pirouznia | Associate

Aaron Pirouznia is an associate in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson P.C. Mr. Pirouznia’s practice includes all areas of commercial and intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis on complex patent...