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Plans for virtual trial in Bexar County hit temporary snag

Trial will be a first for Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO – Plans to conduct a virtual civil court trial hit a temporary snag while the judge waits for consent from lawyers on both sides.

The deadline for jurors in the case to respond to the summons was sent last month.

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The trial, set to begin next Wednesday, would be conducted totally remotely, from jury selection to testimony to verdict.

“We’re all dressed up and nowhere to go,” said 57th District Court Judge Antonia Arteaga. “Our jurors are ready.”

Arteaga, who will preside over the trial, said it’s now a matter of waiting for consent from lawyers on both sides.

“Things are always unpredictable,” she said. “Our number one case is no longer available, so we’ll go on whatever case we may or may not have available thereafter.”

A six-judge committee will now evaluate other possible cases.

“Our trial date is scheduled for the 19th, and we’re still looking to see if there are any others because, currently, we need to have both sides consent,” Arteaga said.

Arteaga said she is optimistic about the future of virtual trials, noting that they’ve been conducted successfully in at least two Texas counties.

“I think change is difficult for a lot of people, and once we get the first one out, I think it’ll be so much better,” Arteaga said.


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