Training underway for defense attorneys as judicial system in Bexar County embraces new technology

Bexar County implements use of audio-visual equipment, project part of CARES Act federal funding

SAN ANTONIO – Defense attorneys in Bexar County are undergoing training with new technology as they prepare for the resumption of jury trials next month.

“This is just another layer that we’re adding to the technology,” State District Judge Velia Meza said as she began the first of four scheduled training sessions.

Meza was referring to the way most courtrooms have been conducting business remotely by using Zoom technology since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The training involves the use of $10,000 worth of audio-visual equipment purchased with funds provided by the federal CARES Act.

”I think that having controlled from your own device to your hand-held device, your computer, will actually speed things up”, Meza said.

The technology is already being used by the state.

”It’s going to put us more on par with how the state already presents their cases because they already use a lot of technology,” criminal defense attorney Staci Krause said.

It will require a relatively easy learning curve, Krause said.

Criminal defense attorney Jessica Gonzalez agreed.

“It will be a little bumpy at first, but I think once we get going and practicing and rolling with everything it’s going to be fantastic,” she said.

”It’s very expansive. It’s a very good system,” Meza said.

The technology will be used in all courts in time for next months resumption of jury trials that were halted last year due to the pandemic.

About the Authors

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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