The Future of Courtrooms May Be Virtual as King County Superior Court Shifts to Virtual Trials

While the pandemic may have contributed to a major slowdown in the amount of court cases being handled around the nation, King County Superior Court stepped up and found a way to make them happen virtually. According to Presiding Judge Jim Rogers, King County Court “has done more virtual trials than any other court system in the country.” He backed this up with an example from September 2020 when the court completed 70 virtual trials, significantly higher than the one virtual trial done in the entire state of New York that month.

Jury selection, or voir dire, has been one of the most significant changes in the virtual process as jurors are selected over video call or by phone. Judge Rogers pointed out a positive note on this, saying that juries have become more diverse through the virtual process because of the accessibility is now easier compared to having to travel to the King County Superior Courthouse downtown.

Criminal trials have been much more difficult to handle virtually with only eight being done over Zoom out of thousands. With these type of trials, all parties must agree to do them virtually since defendants have the right to face their accusers in court. There is still the option to meet in-person with COVID-19 precautions in place, though the process remains slow.

Courts have discussed the possibility of keeping some of the virtual aspects of court in place post-pandemic. We are glad to see King County Superior Court taking action both in-person and virtually to keep trials going, both of which our attorneys have taken part in to get the best results for our clients.

Contact Your Local Office