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A Swing…and a Miss…in Connecticut Courts

The US District Court for the District of Connecticut was poised to hold its first pandemic jury trial later this month. However, yesterday Judge Vanessa Barrett postponed the trial because, according to the Hartford Courant, “the court could not find enough jurors willing to sit in court and hear the evidence.” This was “a setback for the federal district court in Connecticut, where the judges have worked for months with virologists, air circulation experts, information technology consultants and others to configure a courtroom that could keep participants in a jury trial safe.” Jury questionnaires were sent to 150 prospective jurors. Seventy-two did not respond at all—an unusually high percentage. More than 50 were then excused for health reasons. Ultimately, the pool included only 19 prospective jurors, which is not enough to seat a 12-person jury. The defense declined to waive peremptory challenges and also declined a bench trial.

All remaining 2020 federal trials in Connecticut’s courthouses have been delayed. All state court trials in Connecticut are also off calendar.

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© 2020 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 310
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About this Author

Michael S. Nadel Partner  Washington, DC Litigation & Dispute Resolution  Intellectual Property  Trust & Estate Controversy  Commercial Litigation  Patent Litigation  Trade Secrets Litigation  Trademark and False Advertising Litigation  Technology  Alcohol Industry  Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Intellectual Property  Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Litigation
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Michael S. Nadel is the co-head of the Firm’s litigation practice in Washington, D.C. He is an accomplished first-chair trial attorney. Michael has handled numerous jury trials, bench trials, and injunction proceedings in federal and state courts around the country. He has won high-profile cases involving breach of contract, trade secret theft, patent and trademark infringement, and the False Claims Act. Michael won the first jury verdict obtained by any litigant under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the recently enacted federal trade secret statute.

Michael’s practices focuses on...

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