Waco Jury Trials Set to Resume

On October 5, Judge Albright is set to preside over his first patent jury trial since taking the bench.  MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. is not only set to be Judge Albright’s first patent jury trial, but also the first jury trial in the Waco Division since the COVID-19 pandemic essentially halted all jury trials. The trial was supposed to occur in early summer but was continued multiple times due to the pandemic.

Judge Albright has exercised his discretion per the WDTX Seventh Supplemental Order (see previous post HERE) to resume jury trials in the Waco Division.  In his Divisional Standing Order he notes a “meaningful decline” in new reported COVID-19 cases in the Waco Division, and finds that this Division may safety conduct trials.    

Trial in the time of COVID will look a little different with additional precautions including:

  • Limiting the number of people in the courtroom;
  • Providing masks to jurors;
  • Providing hand sanitizer;
  • Installing plexiglass shields; and
  • Requiring face masks for all persons except:
    • a witness while testifying; and
    • an attorney while examining a witness or making a statement to the jury

The Order bars people who meet specific criteria from entering the Courthouse including persons who have recently traveled to certain areas with large COVID numbers, persons who have been diagnosed with COVID, persons who are self-quarantining per medical directive, persons exhibiting COVID symptoms, and persons who reside with or are in close contact with someone who fits in one of these categories.