Yesterday marks the entry of the 11th supplemental order from Chief Judge Garcia regarding Court operations in WDTX during the pandemic. The evolution of the Court’s orders regarding COVID can all be accessed HERE.
The 11th Order is substantially similar to last month’s order and essentially extends the status quo through January 31, 2021. As a general rule, all jury trials scheduled to begin through January 31, 2021 are continued. Bench trials may proceed if they can be conducted with appropriate safety precautions.
The Order also affirms divisional discretion to proceed with jury trials. If the judges in a specific division within the Western District determine that jury trials may be safely conducted, then the most senior district judge within the division may enter an order resuming jury trials based on the unique circumstances within that division.
Judge Albright has previously exercised this discretion and entered two Divisional Standing Orders (August Order and September Order) finding that jury trials could be safely conducted in the Waco Division. Since September he has held three jury trials. His fourth jury trial, and second patent jury trial, is currently scheduled for January 11, 2021.