Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Fall 2021, Volume 27, Issue 3

Jury Trials in a Post-COVID World

By Matthew Clendenin

Matt Clendenin, is a trial lawyer at The Clendenin Firm APC. After working at several large law firms, Clendenin went to law school at Santa Clara University in the Bay Area. In law school, Clendenin won Santa Clara’s internal moot court competition and was awarded "Best Oral Advocate" of the competition. During law school, Clendenin also studied oral argument with barristers at the Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn of Court in London, England as well as a pupilage at Magdalen College, Oxford. Outside of the office, Clendenin’s passions include spending time with his wife and two daughters, playing darts, bicycling, board games, and good whisky.

The judge welcomes our newly empaneled jury into the courtroom: "You may all remove your masks… if you want to." Juror No. 9, wearing a mask with the words "VACCINATE" across his face does not move a muscle. Juror No. 3, rips off their mask as if the mask were choking her. What do you do with your mask at counsel table?

Trials certainly feel different these days. Is the jury pool any different? Will things return to normal? Will the court continue to have abysmal juror response rates? What about COVID-related gaps in treatment? Tele-health doctor appointments?

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