STORY FROM: COVID-19 Litigation Report

Calif. Appellate Court Denies Petition Contesting Order Requiring Prospective Jurors to Wear Masks During Voir Dire

SAN FRANCISCO –– A California appellate court has refused to overturn a lower court ruling directing that voir dire in an asbestos upcoming trial be conducted with prospective jurors wearing masks.

In the July 8 petition filed with the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division 4, asbestos defendant Fryer-Knowles Inc. argued that, by definition, masks “disguise, conceal and obscure.”

“They hide the appearance, demeanor and reactions of prospective jurors, directly and undermining the sole purpose of voir dire,” the petition argued. “[T]o assess a prospective juror’s ability to be fair and impartial. Even in unprecedented times, the statutory ...

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