STORY FROM: Drugs & Medical Devices

Calif. Appellate Court Refuses to Overturn Ruling Requiring Masks During Voir Dire

SAN FRANCISCO –– A California appellate court has denied a petition filed by an asbestos defendant that sought relief from a lower court ruling directing that voir dire in an 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 ...

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