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Instead of filing into courtrooms, judges, attorneys, and litigants in some civil and criminal cases are now logging onto Skype.

It's a way to keep legal proceedings moving in the age of coronavirus.

The 7th Judicial District, which covers all the state, county, town, and village courts in Monroe and seven surrounding counties, went virtual on Monday.

That means only a handful of people are in an actual courtroom for legal proceedings. The rest are on a video conference call and only for cases that are deemed essential.

Calvin Harris

ALBANY (AP) Calvin Harris will go on trial for murder in upstate New York for the fourth time since his estranged wife disappeared in September 2001.

Prosecutors argue Calvin Harris killed 35-year-old Michele Harris when she came home to the Southern Tier estate they still shared with their four young children. He was wealthy from his family's car dealerships and court papers say he told people she would not get half his business. Defense lawyers claim authorities overlooked likely suspects she met during the freewheeling life she led as her marriage broke up.

What should you expect if you have to serve on a jury? The recent Tan trial in Rochester sparked a lot of discussion — and confusion  — about the process. Why did the judge tell the jury to keep working, even when jurors said they were done? Could that kind of pressure taint the result? What was it like inside the deliberations? One of the Tan jurors joins our distinguished panel, as we talk about the expectations for juries — even when it seems like there is no consensus. In studio:

  • Gary Craig, Democrat & Chronicle reporter
  • Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney
  • Mark Foti, chair, Monroe County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section; former public defender
  • Jennifer McGoff, Tan trial juror

We take a dive into the Department of Justice's report on policing and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri. Our panel will give us some insight:

  • Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
  • Marvin Stepherson, retired Rochester police officer and a professor at Roberts Wesleyan College who helped develop a curriculum for an Ethic and Social Diversity course at RWC in the Criminal Justice Administration program.
  • Mark Concordia, director of the Criminal Justice Administration Program at Roberts Wesleyan College.