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Protection legal professional nonetheless recovering after critical COVID case

A month later, a landmark case of COVID-19 still affects criminal defense attorney Nicole Jamieson, who works hard on her cases at home with oxygen.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – In the past few weeks, First Coast News has reported the increase in COVID-19 cases affecting the local criminal justice system.

In one of these cases, defense attorney Nicole Jamieson also fought for her clients while fighting for her life.

A month after her diagnosis, Jamieson is still on a groundbreaking case of COVID-19 who is working on her cases using oxygen at home.

“It almost killed me,” she explained. “Then I was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia, which I still have. I do weekly chest x-rays because my immune system is weakened. “

Because of her underlying condition, she was one of the first to receive the vaccine, according to Jamieson, and always made sure to wear a mask whenever she needed to be in public – including in local prisons and courthouses.

“Given these evolving and dangerous circumstances, I would hope it would warrant an equally drastic measure to protect everyone,” she said.

Fourth judge’s chief magistrate, Mark Mahon, says they worked hard to protect courthouses in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties with COVID-19 precautions such as a reintroduced mask mandate, inmate testing and health checks.

He believes that these measures make it more efficient to conduct criminal trials face to face.

“Crime is more of a personal experience and there is more benefit in solving these cases,” Mahon said. “But if someone has concerns about getting into the court, whatever that may be, the judges grant their applications.” And they can zoom in. “

In March 2020, the Florida Supreme Court suspended expeditious legal proceedings in response to the pandemic. Mahon says this caused some backups in the system.

“People have been in prisons for a long time. So we have a real balancing act to make sure these cases get resolved and these people have their day in court,” he said.

Jamieson, on the flip side, believes a more unified approach to moving all court hearings to Zoom would be more efficient, at least until COVID-19 cases in the community decline.

She says the Fourth Ward justices have been very accommodating to her since she fell ill, but even with the latest government order setting a specific process, allowing the Zoom option for a hearing is not an easy process.

“I think I had 18 cases on the calendar this week. So in each of these cases I had to make an individual application to apply for permission to appear electronically in each of these cases, “said Jamieson Fall.”

Other defense lawyers also tell First Coast News that their Zoom appearances have been denied. Chief Justice Mahon says he is not aware of any rejected applications.

“I think we all have a common goal, which is to make sure that due process is protected and advocated for customers … while cases are efficiently routed through the system,” said Jamieson. “So I think we need to come together as a legal community and make some decisions about how this is the best way to go while at the same time ensuring that the safety of our legal community is protected.”

We recently reported on the increase in COVID-19 cases affecting our local criminal justice community.

Tonight on @ FCN2go at 11 am I tell the story of one of these cases – a defense attorney who also fought for her clients during the fight for her life. pic.twitter.com/JeBwqkrmUk

– Haley Harrison (@HaleyHarrisonTV) September 4, 2021

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