In a livestream virtual court proceeding in Texas a lawyer appeared onscreen as a cat.
“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings.”
The kitten opened its mouth to speak….
“Can you hear me judge…? I’m here, live, I’m not a cat.”
Ferguson confirmed the Zoom mishap happened on Tuesday to CNN and it was posted on the court’s YouTube channel.
“It did actually happen. There was no joke involved.
When a child had been using the computer, (the child) turned on a filter. Of course, the lawyer would have no reason to even know that feature exists.”
Ponton said he had to use his secretary’s computer for the hearing, and suspects she or her daughter had last used the cat’s image.
“The cat was empathetic with me. It was as upset about it as I was.”
Virtual hearings have been standard during the pandemic. Ferguson said Texas judges have held more than a million virtual hearings at this point.
The judge said.
“If you watch carefully, no one mocked him or laughed at him. It just showed the professionalism and the dignity that these lawyers bring to virtual hearings.”
Ferguson used Twitter to give the world a PSA regarding the use of Zoom.
“If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off. This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th (sound on).”
The New Yorker‘s Andy Borowitz commented on the impeachment trial yesterday saying,
“Even with the cat filter on, this lawyer had more credibility than Trump’s guys.”
IMPORTANT ZOOM TIP: If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off. This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th (sound on). #lawtwitter #OhNo @zoom_ushttps://t.co/I0zaj0wu6K— Judge Roy Ferguson (@JudgeFergusonTX) February 9, 2021