Zoom blunder turns lawyer into cat

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By Adam Mawardi on

‘I’m here live. I’m not a cat’, Rod Ponton tells judge during virtual court hearing

Footage of a lawyer who accidentally turned on a cat filter during a virtual court hearing has won the internet for this week.

The clip — which surfaced on Twitter yesterday and has since received nearly 24 million views — sees US lawyer Rod Ponton struggle to switch off the animated Zoom filter during a remote court case in Texas, leading to an amusing back-and-forth between him and the judge.

“Can you hear me, Judge?” A cat-faced Ponton asks. “I can hear you. I think it’s a filter,” the judge, Roy B. Ferguson, responds.

“It is. I don’t know how to remove it,” says Ponton, his cat eyes now twitching side-to-side. “I’ve got my assistant here, she’s trying to.”

Attempting to offer some reassurance, the lawyer continues: “I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat.” After a long pause, Ferguson replies: “I can see that”.

Speaking to the websiteVice, Ponton blames the blunder on the fact he was using his secretary’s computer:

“I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on. I took it off and replaced it with my face,” he said. “It was a case involving a man trying to exit the United States with contraband and contraband cash. All it was was a mistake. It was taken off and we had the hearing as normal.”

Judge Ferguson has since shared the feline faux pas on Twitter, along with a reminder for lawyers to check their Zoom settings before attending a virtual hearing.

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