Lawyer in Zoom courtroom gets stuck in kitten filter – Daily News

on Feb10
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(CNN) — A stream of a virtual court proceeding in Texas took an odd turn when a lawyer appeared as a cat on screen.

Judge Roy B. Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas addressed the cat, suggesting that attorney Rod Ponton fix his Zoom settings.

“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” the judge said during Tuesday’s proceedings. The video of the episode was posted on social media by the court.

The kitten looked concerned, its eyes darting back and forth. It opened its mouth to speak.

“Can you hear me, judge?” the kitten said, in Ponton’s voice. “I’m here, live, I’m not a cat.”

Ferguson then walked the lawyer through the procedure for escaping the filter.

“When a child had been using the computer, (the child) turned on a filter,” he said. “Of course, the lawyer would have no reason to even know that feature exists.”

Ponton told CNN he had to use his secretary’s computer for the hearing, and her daughter had apparently been using it.

He was slightly mollified by the fact that his feline avatar seemed distressed. “It was as upset about it as I was.”

The judge was proud of how all sides handled the situation.

“If you watch carefully, no one mocked him or laughed at him,” Ferguson said. “It just showed the professionalism and the dignity that these lawyers bring to virtual hearings.”

Ferguson used his Twitter account to give the world a public service announcement about using 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),” he wrote on Twitter and posted a link to the video of the hearing.

The video contains a confidentiality notice, but the judge reiterated in a tweet: “Media outlets, you may use the video. It was recorded during a virtual hearing in the 394th DC of TX, and released for educational purposes. It is crucial that this not be used to mock the lawyers, but instead to exemplify the legal community’s dedication to the cause of justice.”

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