In 2021, during a Texas virtual civil court hearing, an attorney sent social media into a tizzy when he appeared in court as an adorable feline using a cat filter. Unbeknownst to attorney Rod Ponton, he logged onto the Zoom call using his secretary’s computer, which had a Zoom cat filter still activated on the device.
In a funny viral YouTube video by BBC News, attorney Ponton describes the mishap and confesses to his lack of tech-savviness not realizing Zoom had such cat filters. While signing into court on the appointed day virtually, his image initially appeared normal until he entered the virtual courtroom.
A special appearance in the courtroom
The cat filter kicked in when he transferred from the waiting area of Zoom and “entered” the virtual courtroom. Attorney Ponton appeared as an adorable fluffy big -eyed kitten.
In the video, you can hear the attorney audibly. Remarkably, the cat filter still translates Ponton’s facial expressions and surprising reaction to seeing himself as a feline on screen when judge Roy Furgeson points it out.
Keeping his composure Ponton informs the judge of the unintentional mishap as his assistant is actively trying to resolve the problem. The understanding judge attempts to provide some direction to aid the attorney.
Although surprised, the other two participants and judge on the Zoom call, who left his camera off, kept their composure. They showed the utmost respect and consideration for the attorney during the ordeal.
According to Ponton, it took some time; however, his assistant finally removed the filter.
Taking it all in stride
Despite the embarrassing technical mishap, Ponton took it all in stride. He said,
“In Texas, we have a phrase, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. And if this was going to become an internet sensation, I just had to laugh at myself, along with everybody else doing so, and roll with it.”
Judge Roy Furgeson of the 394th Judicial District Court noted,
“These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession’s dedication ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times. Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed with incredible grace.”
During a tumultuous year adjusting to the realities of pandemic life and virtual work, this funny, lighthearted mishap inadvertently helped bring some joy and humor to millions worldwide. Coincidently, this is an excellent cautionary lesson to double-check your settings before participating in a professional formal video call.
Fortunately, attorney Ponton has a good sense of humor and took it all in stride.
Did this funny story resonate with you? Have you inadvertently left a camera filter on your computer?
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