Lawyer Can't Shut Off Zoom Filter & Addresses Judge As A Kitty

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
394th District Court of Texas - Live Stream/Youtube

“I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”

It’s been a long 11 months of Zoom calls for everything from a happy hour with your old sorority sisters to work. At this point, it’s hard to come across a viral Zoom fail that’s actually funny since we’ve kind of seen it all after this year from hell (remember that poor woman who was on a work call as a potato? Pepperidge Farm remembers). That’s why we’re absolutely losing our minds over this viral video of a lawyer in an actual court hearing with his face stuck in a Zoom kitty filter.

When I say you might want to sit down and definitely not be eating or drinking before watching this, I’m not joking. I laughed so hard I was wheezing and my daughter was begging me to shut up because we were sitting in the parking lot of her school with the windows open. I am absolutely not ok right now and will probably be laughing for the rest of the week because this is simply everything. Behold.

Judge Roy Ferguson shared the footage of attorney Rod Ponton doing his damndest to stop looking like a kitty on a very important work call along with a little hot tip for parents 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).”

LOL yup. That happened. We just watched a man-kitten frantically trying to shape-shift back into a full man in front of a judge during a hearing. “Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in your video settings,” Ferguson says gently, and honestly bless this man for not bursting out laughing while watching a grown man’s voice and panicky eyes in the form of a talking kitten. “I’ve got my assistant here, and she’s trying to remove it but uh… I’m prepared to go forward with it,” Ponton says. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”

Poor dude had to tell an actual judge, “I’m not a cat” as though there were a possibility that he had subbed in his household feline for court today and that said feline can talk. It’s official — you’ve never had a day at work as bad (or as funny) as this.

Of course the internet lost its entire mind because this is absolute gold.


In a statement to Vice, Ponton shed a little light on his inadvertent cat cameo — it was his secretary’s computer, not his. “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.”

“These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession’s dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times,” Ferguson later tweeted. “Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”

Dignity, grace, professionalism — all great. But the laugh we so sorely needed was the best part of all.

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