Texas court hearing briefly interrupted by lawyer using cat filter

A Texas county court hearing held over Zoom was briefly interrupted after a lawyer struggled to remove a video filter that portrayed him as a cat.

Video of the incident from the 394th Judicial District Court in Brewster County quickly went viral after Judge Roy Ferguson shared it on social media Tuesday.

The video showed a lawyer struggling to remove the filter, which made him appear as a kitten.

“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,” the judge wrote, linking to the video posted on YouTube.

In the video, the judge can be heard telling attorney Rod Ponton that it appears he has a filter turned on in his video settings. At one point, the lawyer says an assistant is trying to help him remove the filter but says, “I’m prepared to go forward with it.”

“I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” he adds.

Ponton later told Vice’s Motherboard that the filter had been a mistake by his secretary. 

“I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on. I took it off and replaced it with my face,” Ponton said.

“It was a case involving a man trying to exit the United States with contraband and contraband cash,” he added.

Ponton told Vice that the group was then able to hold the hearing as planned without the cat filter.  Attorneys Jerry Phillips and H. Gibbs Bauer appeared normally throughout the video.

The judge added in a follow-up tweet, “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.” 

“Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace,” Ferguson added. “True professionalism all around!”

Tags Filters Texas Twitter Viral video YouTube Zoom

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