A Texas judge issued an “important Zoom tip” after a lawyer used a cat filter during a virtual hearing.
Judge Roy Ferguson tweeted about a recent incident when lawyer Rod Ponton showed up to present a case in Texas’ 394th District Court with the filter of a cute kitten on.
“I don’t know how to remove it,” Ponton said in a clip of the live stream that the court shared on YouTube titled Kitten Zoom Filter Mishap. “I’m here live, I’m not a cat.”
Ferguson tried to walk through Ponton on how to fix his settings. He tweeted about the mishap Tuesday.
“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). #lawtwitter #OhNo,” Ferguson wrote.
More courts and public bodies turned to virtual meetings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the occasional filter struggles, there have been audio glitches and other issues with some not muting themselves.
A New Jersey school board member resigned in November after accidentally broadcasting her bathroom break during a board meeting.
Vice.com reported that Ponton was using his secretary’s computer and that the case involved a man trying to exit the country with contraband.
The cat filter incident looked similar to a skit from an April Saturday Night Live episode involving a Snapchat filter.
“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 tweeted. “Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”
In an interview with the New York Times, Ponton said it took less than a minute to turn the filter off.
“If I can make the country chuckle for a moment in these difficult times they’re going through, I’m happy to let them do that at my expense,” he said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko