Lawyer and judge behind viral cat Zoom court meeting address hilarious video

The lawyer and judge behind a wild Zoom video – that left the lawyer unable to turn off a cat filter during a court hearing – have spoken about the hilarious mishap.

The video, which went viral yesterday after it was tweeted by Texas Judge Roy Ferguson, showed lawyer Rod Ponton frantically trying to remove a fluffy cat filter from his face.

In the meeting of the 394th District Court of Texas, Mr Ponton could be seen desperately looking at his feline face, as two other men in suits continue to try and conduct the Zoom chat.

“Mr Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings. You might want to …” Judge Ferguson said.

“Ahh, we’re trying to … can you hear me, judge?” Mr Ponton responds, as the kitten.

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“I can hear you. I think it’s a filter,” the judge replies.

“It is, and I don’t know how to remove it,” the lawyer – still in fluffy cat form – tells him.

“I’ve got my assistant here, she’s trying to, but I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”

“I can see that,” the judge tells him, trying to assist him in removing the filter before the video comes to an end.

Mr Ponton and Judge Ferguson spoke to Sunrise this morning, laughing about the viral mishap.

“I didn’t know what going viral on the internet meant … now I do,” Mr Ponton said, admitting his phone hadn’t stopped ringing since the video hit Twitter.

“It’s tough enough to have a following and now I’m on Australian TV, so it’s quite a phenomenon.”

Judge Ferguson said Zoom had become the norm for court cases in Texas, as coronavirus continues to ravage the US.

Texas alone has conducted more than a million virtual hearings during the pandemic, he added.

Judge Ferguson said he was always trying to educate lawyers and those that join his virtual hearings on how to be as tech-savvy as possible.

“I try to use Twitter to educate and warn lawyers and judges who are holding virtual hearings about what can go wrong, and so if anything like this happens that is new to me after 1000-plus virtual hearings, I think it is worthy of warning,” he said.

“I think I’d seen it all, man. Mr Ponton proved to me that I was wrong.

“We’ve seen pretty much everything that your imagination can come up with.

“It can be scary at times, but we try to remember this is new to everyone, and everyone is nervous.

“We shepherd them through it, get our business done and move on to the next mistake.”

Despite the duo’s new-found fame, Judge Ferguson said he was happy being off-screen.

When Sunrise suggested he could likely swing a TV show out of the viral video, Judge Ferguson said he didn’t have any plans to follow in Judge Judy’s footsteps.

“This is the judging I want to do, I just want to do my job as well as I can,” he said.

“You’ll notice that my face does not appear in that video, that’s not on accident.”

Mr Ponton is also embracing his new-found fame and said he was simply happy to give people a laugh.

“It was a tough moment for me, but we got through it and it ends up being a humorous moment for the world, we’re glad they could get a chuckle out of my ineptitude on the computer,” he said.

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