22:20 GMT03 March 2021
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    Animals and kids have routinely broken into online meetings and conferences during the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown and remote work give people plenty of confusing stories, bringing joy and defusing a tense situation.

    Lawyer Rod Ponton attended a Texas virtual court hearing as a cute kitten, apparently using a realistic video filter. Judge Roy B. Ferguson has drawn the lawyer’s attention to his confusing appearance.

    “Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in your video settings,” he said.

    The attorney tried to deactivate the filter, but to no avail.

    “It is and I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here and she’s trying to remove it but uh… I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” the lawyer asserted.

    Ponton later explained in an interview with Vice that he was using an associate’s computer, and the filter had already been turned on when the video conference began. He said that it was a mistake and when the filter has been removed, the hearing went as usual.

    The judge in a tweet advised users to check whether any filters are activated if a computer has been used by someone else.

    ​"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. True professionalism all around!" the judge gratefully tweeted.

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    Tags:
    conference, Zoom, lawyer, Kitten
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