If you’re having a bad day at work today, just remember it’s not nearly as bad as the one this lawyer from Texas is having.
Lawyer Rod Ponton showed up to virtual court in the 394th district of Texas with a kitten filter turned on…
Reached by phone by Motherboard, Ponton said he was unaware that the court had posted this video and was concerned it had his name on it.
“Oh, that was just a mistake by my secretary,” he said. “I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on. I took it off and replaced it with my face. 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.”
It was apparently the judge himself who posted this unlisted video and then tweeted it out:
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!
— Judge Roy Ferguson (@JudgeFergusonTX) February 9, 2021
In the clip, the judge, who does not appear on camera, suggested a filter was responsible for the mishap.
“Can you hear me judge?” Ponton replied as the cats mouth moved in sync with his question. Ponton then agreed that it was a filter and that his assistant was trying to remove it. He sounded as sad as the cat looked:
“I’m prepared to go forward with it,” the lawyer said gamely, adding, “I’m here live…I’m not a cat.”
The judge replied, “I can see that” even though all he could really see was those sad, green eyes.
This video really deserves to be watched several times. I think my favorite part is the end where the attorney in the top right box, who has been staring at his phone stone-faced, finally breaks into a smile:
If 2021 has a zeitgeist, I think this clip captured it. We’re all doing our best under new and difficult circumstances and sometimes things just don’t go as planned. I’ll be surprised if this video doesn’t become a kind of shorthand for this moment in time. There are probably ad agencies out there who are kicking themselves that they didn’t think of this first.
As for the lawyer, he didn’t do anything wrong and no one is really going to hold it against him. If he has a sense of humor about it this is the advertising bump of a lifetime. If I were him, I’d put the cat’s face on my business cards and just roll with it.
Here’s the clip: