BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas — Video of a zoom call for a West Texas court case has gone viral much to the horror of one of the attorneys involved.
There was a “paws” in the proceeding when a kitten filter popped up on the call in place of attorney Ron Ponton’s face.
“Mr. Ponton I believe you have a filter turned on in your video settings,” Judge Roy B. Ferguson said.
“I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here; she’s trying to,” a mortified Ponton told the ameowsed judge. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”
No kitten? Thanks for clarifying that.
The other attorney in the case sat stone-faced while the judge patiently tried to explain to Ponton how to turn off the filter.
Judge Ferguson couldn’t resist sharing the hilarious video on Twitter.
“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. This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th (sound on),” he tweeted.
Ponton told Vice the minor cat-tastrophe wasn’t his fault.
“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.”
Ponton said the hearing for a man trying to sneak contraband out of the country continued – minus the cat.
Judge Ferguson later gave him credit for handling it with “incredible grace.”
“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,” he tweeted. “Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”
Grace or not, this is one otherwise routine case that Ponton will never forget – and probably never live down.
By the way, this isn't Ponton's first brush with fame. He was featured in the 2019 Netflix documentary series "The Confession Killer." Ponton represented infamous serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in a 1986 murder case.
It was Ponton's work that helped raise a red flag that Lucas was lying about some of the murders he confessed to.