Look, we’re almost a year into this pandemic. There are some basic points of etiquette we all should’ve learned long ago when it comes to Zoom calls and teleconferencing. One of the big ones: when you’re dialing in to a big work call, like, say, I don’t know, if you’re a lawyer who has to Zoom with a judge about one of your cases, you should first make sure that there are no filters on. Maybe your kid used Zoom last, or maybe you love to surprise your old law school buddies by calling in as animals or whatever, but it’s probably not a great look when you’ve got to chat with the 394th Judicial District Court.
If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the last couple of hours, you probably already know what this is about. On a day when the second impeachment trial against Donald Trump has started, the only legal matter most anybody wants to talk about is this absurd video where a lawyer calls into a very serious legal call while using a cat filter. There’s so much to love about this—the visual of a grown man’s voice coming out of an adorable kitty’s face, Judge H. Gibbs Bauer calmly trying to talk Rod Ponton through how to remove a filter, Jerry L. Phillips trying to keep a stone face while clearly texting somebody on his phone about how hilarious this is, and then finally, most crucially, the key line of the whole glorious display, when Ponton declares “I’m here live, I’m not a cat.” This is a real viral supernova, right here. It was first popularized on Twitter by lawyer Kendyl Hanks and then given a serious signal boost by Reuters’ Supreme Court reporter Lawrence Hurley, and we must thank both of them for bringing this to the world’s attention.
Check it out below, if you somehow haven’t already seen it.