Attorney Cats Are Still Attorneys
While hilarious, the viral cat attorney video illuminates a deep problem facing the legal industry in 2021.
Alistair Vigier, CEO of ClearWay Law, examines the video turned social media phenomenon and what it has to say about the struggles encountered by many lawyers today.
For those of you that haven’t seen it, I’ve included a link to the cat attorney video below. Chances are you’ve already watched it many times. The video is hilarious and cute. However, it shows a deep problem going on in society that no one talks about.
That issue is that people are struggling to get the court orders they need because of how “old school” many lawyers are. Lawyers in their 70s and 80s have been forced to adjust to many decades of technology, and it hasn’t been going smoothly.
The other issue is that people don’t seem to appreciate how stressful it is to go to court. People love making fun of attorneys, but when people get in trouble and go through a divorce or lawsuit, it’s the attorney that’s there to help them. Attorneys deserve the same respect as doctors or nurses.
In this Insider article, it notes the attorney’s past history. Was that really necessary? Is everything an opportunity to throw a lawyer under the bus? Lawyers are not politicians (yet.) They are not in the public light.
Everyone has had to adjust to video meetings due to COVID-19. There are videos on the internet of people using the toilet while on video with their co-workers, and an attorney having sex during a court hearing. This last week, an attorney had to explain to a judge that they are not a cat. Without a doubt, that will go down as one of the best court transcriptions of all time.
In the video, even with the cat filter on, it’s clear how stressed out the lawyer is. You can see it in the cat’s eyes. While the video is funny, I know how stressful it is when something goes wrong in court.
Some people have started sharing memes saying, “If your attorney looks like this, you are going to jail.” That’s harsh. I think the attorney handled the situation with grace. The lawyer said, “If I can make the country chuckle for a moment in these difficult times they’re going through, I’m happy to let them do that at my expense.” That’s classy and I respect that.
In the video, the “cat lawyer” was there representing Texas. So no, no one was going to jail because their attorney looked like a cat.
What I found ironic was that the court had a notice on the screen saying that if someone records the hearing, they could be fined or go to jail. Because the situation was funny, the judge posted the video to YouTube, I assume without the attorney permission. While the court might have the right to do this, is it appropriate?
For the first time, the public has had a peek into how poorly attorneys and many courts have dealt with COVID-19. Lawyers had to adjust to fifty years of technology in a matter of days. Everyone did their best given the situation, but the legal industry shouldn’t have been so old school in the first place. This created too steep of a learning curve.
Prior to COVID-19, lawyers struggled with scanning documents, and many did not have websites. Law school teaches how the law was created in England centuries ago, instead of teaching law students how to use technology to improve their law practices.
I’ve had my own struggles. When there was an issue with noise at my home, I had to rush to the middle of a park to do a hearing.
I suggest law schools start adjusting for the present, and maybe the courts and lawyers will follow suit. These past eleven months have been brutal, and I can’t wait to get back into court in person.
Always remember, attorney cats are still attorneys, and they deserve your respect.