“Can you hear me Judge?” – How to Fix Your Virtual Meeting Setup

  • May 24, 2021
  • Mark Asfar

"Can you hear me judge? I'm here, live, I'm not a cat!" It was a scene shared around the world by lawyers and regular remote workers alike – a lawyer attending a virtual court hearing in Texas experienced a hilarious mishap when he accidentally activated the “cat filter” on his Zoom call and suddenly appeared to be a wide-eyed and alarmed white cat to the judge and his colleagues on the call.

This viral story made for a great laugh for many of us who are now all-too-familiar with the technical difficulties and mishaps that have come with the great move to digital platforms and video calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it also raises a concerning point: that even after a year of work from home and video meetings becoming commonplace many legal professional still haven’t figured how to use their software or set up their appearance.

Awkward angles, bad audio, and technical difficulties were understandable in early 2020, but as time advances the persistence of these issues has become less sympathetic and more reflective of a lack of polish and care. More importantly, these issues can continue to be a huge detriment to effective communication and advocacy with, or on behalf of, clients. A bad echo on a call can discourage a client from asking questions or participating effectively, poor audio setup can result in counsel speaking over an arbitrator or judge when they have a critical question, and general technical difficulties can quickly result in lost time during a tightly scheduled meeting or hearing.

Simply put, technical difficulties, bad video setups, and bad video etiquette are still happening and can have a big impact on your work and how your client or the judge sees you. However, these obstacles can be overcome by reviewing and implementing the following tips and tricks: