The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 2): Judge Who Removed Thompson From Alabama GTA Case Testifies

March 19, 2008 -

This is the second part of an investigative series that Miami attorney Jack Thompson apparently doesn't want you to read.

The game industry nemesis today threatened GamePolitics and its parent company, the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) with legal action over GP's detailed coverage of Thompson's recent trial on professional misconduct charges by the Florida Bar.

Thompson's view seems to be that we can't print selected excerpts from the trial testimony, but rather that we have a legal responsibility to report on the testimony of all witnesses, including Thompson, who himself testified for five days.

That's nonsense. That would mean that GP's First Amendment rights are null and void, that we don't get to determine what we print, but rather that Jack Thompson does.

To put it mildly, that's not happening.



Besides, there are good reasons to print selected excerpts. Space is obviously a consideration. In addition, some of the witnesses against Thompson don't have any connection to video game issues. We're skipping them. The transcripts we've obtained from five game-related witnesses run to hundreds of pages. Excerpts are a necessity. What's more, the excerpts don't just include allegations against Thompson. They also include some of Thompson's objections as well as his cross-examination of the witnesses. In addition, we've made arrangements to acquire Thompson's closing argument (although not from him; he has declined to provide it) and will feature that as a stand-alone.

By way of introduction, part one ran yesterday and provides much of the back story of the series. In today's update, GamePolitics presents excerpts from the testimony of Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Moore. As longtime GamePolitics readers will recall, on November 18th, 2005 Judge Moore revoked Thompson’s pro hac vice (visiting) right to practice law in Alabama. The drastic action by Judge Moore essentially removed Thompson from Strickland vs. Sony, a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $600 million from a variety of video game industry defendants, including Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games.

Judge Moore began his lengthy testimony on November 26, 2007 and completed it the following day. Indeed, the transcripts of his direct testimony and Thompson's cross examination exceed 300 pages. The following excerpts represent only a small portion of Moore's testimony:

(GP: Under questioning by Florida Bar prosecutor Sheila Tuma, Judge Moore detailed his reasons for revoking Thompson's pro hac vice status. As alleged by Judge Moore, these included: failure to disclose material facts in Thompson's application; extra-judicial comments made by Thompson; and violating rules of conduct. We note that Thompson disputes these allegations. In the excerpted transcripts, MOORE is Judge James Moore. JT is Thompson, TUMA is prosecutor Sheila Tuma and DT is Judge Dava Tunis, who is presiding over the case)

TUMA: ...You indicated to that Mr. Thompson violated various rules in Alabama. Can you explain to the Court what conduct Mr. Thompson engaged in when he violated those rules?

MOORE: (following a lengthy objection from Thompson which was overruled): One was an ex-parte written communication to me in an attempt to interject himself in the Court's management of [cop killer Devin Moore's] criminal trial; also his conduct towards opposing counsel... [saying] repeatedly that the [video game industry] corporate defendants and the [video game industry] counsel are lying...

(later Thompson objects that he is being subject to an ex post facto Florida Bar regulation that didn't exist at the time of his alleged offense; Judge Tuma overrules his objection, however...)

JT: Judge, Judge, for heaven's sake. They're citing a rule that didn't exist and they're citing that rule as authoritative against me for something I did prior to the rule's coming into existence... and this Judge [Moore] is not competent to testify as to whether or not I violated any Florida Bar rules. He's not licensed in Florida...

(After revoking Thompson's pro hac vice status in 2005, Judge Moore directed Thompson not to contact his Court any further. Thompson allegedly did not comply with the order.)

TUMA: Judge Moore, after you [revoked his pro hac vice], did you indicate to Mr. Thompson not to contact you any further since he was out of the case?

MOORE: Yes... Because he was continuously sending documents to my office; three, four, five times a day, easy... plus, when he would send his media alerts out... when he sends them to these media people, then they call my office. We got calls from all over the world about this, and it was extremely disruptive... my staff is one lady. That's it. She's it. We preside over three courts in three counties... it was very disruptive.

TUMA: How would you receive the correspondence?

MOORE: Fax...

TUMA: Can you just maybe try to explain briefly why you determined to file the [Bar] complaint...?

MOORE: Because his actions were outrageous...

JT: Excuse me, Your Honor, I move to strike his answer that I was outrageous. That's not really responsive.

DT: Overruled.

JT: That's a characterization.

DT: Overruled...

(later, Judge Moore is asked to discuss a 2005 communication from Thompson...)

TUMA: Can you tell the Court what that is?

MOORE: That is a copy of an e-mail from Mr. Thompson dated November the 7th, 2005... It's addressed to me....

TUMA: Please slowly read that paragraph.

MOORE: "I was in your courtroom, Judge, and I felt like Alice in Wonderland must have felt. It's okay for [video game industry attorney] Mr. Smith to act like a Mafia thug, but it's unethical for me to point out the thuggery. What in hell - literally - is going on here? This is utter, utter nonsense and you're watching it, Judge... it is open season in your Courthouse and courtroom on Christians who think that there are such things as decency and sexual material harmful to minors and murder simulators and so forth. This has got to stop." 

(Judge Moore is subsequently asked by prosecutor Tuma about Thompson's case-fixing allegations concerning Alabama lawyer Clatus Junkin...)

TUMA: Can you tell the Court what you understand about Mr. Thompson's statements about a fixer being involved in this case?

MOORE: Yes... he set out these allegations in there about Clatus Junkin saying that he could fix the case with me, that he had control of me... or something to that effect.

TUMA: And at any time, did you have any discussions with Clatus Junkin that you would allow him to appear in this case and that the case would be fixed because he was appearing?

MOORE: No.

(GP: Judge Moore is then asked to read letters sent by Thompson to high-level officials of the state of Alabama. One letter asks for a criminal investigation of Clatus Junkin regarding the alleged case-fixing before Judge Moore.)

TUMA: Judge Moore... Can you tell the court how the receipt of all the documents you received from Mr. Thompson affected you?

JT: Objection; irrelevant.

DT: Overruled.

MOORE: For one, as I testified, it was really disturbing to the operation of my office. That, I think, is the main thing... You know, the other thing, it's just terribly frustrating to me as a Judge in this situation that he can publish these things to the press, unfounded, completely untrue, and I believe they are - they are very hurtful and harmful to the Court and the way this Court operates.

I can't operate or any judge can't operate until the public has confidence in us and he attacks that confidence and its just absolutely baseless.

NEXT: Jack Thompson cross-examines Judge Moore.


Comments

@JackDon'tKnowJack

never

@Anonymous 7:49 am

I was raising a cost concern for those who haven't obtained a transcript but would like to do so. Dennis already has his transcript in hand.

@Gameboy:

400 pages. But the true count depends on whether it's a "manuscript" (one page per page) or a "minuscript" (four pages per page). Minuscripts are a means of reducing the full cost of a manuscript's reproduction to a quater of that of a manuscript because the reporting services charge per page reproduced.

I move to..
Overruled.

Objection!
Overruled.

JT is getting his ass handed to him.

Is there some way we can adapt this and past and future segments into a Broadway musical?

"You know, the other thing, it’s just terribly frustrating to me as a Judge in this situation that he can publish these things to the press, unfounded, completely untrue, and I believe they are - they are very hurtful and harmful to the Court and the way this Court operates."

That quote sums up so much about the damage Thompson does.

@ -Jes-

SUSTAINED!

Aww man we're gonna have a blast doing this "overruled" and sustained!" comments

You know, with the number of times JT was overruled there, if Phoenix Wright had tried that same deal, they'd have thrown the book at him and he'd be looking for a new job as a street sweeper.

So yeah, good going JT. You're making a mockery of yourself at your own trial. A winnar is U!

Yo, Clatus:

You got a good defamation case. And Thompson -- well, the Thompsons -- have deep pockets. And once the Supreme Court rules that he was in fact reckless in his disregard for the truth of the injurious statements he's made about you, the case can only get better. Gimme a call. I'll take it on a contingency basis. And, unlike Jack Thompson, I don't lose my cases.

Holla atcha boy.

Peace.

This is quickly becoming awesome..... Overruled is becoming my fav word...

@Xlorep:

Yeah I wish I had that kinda power over him... wait you didn't mean me huh? (more convenient for most people to call me that online :P)

@Rodrigo:

LOL yeah Nielsen would be perfect for the part, aren't parody movies his specialty? (Naked Gun, Spy Hard, etc... I think he's in Superhero Movie too... )

@unrated:

Nah... I wouldn't give that d-bag the time of day either now or after he's out of a job. (But I'm all for the 'Muffins for Tunis' campaign if she comes through for us.)

@Anon:

GP's probably just using the 'wrong ones' (i.e. the ones that make him look bad...)

@Black Manta:

Perhaps because in this case he might have to stand up straight and solemnly own up and apologize using his "professional" demeanor? I mean, if he could get away with going all full-goose-bozo like we've seen in the past, he'd probably have already sent out the closing arguments to GP and every other major media outlet. But straight professional statements that may include apologetics? That may be a court transcript he'd rather have sealed! ;-)

@mystic

in jts case yes

Aww it stopped? Damn, this is bringing back memories of Babylon 5 "The bastards ended the episode THERE? Now I have to wait a whole week to see the next one!". Its a fine read though, thanks GP.

Am I the only one thinking that when the decision comes down, Judge Tumis shouldn't declate him guilty but rather declare him "Totally pwned!"? Oh and sentenced to play GTA3 for 6 hours a day, just for the irony.

Indigestion.
Maniacal shootings.
Diabetes.

BLAME THE GAME.

Wait, so this trial is already over? We're just seeing the "after the fact" results or is this a live play-by-play?

Hehe thanks

Yes yes yes yes!!!!!!

Excellent excellent testimony and coverage of this. Gamers across America should be celebrating.

From what I gather, the case was presented last year and a ruling will be given in Spring '08. Nothings a given yet. He could get lucky(shudder...)

Although we all think JT may be nuttier than squirrel shit, do not for a minute
think he's stupid....

Sun Tsu states that you should never underestimate the other side. Just because he is obnoxious, over the top, and a 1st class media whore does not take away from the fact he has a Juris Doctorate.

Most lawyers end up as sleazy, steaming piles but you gotta be smart and shrewd to last that long.

I know everyone else has the same feeling here but...

Damn I just enjoyed the "overruled" statements. I died laughing each time... I would enjoy replying to JT's comments with "overruled"

Nevertheless... I really would enjoy to see the entire case against him, though I do understand the reasons for holding it back.

Man, it must be comedy gold...

hahahaha, he spelled tortuous wrong

I think it's funny that Jack has done more to further the cause of gamers and the industry in general than he has ever done to hinder it. For the people that say "Oh I'm tired of GP giving him all this publicity!" it only serves to bolster us. Do you walk away from reading a JT article going "Oh I feel so down with all these people attacking something I love...better curl up and die" or do you walk away going "That's preposterous, I'm not going to let it stand!" He's united gamers across the world against people that would enforce ridiculous laws down our throats. Politicians have been trying to pass culture laws against popular mediums since the 50's - when we hear them now somebody always draws parallels to JT and we all can attack from a common ground. People avoid being associated with him that otherwise might support his cause. He is the absolute definition of being one's own worst enemy. He gives us a reason to be the "bigger men" (or women) and carry ourselves with a bit of dignity so that we can further show how his unscrupulous behavior is characteristic of what he is claiming we have but what he actually does himself. Not to mention he is incredibly entertaining....

Clever

Hahahaha, this stuff just keeps getting better and better.... I can't wait until the end when there's a major swerve and Jack gets to keep his license.

Clever is right, there's very little in the world that would make gamers work together, we are like cats in a bag, too many in one place and an argument will ensue, having spent time in game lobbies etc, I certainly never expected us to all agree for long enough to form something like the ECA, and to be honest, had it not been for the hate-fuelled vitriol of Thompson and others, it probably never would have (indeed, one of Hals bigger challenges may be maintaining interest in the ECA after Thompson is disbarred), Thomspon is the clown in this Media Circus and we are just getting to the bit where whitewash is poured down his trousers to the tune of 'Mwa mwa mwa mwaaaa!'.

So yes, I wouldn't be surprised to find that a good 75% of the reason that many Consumers of computer games decided to unite under the ECA was because of Jack Thompson. The fact he cannot get his head around the idea of of people deciding to unite against his actions without being 'industry shills', but purely because he is an obnoxious git who insults everyone who disagrees with him.

The gaming community is finding a voice, and I think it would have been happy to sit back and let the ESA deal with simple legal challenges, which would have left them weaker, but Thompson managed to offend gamers to the point where they put their 'my PS3 is better than your XBox360' argument to one side and agreed on something instead.

@GoodRobotUs

Thompson managed to offend gamers to the point where they put their ‘my PS3 is better than your XBox360? argument to one side and agreed on something instead.

Pfft, the PS3 people are only saying that because PS3s suck

It is a good point, it's rare to get people to agree on anything. Usually there's a wide variety of opinions.

PC vs Console: Fight
PS3 vs Wii vs Xbox360: Fight
Strategy vs FPS: Fight
Half Life 2 vs FPS that doesn't suck: Fight
Light Machine Gun vs Assault Rifle: Fight
Sanity vs Jack Thompson: Unanimous vote for Sanity

The most positive thing I've seen said about Thompson is words to the effect of "If only he was rational and discussed things rather than ranted"

@Kurisu

True, there will always reasons for the ECA to exist, but I can't help thinking that Thompson's incredible behaviour was (to use a Babylon 5 quote of all things) 'the glue that holds us together'. Had he not eagerly garnered attention by insulting as many denominations as possible in the gaming community, something I am pretty certain he did purely to get that attention, a lot less people are going to be keeping up with the world of Game Politics I think. From a purely political point of view, him continuing his campaign after disbarment would be a massive advantage for the gaming industry, people will still rally round to defend it, but if Thompson goes, to be blunt, so does 90% of the 'lulz' factor.

I will admit, however, that as long as groups like Fox News keep playing the same tune, you will see the same response, but deeper, more technical issues such as Net Neutrality and Copyright Law will be, I think, much harder to maintain interest in.

Silly Jacko, you can sue GP because they're showing the truth, even if it discredits you. Take it like a man like everyone else.

To: Everyone who's mentioned a Drinking Game concerning JT.
Subject: RE: Drinking Game

Rules:

1. Do NOT use alcohol (soda works just fine)

2. Every time he makes an Objection, take 1 drink(s).

3. Every time he uses profanity (or if profanity is found in quotes of him), take 2 drink(s).

4. Every time his Objection is "OVERRULED!!!", finish your drink and refill your glass, cup, etc.

5. Every time his Objection is (miraculously) "SUSTAINED!!!", take 1 drink(s) and spray it all over your screen. Remember to clean it up afterwards.

6. If you finish your drink before number 4 is accomplished, All I can say is... "Game Over, man. GAME OVER."

These are the (UNOFFICIAL) Rules of "The Jack Thompson Bar Trial Drinking Game"



NOTE: Apologies to Dennis McCauley if this infringes upon any rules of the Comments Policy. This was made just for fun. Though a real Drinking Game would be really fun.

"1. Do NOT use alcohol (soda works just fine)"

Let me guess, for fear of succumbing to alcohol poisoning?

@ JDKJ

Where did you get that information? I read both articles so far, but I guess I missed that.

I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis has a minuscript. I doubt he wants to spend more than he has to, and that would probably be easier to organize. Thanks for the info.

If Jack wants the entire thing published, why doesn't he procure the document himself and publish it on www.jackandgoliath.com?
A domain he registered himself on Feb. 9, 2006 but never did anything with?
His threat is nothing but a lame reverse-psychology ploy, the truth is he doesn't want the whole thing published because it will show people something he doesn't want them to see.

The truth about himself.

And now, math with Jack Thompson.

JT: 2+2=5
Us: No, it's 4.
JT: 2+2=5! 2+2=5! 2+2=5! 2+2=5!
Us: If you say it ten times, it doesn't make it true!
JT: I only said it five times! You are wrong! Therefore, I am right! Therefore, 2+2=5! I win!

Video games.
Video games.
Video games games games.

JT made more sense in that video than he ever has in real life.

@yowzers:

Taken under advisement. Thanks.

Should I just wait for the movie to be on Lifetime or The Prayer Network? I can see it now;
"Left Behind for eternity in a wasteland of dessicated atheist retiree corpses.. In Florida."

Damnit!! JAck Thompson knows of the vast conspiracy against him!! NOOO! But seriously, he's a idiot. Great coverage GP.

OH my! does democracy mean nothing to this man?

ohh well im really sure hes not gonna weasel out of this one this time.

So, to sum up...

DT basically wants JT to sit down, shut up, and let Moore speak.

It does little to help your case if when a witness is describing you to be disruptive, you continually disrupt him...

Objection!

I propose something:

whenever any of us sees a post by JT we should reply to it by posting:

OVERRULED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that should trigger something hilarious

How could he press charges agianst GP for reporting this?
its like Britney spears trying to sue the popperazi for slandering her left and right.
honestly she'd have more of a case than JT.
he needs to give in, he's lost and thats all there is to it.

"JT: Judge, Judge, for heaven’s sake. They’re citing a rule that didn’t exist and they’re citing that rule as authoritative against me for something I did prior to the rule’s coming into existence… and this Judge [Moore] is not competent to testify as to whether or not I violated any Florida Bar rules. He’s not licensed in Florida…"

ok, in the same sentance he states both that the rule does not exist, and that it shouldn't apply to him since the dispute happened before the rule existed, which is it Jacko? does it exist or doesn't it?

WHY give him more coverage like this?

Why?

Just stop talking about him till his trial in Florida is done..

GD.

GP: His trial in Florida *is* done... it ended in December. But, for such an iconic figure in the world of politics/games, there was precious little coverage of the trial. We only knew what Thompson himself let out, plus a limited amount of digging GP was able to do.

So, when the person who has really come to symbolize the mainstream view of games-as-bad is placed on trial over his actions, many of which relate to the game space, that's news, my friend.

"ok, in the same sentance he states both that the rule does not exist, and that it shouldn’t apply to him since the dispute happened before the rule existed, which is it Jacko? does it exist or doesn’t it?"

He never said that it doesn't exist, only that it didn't exist (i.e. past tense).

Is it wrong to enjoy watching a train wreak in the making? Not when the train deserves it.

i believe "overruled" is the sweetest word in the English language today.

I swear I can pass the Florida bar without opening a law text book and showing up for the test 5 minutes before it's over.

Thank You Jack for making me feel intelligent, you fluffy huggable razor blade of narracasism you!

I'd hug you but I'm sure you'd try to sue me.

oh whoops, missed the tense there.

@ Rav3

Sustained!
 
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