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

OMG! This is pure gold!

They must make a movie of this... a comedy: The Trial of Jack Thompson, with Leslei Neilsen as Jack...

Appreciate all the work you put into this Dennis. Definitely a good read.

I have to say, I'm glad people can't post pictures here, because you know the comments here would be filled with certain screen-shots from Phoenix Wright. ;)

@ Count Zero

Maybe we should ask GP to post a picture or two.

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

dont worry bout the train at all worry bout the little car stalled on the tracks =p

(figuratively speaking of course) (i had to throw that in)

Was anyone else thinking of Lionel Hutz while reading this?

@ Inhuman:


OVERRULED!!! >:D

Btw, I just thought of this.

Doesn't this sound a bit like JT's personal own "Untergang"? :D

Jack seems to have learned his lawyering from TV. Most lawyers aren't so confrontational and are generally courtous and happy to work within the boundaries of the system. When you act like Jack, you make sure everyone else who works in the court dislikes you, which tends to be bad. It comes back to bite you exactly like is happening here.

Jmaes Moore has a courtroom to run. This case was supposed to take a coupel days of his time, yet Thomspon seems determined to make it his entire job through clogging up the system with filings and the general harassment through the press.

I think when jack is fired, we should all chip in and buy jack a copy of phoenix wright. Ace attorny. See if he can beat one of those cases...

@ Ace

No, he wants to clogg the system to stall his inminent disbarrement as long as possible.

@-Jes-

Your OVERRULING is OVERRULED!!!!

I love hime making a fool of himself while demeaning his own cause by y acting like an idiot. Funny stuff!

(mandatory Phoenix Wright point) OBJECTION!

Jack sounds really unprofessional. Of course, when you're a looney, I guess being professional is kind of at the bottom of the list of priorities.

@ William

Your overrulling of an overule is SUSTAINED!

@ inhuman.

Don't like it? Don't read it. The rest of us find this too freaking entertaining and important to waste time listening to the "Don't give Jack coverage" crowd. I'm not going to reiterate all the reasons that that point of veiw is foolhardy. Instead I'm going to remind you, and the rest of the crowd, that you're more than capable of ignoring the stories that involve Jack.

So again, and this time to the entire collective or numbskulls that dislike Jack Thompson stories:

If you don't like the story, don't read it. The rest of us are interested in the downfall of one of the most visible, vocal, libelous, inflammatory, vicious, and worst of all, most PUBLIC anti-game critics since Joe Lieberman.

AgnostoTheo.

HA!

Eat it Jack! EAT IT!

How often, if at all, does he make a motion to overrule something, and succeed?

@unrated
but if violent games can cause people to commit murder.
and games can incite people to pick up hookers and commit rape.

if we give JT pheonix wright he may actually become a lawyer, do we really want that?

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

Here's how it works, Jack Thompson, Attorney Not:

You must first object that the response is unreponsive or nonresponsive. Then if, and only if, the court sustains your objection, can you move to strike. Think: horse and carriage.

I fear that the folks at Vanderbilt are now having a serious discussion about retracting the Juris Doctor they gave you. They should.

@ Murdats

No, but at least he'll shut up for 5 minutes assuming he'll play it.

@ GP

Has the ruling come in yet? Though we were still waiting on that..

Btw, its become pretty apparant that JT bears some striking similarities to Fred Phelps, they both feed on the attention you guys give them, and when his license is revoked you KNOW he's going to play the matyr card..

GP: It's not my issue whether he grooves on the attention... Perhaps he does. My issue is to cover news related to games & politics and this certainly qualifies. I actually think this series is one of the more significant JT stories we've ever run.

its funny how games are blamed for only the bad things, yet they forget that by their very own logic then they should also teach good things.

i certainly remember my math grades getting better after i started playing dungeons and dragons (stupid dm trying to shortchange me on the dice rolls), also im good at remembering patterns because of all those memorize the sequence minigames. And finally my spelling and vocabulary grew from playing lots of rpgs and the like.

Of course im not discounting other things like my mother´s parenting, and other factors. However if games were as bad as they say id be a wreck.

thje people at vanderbuilt need to be slapped lol

rofl thompson does it again.

What is even funnier is that he considered this 'winning' a while back.

@Greg. No, not really. I think even Lionel Hutz could beat JT. It wouldn't be pretty, but Jack does such a good job of destroying his own case that Lionel would pretty much back into victory, but not for lack of trying.

@GP
I was wondering if it is possible to get a transcript of the trial?
I mean, either on a website, or download-able word/pdf document?

GP: I'm mulling that over. I've turned the 1st story into a PDF... and then I went back and realized that some 3rd parties who weren't a part of the trial but who were mentioned could be hurt... so I went back and redacted those names with my Sharpie redacting tool... and then re-scanned... but I'm trying to figure out whether it's a good idea to post the transcripts, mainly from a liability standpoint.

@cullarn

Not really, they just needed to tell everyone the truth, that the taught Jack Thompson wrong, intentionally. As a joke.

This is hilarious.

@InHuman:

You know, for someone who claims they ain't interested, you do a lotta lurking.

And he ain't go to Vandebilt on no scholarship. Even in 1980s dollars, three years at Vanderbilt Law cost a pretty penny. Either he ain't take advantage or he got gipped.

I object on the grounds that this hurts my case!

@Xlorep DarkHelm

either that or seeing as he owns stock in t2 this is one hell of an insider trading scheme!!

Yo, Jack:

Why you ain't raise the most obvious defenses: mental retardation and insanity?

That wasn't very smart.

I am sitting here laughing like a maniac as I'm reading how Judge Tuma is shutting Jack up left and right. It is so entertaining to watch someone put a sock in JT's ugly hypocritical noisehole.

Objection!! Ejection!! Dejection!!

LOL!!

Thanks, GP. Again, youdaman.

@GP
so... i guess that's a no then...
darn.. it would've made a good reading material

@JackDon'tKnowJack Says:

No, man, that´s gonna be like he is admitting his own mistakes. That can´t be old Jack Thompson´s style.

He has to blame videogames for his failure as human being and lawyer.

xD

Apparently Jacko doesn't want us all to learn how he fucked himself up and lost his career.

@shaoron:

Don't take my word for it, but I am fairly certain you won't find it on-line. It may be available through the Clerk at the Miami-Dade courthouse (11th Judicial Circuit). Or, if you can determine who the court reporting service was, you may be able to purchase copies directly them from (usually not cheap, if we're talking a many-paged transcript -- which we are).

Hope I'm not giving away GP's trade secrets.

Lets just get the next article summery out of the way:

JT: OBJECTION, everything they say is UNTRUE! OBJECTION to your OBJECTIONS! OBJECTION, you should go do the physically impossible! OBJECTION, I wanted a pony for my birthday! OBJEEEEEEEEECCCCTTTTIIIIIIOOOOONNNN, I WANT MY MOMIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

And yes, I know it says he "cross-examines," but we all know he is going to do this...

Still, for a good laugh I would love to see the stuff GP isn't covering. But I can understand you not doing so, I mean, what beef does Jack have with "selected excerpts" from his court hearing? He uses "selected excerpts" all the time!

Maybe we can just wait until this is all over before getting the full deal. I do wish there was more as well, but I have faith in GP and know that the key details are being presented in a way that is is short and concise.

If GP wasn't covering this, then we wouldn't have anything. I know the wait is hard, and the possibility of this coming to an end within a short time of GTA IV's release, makes it all the more difficult to wait for the surely climatic conclusion to all this.

GP, keep up the great work, and do what you have to in order to protect yourself from legal threats.

Man does Jack Thompson know anything about law? besides just passing motions and saying "I m a Lawyer"

He is completely ridiculous, and makes good reading. That characterization threw me for a loop since he brought up character evidence already. Hell most of this trial is about Jack's character and how he carries himself.

I hope that we can get a pdf version of the trial. Maybe it should be titled, "How Not to be a Lawyer"

I call dibs to write a movie using this transcript, and other Jack Thompson transcripts as the basis.

@ Ken
I say that Jack is starting to understand that the Interweb isn't his best friend...

@GP:

When Thompson claims that you can’t print selected excerpts from the trial testimony, but rather that you have a legal responsibility to report on the testimony of all witnesses, including himself, please tell me you don't just summarily brush that ridiculous notion aside. You do have a little fun with him first, don't you? Like asking him, "What's your legal authority for that claim?" You know, kinda like a cat'll play with a dead mouse -- before eating it.

id love to read jts testimony you want comedy gold thats it

I don't which one I'm more anxious to see: Jack on cross or Jack on a cross.

JackDon'tKnowJack Says:

"Yo, Jack:

Why you ain’t raise the most obvious defenses: mental retardation and insanity?"

I don't think either of those pleas would help him dodge disbarment. Temporary insanity maybe. Too bad he doesn't qualify for the temporary part.

Objection! lol.

Is Mr Thompson really a qualified lawyer? He's going on like somebody you would see on Boston Legal.

Tomrrows headlines: Thompson accuses Judge Tuma of case fixing
 
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Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
 

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