The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 3): Thompson Cross-Examines Judge Who Kicked Him Off GTA Cop Killer Case

GP: This article contains lengthy excerpts from controversial attorney Jack Thompson’s cross-examination of Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Moore. That being the case, I’m going to dispense with an intro and assume you’ve got the back story already. If not, you’ll want to check out part 1 and part 2 before you tackle this section…

(We pick up as Florida Bar prosecutor Sheila Tuma has completed her direct questioning of Judge James Moore. Thompson begins his cross-examination. 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…)

JT: Judge Moore, did you bring a libel action against me?

MOORE: No.

JT: Why not?

MOORE: Well –

TUMA: Objection to relevancy.

DT: Overruled.

MOORE: Why not?

JT: Yes.

MOORE: Mr. Thompson, I want to have the least amount of contact with you I can have. I don’t know how to put it any other way than that. I don’t want to see you…

(Thompson turns to the issue of whether he violated Judge Moore’s order by sending out press releases about the Alabama "GTA killer" case…)

JT: You say that you entered an order that prevented me from communicating about this particular case. Did you say that?

MOORE: Yes….

JT: Well, we had a hearing in June of 2005 at which we discussed what we’d be able to do going up to the criminal trial and then after. Right?

MOORE: That’s correct…

JT: Do you recall saying, "After the criminal case is over, have at it"?

MOORE: I said that… I meant to get in and litigate that case and represent your clients within the rules of the Bar.

JT: Judge, we were talking about communications with the media and you said after the criminal trial, I could have it or we could have at it. Isn’t that right?

MOORE: If you’re saying that I said you could violate the rules and contact the media, that is not what I said…

JT: Okay, what order did you enter that said I couldn’t talk to the media after the criminal case?…

MOORE: I didn’t enter an order… It wasn’t necessary. If you follow the Bar rules, you don’t have to have an order…

(this discussion continues at length, with numerous objections from the Bar prosecutor)

JT: What did I do then, Judge, that violated that rule? You come to Miami. You put your name on a complaint [against me] –

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor… asked and answered.

DT: Overruled.

JT: You file a Bar complaint with Alabama and with the Florida Bar and you said I violated an Alabama Bar rule as to my extra-judicial comments. What did I do?

MOORE: (After examining document) On July 25th, 2005 and August 3rd, 2005, public written statement referred to in a "60 Minutes" appearance in the story on the triple homicide saying, "It has a huge significance for our case in Alabama." Also, when you took my deposition, you discussed a situation where you had been on Court TV during that time… You shouldn’t have done it.

(Thompson turns to Judge Moore’s relationship with Alabama attorney Clatus Junkin)

JT: Let’s talk about Clatus Junkin… Have you ever heard from anybody that Clatus Junkin suggested that he had a special relationship with you…?

MOORE: Other than a conversation I had with Chris McCool, the District Attorney? No.

JT: And what did Mr. McCool tell you? Why don’t you tell the Court who Mr. McCool is?

MOORE: Mr. McCool is the District Attorney for our circuit and he called me… He said he had had a conversation with you and that there had been some statement to you to him about that Mr. Junkin could influence me in cases before me – and I guess specifically for this case…

JT: Okay. Did you ever talk to (Thompson’s former co-counsel) Ray Reiser, who was on this conversation with me, as to whether or not he heard Clatus Junkin say this?

MOORE: Twice.

JT: Really… And what did Mr. Reiser say?

MOORE: Mr. Reiser said that Mr. Junkin did not make those statements. He told me that on two occasions…

(there then ensued a lengthy round of objections and argument, followed by:)

JT: I want to ask [Judge Moore] about why he didn’t talk to me about Clatus Junkin…

MOORE: I did not because with the allegations being made, what I did was contact the Bar Association and the Judicial Inquiry Commission and referred the matter to them.

JT: You also filed a Bar complaint against me about this. Right? …

MOORE: That’s all part of it, yes…

(eventually, Thompson moves from the Clatus Junkin line of questioning, but gets into a bit of a dust-up with Judge Tunis over an exhibit…)

JT: Let the record reflect the Judge is angry now, as she often is, and I’m simply trying to get to a particular letter, the number of which I didn’t have in the Bar’s exhibit list…

(after some discussion around Thompson’s pro hac vice (visiting) admission to the Alabama Bar and Judge Moore revocation thereof, we get to…)

JT: …You entered an order, though, saying that I couldn’t communicate with you any further.

MOORE: Directly to me or through my fax machine…

JT: Okay, and what was the annoyance that you had with that?

MOORE: Just fax after fax after fax after fax after fax after fax.

JT: Do you ever get communications by fax from other lawyers?

MOORE: Occasionally…

JT: What’s the cut-off on how many faxes?

MOORE: Oh, I don’t know. You reached it, whatever it is.

JT: Anybody else ever reach it?

MOORE: No… Not close… You ruined my fax machine.

JT: I ruined your fax machine?

MOORE: It quit.

JT: Did it.

MOORE: Yes.

JT: What kind was it?

MOORE: I don’t know. A cheap one.

TUMA: Objection.

MOORE: I’m sorry, Judge.

JT: Did you get a new one?

MOORE: Yes.

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor.

JT: He said it ruined his fax machine. Did you get a new one?

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor.

MOORE: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

DT: Next question.

JT: Why can’t I ask that?

DT: Because it’s irrelevant to the complaint whether or not the Judge in Alabama bought a new fax machine.

JT: Just so the record is clear, it’s highly relevant because this Judge is annoyed with someone who sent him too many faxes and is claiming that I ruined his fax machine.

DT: Do you have another question…?

JT: I’ve got lots of questions.

(what followed was discussion of Thompson’s pro hac vice status and some other aspects of the case… Following a November, 2005 motion by video game industry lawyers to revoke Thompson’s pro hac vice, Thompson tried to withdraw on Nov. 7th. But Judge Moore refused to let him, and revoked his pro hac vice on Nov. 18th)

JT: So you wanted to make sure it was a revocation and not a withdrawal.

MOORE: Yes. Based on the evidence before the Court, the Court had determined that you could not comport yourself to the rules and I revoked your pro hac vice.

(After a time, the discussion wanders back to… the fax machine)

MOORE: …The problem is you were sending just bundles of [documents]… these long speeches and letters to other people that I had no idea what the letters were about… about Katrina money and these lawyers down here in Miami and all this…

JT: And I broke your fax.

MOORE: Yes.

TUMA: Objection.

MOORE: My secretary said be sure and tell you that.

JT: I’ll buy you one.

MOORE: I don’t want you to buy me one. I bought one…

DT: Sustained. Next question…

JT: Why didn’t you hold me in contempt?

MOORE: …Because I knew if I communicated with you based on my past experience with you, it would just get worse…

JT: This Judge thinks that he can revoke the Petition Clause of the Constitution and tell a citizen he can’t communicate with a Judge… Is it constitutional to enter an order to prevent a citizen from communicating with a judge?

MOORE: …Under some circumstances, of course… I have never done this with any other litigant or person even from prison that I get letter after letter after letter about because they weren’t as disruptive and as numerous as the ones you sent… I think a Judge can take proper steps under the circumstance to limit contact…

(next came some additional discussion of Clatus Junkin as well as Thompson’s probing as to why Judge Moore filed the Bar complaint and what Moore’s expectations were about the complaint…)

JT: You’re annoyed with me, aren’t you?

MOORE: I’m not really annoyed. I mean, I don’t know if that’s the word.

JT: What’s the word?

MOORE: The word is, you can’t comport yourself – I base what everybody else does on what the rules say this is what lawyers are supposed to do: civility, professionalism. That’s what I go on. In my opinion based on the evidence, you violated those rules. It’s just as simple as that.

JT: I’m not cordial. Is that it?

MOORE: When you tell a female lawyer that her mother would be ashamed of what she was doing and when you call them liars in Court and when you call me corrupt and put that out there to everybody in the world without any factual basis to it at all?

JT: Let me correct you, Judge. I said to [Take Two attorney] Jim Smith that his mother should be embarrassed by his representing these people who are selling pornography to children… do you think their parents would be proud of what they do?

TUMA: Objection to the relevancy.

DT: Sustained.

JT: Now, hold on. Hold on.

DT: Don’t tell me to hold on. I’m making a legal ruling. Go to the next question.

(Thompson and Judge Tunis spar over the objection, leading to…)

JT: Judge… What am I missing here, guys?

DT: Don’t do that. That is so inappropriate.

JT: What is inappropriate?

DT: For you to turn to the gallery and speak to two lawyers that are 50 feet away and ask them and turn your back to me… I don’t treat you that way. I don’t turn around in my chair and talk to other people. I’m speaking to you, sir…

(back onto questioning Judge Moore…)

JT: Do you think that what this company does – Take Two – is something the people who work there should be proud of?

TUMA: Objection to the relevancy.

DT: Sustained. It’s irrelevant. That is not the issue in this case.

JT: Have you made a decision, Judge, on whether or not these video games had anything to do with the death of these three cops?

TUMA: Objection to the relevancy.

DT: Sustained. You don’t need to answer that question, sir…

(ensuing next was a discussion of Devin Moore’s criminal trial and how a Thompson appearance on the Nancy Grace program might have impacted the trial… Due to time constraints, Judge Moore’s cross-examination was continued until the following day, Nov. 27th, 2007. We pick up at the following point:)

JT: There is one reference to my appearance on "60 Minutes." I’ll read it to you: "…a mole within Rockstar called me… and told me about this game (Bully) which he said would be the equivalent of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in a school setting in which kids can rehearse bludgeoning their fellow students and teachers." So you object to my reference to that? …That could have adversely affected the jury in the [Devin Moore criminal trial]?

MOORE: The Court had to consider everything in context.

JT: I’m asking you to consider it in context.

MOORE: Then the answer is yes…

JT: Okay, Judge. How about this context; that we’re living in a country where kids are buying extremely violent video games and they pose a public safety hazard and that I feel I’ve got an obligation as a citizen to warn people about that? …What is there in this news release that refers to the [Devin Moore murder] case that you were understanably protective about?

MOORE: You did not specifically refer to it, but the lawyer that is involved in the case in Fayette, Alabama… where there’s also a capital murder case is sending this out, video games – it’s all to be considered by the public as one thing. They see your face and there’s the association.

(next there is a discussion of a video game alert sent out by Thompson in July, 2005…)

JT: I sent that to the ESRB, Judge… this wasn’t to the media, was it? …the embedding of sex in this game isn’t relevant to what was going on in Fayette, Alabama regarding the death of three police officers… this somehow could have compromised the case – the trial – in Fayette?…

MOORE: Could have. Why take the chance? That was –

JT: Well, you know, Judge, why take the chance with kids buying – since you asked the question – video games with embedded sexual content?

TUMA: Objection to relevancy.

DT: Sustained.

JT: He’s the one who raised it.

DT: He raised it under the guise of why take the chance of polluting a town of 5,000 people that had to produce a fair and impartial jury in a capital case… Let’s stay on point.

JT: I’m on point, Judge. How about polluting millions of kids who buy this game?

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor.

DT: But that’s not the issue before this Court…

JT: Can you comprehend, Judge… a concern I might have beyond supposedly making money in Fayette, Alabama regarding the deaths of three police officers, that I might have a concern about this that has extended back to Paducah, Kentucky when three girls were killed there in 1997…

TUMA: Objection…

JT: Can you comprehend that I have a right to write to the head of the ESRB… that I might have a concern about this as a father of a 15-year-old who lives in this culture, swims in it, with other kids? Can you comprehend I have something beyond the concerns of your case?

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor…

DT: Sustained.

(after some discussing of jury sequestration and sentencing in the Devin Moore case, Thompson, making a joke about the volume of documents in the case, says…)

JT: I went to law school with Al Gore and I’m sure he’s upset I killed a couple of forests in this case.

(Thompson also complained about a parody website created by Take Two, part of which lampooned him… and got into a discussion about a female attorney who represented Take Two in the Alabama case)

MOORE: I remeber testifying about the issue of civility between lawyers and that you had made statements… I can’t remember her name…

JT: Rebecca Ward.

MOORE: Miss Ward… that she should be ashamed as a woman for doing what she was doing… and I believe that… violates the rules of civility that lawyers should have in my court. 

JT: Okay,and why do you feel that way?

MOORE: Because that’s what the law and the rule is… That you’re to be civil to one another.

(Thompson then talked about speaking about video games to the National Organization for Women and quoted from Colin Powell on morality. The cross-examination wrapped up with yet another discussion of Clatus Junkin…)

 

 

 

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