The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 6): Bully Case Judge Testifies

March 25, 2008 -

Whatever you think about Jack Thompson, there are times when he can play the media like a Stradivarius. And so it was that he managed to hold the attention of both the mainstream and gaming press for several weeks in 2006 while he sought to block the release of Rockstar’s Bully in Florida.

Thompson’s unusual suit, which charged that the T-rated Bully was a public nuisance, came before Judge Ronald Friedman on the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. In an early-round win for Thompson, Friedman ordered Take Two to produce the game for an in-chambers viewing prior to its retail launch.

That would be Thompson’s only victory in the case, which quickly turned contentious (anyone surprised?). Thompson blasted Friedman endlessly following the judge’s ruling that he would not grant Thompson's petition to block Bully’s release. Thompson upped the ante by announcing that he would run for Friedman’s seat in 2008. We note that Thompson does not appear to be following through on that claim.

For his part, Judge Friedman wasted little time in filing a complaint against Thompson with the Florida Bar. The Friedman complaint was one of several on which the Bar opted to take Thompson to trial last November. In this multi-part series GamePolitics has been publishing excerpted transcripts from the video game-related portions of the Thompson Bar trial. Today's edition covers the direct testimony of Judge Friedman. Due to the length of Friedman's testimony, Thompson's cross examination of the judge will appear in the next installment.

( In the excerpted transcripts that follow, RF is Judge Ronald Friedman. JT is Thompson, TUMA is prosecutor Sheila Tuma and DT is Judge Dava Tunis, who is presiding over the case…)

TUMA: Can you tell us what Mr. Thompson asked you to do to make the determination of entering an injunction [to bock the release of Bully]?

RF: He wanted me to review the game and prohibit its distribution, which was scheduled a few days later, maybe a week later.

TUMA: Did you entertain his request?

RF: I did... I heard arguments from both sides. The counsel for the defendants [Take Two] did not think it was necessary to do any of this because under the First Amendment, they had a right to make the distribution.

The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 5): 2nd Take Two Attorney Testifies

March 23, 2008 -

Background for today’s testimony: Rebecca Ward was one of two Blank Rome attorneys who testified against Jack Thompson in his November, 2007 Bar trial. Ward, along with James Smith, represented Take Two Interactive and other video game industry defendants in the $600 million Strickland vs Sony lawsuit which Thompson filed in Alabama.

It was upon a motion filed by Smith and Ward that Judge James Moore, in November, 2005, revoked Thompson’s pro hac vice (visiting) right to practice law in Alabama, essentially throwing him off the Strickland case, which alleged that a 2004 triple cop killing was prompted by the 18-year-old murderer’s play of Grand Theft Auto.

(Smith and Ward filed a Bar complaint against Thompson and were called to testify at his trial.  In the excerpted transcripts, WARD is Ward. JT is Thompson, TUMA is prosecutor Sheila Tuma and DT is Judge Dava Tunis, who is presiding over the case…)

TUMA: Can you please identify that exhibit for the Court?

WARD: This is an e-mail... from Mr. Thompson, addressed to me, three other partners at my law firm, and our local counsel in Alabama, dated September 21, 2005.

TUMA: ...can you read the first sentence, please?

WARD: ..."Two of the partners in your firm, James T. Smith and Rebecca D. Ward, have decided to do a very foolish and very unethical thing... Your two partners have also presided over the decision of Rockstar to launch a website and suggest that I am a bisexual pedophile..."

TUMA: Can you tell me at any time if you have presided over the decision of Rockstar to launch a website?

WARD: No. In fact the particular website in question, I didn't even know existed until Mr. Thompson sent this e-mail.

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The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (part 4): Take Two Attorney Testifies Against Thompson

March 21, 2008 -

Background for today's testimony: James Smith was one of two Blank Rome attorneys who testified against Jack Thompson in his November, 2007 Bar trial. Smith, along with Rebecca Ward, represented Take Two Interactive and other video game industry defendants in the $600 million Strickland vs Sony lawsuit which Thompson filed in Alabama.

It was upon a motion filed by Smith and Ward that Judge James Moore, in November, 2005 revoked Thompson's pro hac vice (visiting) right to practice law in Alabama, essentially throwing him off the Strickland case, which alleged that a 2004 triple cop killing was prompted by the 18-year-old murderer's play of Grand Theft Auto.

(Smith and Ward filed a Bar complaint against Thompson and were called to testify at his trial.  In the excerpted transcripts, SMITH is Smith. JT is Thompson, TUMA is prosecutor Sheila Tuma and DT is Judge Dava Tunis, who is presiding over the case…)

TUMA: Explain to the Court why you filed your Bar complaint in this matter against Mr. Thompson.

SMITH: [Our complaint deals] with a history of the most offensive, abusive conduct that I have ever encountered in the 25 years or so that I have been a lawyer... I continue to get e-mails. I think I got one last week from Mr. Thompson. They have the same menacing tone, the same offensive quality to them. Nothing, in my view, has stopped him and I expect that when I leave here today that he will bombard me -

JT: Your Honor -

SMITH: -and my law firm with more e-mails -

JT: Your Honor, motion to -

SMITH: -because that's what he does.

JT: Your Honor, motion to strike. That's conjecture.

DT: Overruled.

JT: Overruled?

DT: Yes, overruled. Continue.

TUMA: Can you explain to the Court what effect Mr. Thompson's conduct has had on you?

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

March 20, 2008 -

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?

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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.

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The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 1): Accused of Case-Fixing, Alabama Lawyer Fires Back at Thompson

March 18, 2008 -

As previously reported by GamePolitics, Miami attorney and video game industry nemesis Jack Thompson underwent a career-threatening, nine-day trial on Florida Bar misconduct charges late last year.

As might be expected, the proceedings before Judge Dava Tunis produced no small amount of sparks. A ruling on the Bar's case against Thompson has not yet been issued by the Judge. Her decision is expected next month.

In the meantime, Thompson has filed a suit under Florida's False Claims Act against Judge Tunis as well as six justices of the Florida Supreme Court, alleging that written loyalty oaths required under state law were not properly completed, thus invalidating any rulings they might make - including, presumably, any ruling in the Thompson Bar trial. The false claims case is pending.

Although GamePolitics was unable to cover the Thompson Bar trial in person, we have obtained transcripts of the testimony provided by five prosecution witnesses, each of whom relates in some way to Thompson's ongoing crusade against violent video games. Included within the transcripts is Thompson's cross-examination of the witnesses. Some other prosecution witnesses whose testimony did not relate to video game issues were judged to be outside the scope of this GamePolitics investigative report and their testimony will not be included in these articles.

Aside from his own multiple days of testimony, Thompson presented no additional witnesses. GamePolitics does not have transcripts of Thompson's testimony, although we are working to acquire his closing argument. Thompson was offered the opportunity to comment on the Bar trial for this series, but declined to do so. He also declined GP's request to provide the text of his closing argument.

In the first installment of this multi-part series, today's edition of GamePolitics will examine the dramatic testimony of Clatus Junkin, an attorney and former judge from Fayette, Alabama. Junkin was called as the first witness against Thompson by Florida Bar prosecutor Sheila Tuma on November 26th, 2007.

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InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
Andrew EisenYou know what I'd really like to see become standard? The ability to pause cutscenes. Rewind and skip (with "Are you sure?") would be nice too. Oh, and maybe display the duration of the cutscene when it's paused.07/03/2015 - 1:03am
Mattsworknameonly reason to do region locking now is to be dicks your consumer base. Granted, we see that ALOT these days07/03/2015 - 12:48am
MattsworknameI understand the concerns about the region locking thing, I just thing that if you buy a game legitimately, no matter where it's from or what langauge it's in, you should be allowed to play it. the argument about piracy was proven false years ago, the07/03/2015 - 12:47am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/culture/2015/7/2/8888243/reddit-subreddits-private-after-ama-victoria-taylor-fired bad optics by Reddit.07/03/2015 - 12:33am
Goth_SkunkI'm in full agreement on the subtitles issue. I also believe that every game should come with a single-player component, and be playable without an internet connection. Except MMOs.07/02/2015 - 10:51pm
TechnogeekRegion locking bans seem like something that'll be very difficult to pass into law. I'm fully on board with the subtitle requirement, though.07/02/2015 - 10:00pm
MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
PHX Corphttps://trustygem.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/windows-10-insider-preview-phase-3/ My Thoughts on Windows 10 Insider Preview07/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?t=18&v=CbGmrySQLIg looks like Inafune is giving capcom the middle finger.07/02/2015 - 5:05pm
TechnogeekUnfortunately, the shoutbox moves fast enough that I can't find why I got that impression, so if was indeed erroneous I do apologize.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
 

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