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.



By way of background, Junkin's name first surfaced on GamePolitics in November, 2005. At the time, Jack Thompson was representing the families of two police officers and a police dispatcher murdered by 18-year-old Grand Theft Auto player Devin Moore in 2004. Devin Moore was convicted of the rampage killings in August, 2005 and now sits on Death Row in Alabama. Strickland vs. Sony, a wrongful death lawsuit filed byThompson on behalf of the victims' families seeks $600 million from Take Two, Rockstar, Sony, Wal-Mart and GameStop.

In a surprise decision issued on November 18th, 2005 Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Moore (no relation to Devin Moore) revoked Thompson's pro hac vice (visiting) right to practice law in Alabama, essentially throwing him off the case. Not long afterward, Thompson sent a letter to Alabama's Judicial Inquiry Commission in which he suggested that Clatus Junkin had claimed that he could fix cases before Judge Moore:
 

...We had heard going into this civil case, before it was even filed, that a particular Western Alabama lawyer had to be part of our litigation team or Judge Moore would not give us a fair hearing... This lawyer himself claims, openly, that 'Judge Moore will not allow you to survive summary judgment if I am not on the case...'


The case-fixing allegation was raised again during Thompson's Bar trial where Junkin, under oath, denied Thompson's charge. On cross-examination, Thompson and Junkin sparred over the case-fixing issue. Surprisingly, it appears from the testimony that Thompson and Junkin may have had had some early cooperative discussions in regard to assembling the Strickland vs. Sony legal team. At least, that's how Junkin portrayed it. He testified that he helped Thompson reach an agreement to represent one of the families involved in the suit.

(GP: The following quotes are excerpted from 43 pages of testimony involving Clatus Junkin which took place in Miami on November 26th, 2007. Junkin "CJ" is under cross-examination by Thompson "JT")

JT: Do you have a personal relationship with Judge Moore?

CJ: In a rural circuit, everyone has a personal relationship with the circuit judge. We don't live in a large city... everyone will know everybody...

JT: ...I encouraged you to file a complaint [against me], didn't I?

CJ: ...I've never met you... and yet you created more problems for me probably than any other single individual that I've ever known about...

JT: Do you know I represented all three familes [of Devin Moore's victims]?

CJ: At that time [early 2005], I'm not sure you did because you came to me - you seemed to never have represented the [slain Officer James] Crump family until after I became involved in the case...

JT: Do you know how much money I have earned from all these video games cases?

CJ: No.

JT: Would it surprise you to know it's zero?

CJ: Well... Don't say you're doing it for the good of the community.

JT: I shouldn't say that?

CJ: You were very much interested in the amount of money that was going to be collected... because you did not want to retain me for 10 percent... you thought that was an outrageous sum...

JT: Did you refer in that phone call [with me]... to your relationship with Judge Moore?

CJ: You asked me what my relationship with Judge Moore was... [Judge Moore and I] do not socialize... we are cordial...

(GP: Judge Moore once also worked for Junkin and eventually succeeded him as circuit court judge)

JT: Do you recall my cursing at you?

CJ: I do not recall you cursing...

JT: In fact, I told you to "go fuck yourself," didn't I?

CJ: You may have...

JT: I can assure you I said that... Do you recall any harsh words or any reason for harsh words between you and me?

CJ: No. I thought you were being right nice that day. You were very solicitous... [Two local attorneys] had the Crump case and you felt a real need to have all three cases. You told me how much more it would mean and you'd be in control of the case. You'd be able to control the media, that you could handle the whole thing...

JT: So your testimony is that you're the reason why the Crumps joined the case?

CJ: I'm the reason that - yes, at that time...

(GP: Thompson and Junkin also sparred over the wishes of the slain police officers' families in regard to whether Devin Moore should have gotten the death penalty during his criminal trial. For clarity's sake we should make it clear that neither Clatus Junkin nor Jack Thompson had any involvement in the criminal trial of Devin Moore.)

CJ: ...I guess if [the families] thought they were going to get a billion dollars, maybe they thought... that could salve the wound and maybe the right thing would be done because [the murders were] actually this video's fault and not this young fella's fault...

JT: So how -

CJ: So, you're the man who's going to punish the video company, put the video company out of business...

(GP: Nearing the end of his testimony, Junkin lashes out at Thompson over the case fixing allegations)

CJ: I despise you... You understand that?

JT: Yes, I understand that. Thank you for admitting that it colors all of your testimony.

CJ: No, it doesn't color any of my testimony...

GamePolitics will present additional testimony from the Jack Thompson Bar trial in coming days.

Next: Alabama Judge James Moore


Comments

Looks like 10% of nothing ended up costing ol' Clatus a pretty penny.

@ CyberSkull,

JT quotes are a dangerous drug, kids! Only take them if the doctor asks you to!

Side effects can include an inability to keep control over one's shincters.

Even the judges despise him. xD

Wait I thought Jack Thompson was trying to prevent getting disbarred? Man he is doing a great job of that.

The last thing JT should do is bring up character evidence. We all know that his character is, well, a horrible one he even shows it.


JT: Do you recall my cursing at you?

CJ: I do not recall you cursing…

JT: In fact, I told you to “go fuck yourself,” didn’t I?

CJ: You may have…

JT: I can assure you I said that… Do you recall any harsh words or any reason for harsh words between you and me?


Now if I was the opposing side, I would just start using character evidence because that should be enough to destroy Jack Thompson. He has shown all the character traits of being vindictive and using the courts for his own agendas. I still cant believe he lasted this long as an attorney (although I believe he only lasted this long because he isnt quite well known as Elliot Spitzer, Mike Nifong and other high profile attorneys). Now I m second guessing myself for not going for my law degree and passing the bar in florida.

I wonder if they started showing all his TV appearances and public emails? I also wonder if they will call him out for his blatant lies and factual errors on those pubic accessible mediums? I wonder if his "Figuratively" will come into play? I know if I was the opposing Jack Thompson I would use that against him. Now I got a clip in My mind of Jack Thompson doing his Rants after using his own "figuratively" treats against him.

Too bad we cant get tickets to this trial. It should be recorded and broadcasted, maybe a PPV it would be great television.

I wonder if any TV programs will be making parodies of this?

And that's the part of Jack Thompson's evilness and cruelty that all good-minded people should be primarily concerned about. Not his bullshit lawsuits against T2 and Strauss Zelnick (who's got more money than Jack's got bullshit arguments). It's the victims like Alysia of Best Buy (with the pierced eyebrow) that Jack tries to get fired from their suck-ass, minimum-wage paying jobs that concern me most. And trust me, they're plenty innocent people like that in Jack Thompson's wake. You just never hear about them.

Did I get banned?

EZK: I gave you your comments back.

Just wantto say thankyou to GP for publishing this material. It brightened my otherwise dreary work day. I will definately stay tuned.

And if his argument is "Jack Thompson ruined my professional reputation and law practice," then, small town or not, that's gotta be worth just a bit more than $10k if he prevails.

"Would it surprise you to know it's zero."

Hem. Thompson, it could be the ONLY thing about you that didn't surprised me.

This is getting VERY interesting. I'll surely stay tuned. That's better than most comedy shows. Not even Louis-José Houde or "Et Dieu créa Laflaque" come that close in term of absurdity.

Must be hard for you Dennis to search through a transcript for the most important bits.

@StealthKnight

I always assumed he had Messiac Sydrome, or whatever it is when one believes they are messangers about some issue and prodicting some sort of doom.

OH NO JOHNNY BRUCE SAID A SWEAR.

....
....

I dunno, i got nothing this time. Usually i have something at least slightly witty, this time i don't.

@DarkTetsuya:

Jack was on the radio this morning, doing an interview on some morning show (GP's got a link to the radio station's archives) about his anti-game bill (you know, the one that's bound to be ruled unconstitutional). He re-told the story of his stings at Best Buy (to prove his point about lack of age verification) and disclosed that his nickname for his son is Stinger.

I don't have to make this stuff. Matter of fact, I couldn't if I tried.

I'd personally be more satisfied if he was laughed at in law book examples of how to not practice law. That way, when my children grow up, they'll have a few good laughs and learn a bit of history. He's better off being compared to psychopaths that can't distinguish reality from their surreal vision.

A horrible thought just hit me. What if the judge rules in Jack's favor?

@JackDon'tKnowJack

Careful man, I know my sides are still tender, best to space these things out lest you do serious damage.


@SFM Hobbes
I'm getting a mental image of him cobbling together a portable coilgun that fires CDs and he runs around a school killing people with counterstrike screaming "LOOK, GAMES ARE KILLING PEOPLE!"

It's like he either knows he's doomed so he doesn't care anymore, or he still considers himself above the law.

Can anyone confirm if any if JT's emails, press releases, letters, and other written items were considered during the trial?

@Zerodash:

Yes. Several reams worth were admitted into evidence.

@Zerodash:

Bear in mind that one of the many ethical violations Jack is charged with involves his ignoring Judge Moore's court order to not issue press releases about the Alabama case, an order Jack violated countless times (he can't help himself but issue a daily press release or two). It would surprise me if the Bar's Counsel didn't introduce those press releases into evidence. It's neccessary proof of the charged violation.

I actually have a job doing legal ethics research for one of the top legal ethics experts in the world this summer.

I think I'm going to show him some of this stuff, get his opinion on our good friend Jack. Should be funny.

THE CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST

I lol'd. Than again I always lol at Jack.

JT: Do you know how much money I have earned from all these video games cases?

CJ: No.

JT: Would it surprise you to know it’s zero?

Wow, I would think that in Jack's little fantasy world he would be rolling in cash.

his income from these videogame cases is zero because he's never won one of them.

@Geno:

Damn! I was just about to comment on that little exchange there... Isn't it zero simply because he hasn't won any of them?

and will someone pass the popcorn? I haven't gotten any yet! :P

JT called no witnesses but *himself*?


....


"A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."

"CJ: I despise you… You understand that?"

He may not. But I do. Perfectly.

I think Johnny Bruce Thompson has income sources, such as his significant other, and maybe he got paid to talk shit on Faux News, or other places where someone will pay him to spew his hatred.

In this day and age, journalistic trolling often generates page hits, which is ultimately money.

JT actually asked him if he remember him telling him to "go fuck himself"? If anything, doesn't that just prove how immature and unprofessional he is? In fact, just the other day Jim Sterling of Destructoid.com said that JT had told him to molest children in a back and forth e-mail session they had. Kind of goes to show you how nutty the guy is, I mean even jokingly or sarcastically that's a pretty fucked up thing to tell someone to do. That's a huge new low for him from his previous suggestions he's made to other gamers who spoke with him, some of which involved him telling people to kill themselves.

Here's a link to the Destructoid blog by the way in which Thompson suggest Sterling molest children: http://www.destructoid.com/jack-thompson-tells-me-to-rape-a-child-advoca...

@GP:

Surprisingly, it appears from the testimony that Thompson and Junkin may have had had some early cooperative discussions in regard to assembling the Strickland vs. Sony legal team.

Why surprisingly?

GP: It was surprising to me because the relationship has been so bitter. I had no inkling there was some apparent level of cooperation until I read Junkin's transcripts.

C.J.: " [Y]ou felt a real need to have all three cases. You told me how much more it would mean and you’d be in control of the case. You’d be able to control the media, that you could handle the whole thing."

That's entirely believable. That's text-book Thompson, right there.

He ain't in it for the kids. Silly numb-nut that he is, he ain't even trying to get paid. He just wants to control all the media attention.

My favorite part was when Thompson was told not to say he was doing this for the good of the community, because he refused to pay what Junkin requested.

@Jack Thompson:

If as you claim, Mr. Junkin told early you in the game that he could exert improper influence over Judge Moore and "fix" your case, why'd you wait until after Judge Moore had bounced you from the case to disclose these alleged violations (and very serious ones, at that) of the Alabama bar and judicial ethics rules? And, in fauiling to disclose the allegation immediately, violate Florida and Alabama ethics rules yourself?

@Trevor McGee:

Damn, that's shocking even for JT. I doubt Sterling has a case for libel, but he should at least post an official complaint to the Bar. (More ammo for them can't hurt, eh?)

That was, without a doubt, some of the stragest questioning I've ever seen.

Although it's absolutely true to form for ol' JT

IS he... is he as a lawyer bragging about telling some one

"JT: In fact, I told you to “go fuck yourself,” didn’t I?

CJ: You may have…"

My god he's better at entertaining me than TV, or "murder simulators, who's got the pop corn bowl?!

We need audio, damn it!! There's a twang that goes with Mr. Junkin's testimony and it ain't quiet the same without it.

You know, if Jack loses his case, it would almost be a little sad to lose the annoying little bugger. I mean what if the person who replaces him is less entertaining, and even a little bit competent?

I was wondering if the exchange between JT and Sterling was ever going to surface here. I know if the roles had been reversed in that conversation, Jack would be filing suit as we speak.

@JdkJ

YES, AUDIO IS A MUST (if it is available).

It's nice to get a look into the legal proceedings of our favourite nutjob lawyer. Wow, he's crazier than I thought.

Also,

@Void

Even if JT is disbarred, it doesn't mean he can't talk about this subject, so we can still be entertained.
The only difference will be that it'll be a lot harder for him to act on what he says.

@jackdon'tknowjack

In my mind, I heard the voice of Boss Hogg.

shame a decision won't be made till next month, cause my b-day is tomorrow and a great present would be is JT getting disbarred.

"[The murders were] actually this video’s fault and not this young fella’s fault . . . . "

You gotta love the court reporter that typed "fella" and not "fellow." That's what I call being on your job and paying attention to details.

The Vultures are circling Mr.Thompson.

BANE XXIII

Minneapolis, Mn

Is there any way of being able to view or read the entire transcripts? While I do enjoy the snippets, I like knowing the entire context.

Also, is JT still banned from commenting here? The last I knew of he was banned for, well, being JT as usual (read: inflammatory comments, rude behavior, name-calling, etc.).

As I sit in my study, chuckling at Thompsons idiocy, to my left there is a lever. It is a quiet, unassuming lever, marked only JTD. On the sweet, sweet day that Jack-ass is disbarred, the lever will be pulled. An alarm will go off in multiple gamers friends, relatives and people who just hate Thompsons ass houses. They will congregate at my house, bringing various items of food and drink. We will sit for a brief minute while myself or someone else reads out the announcment of his disbarrment.

And then we will go fucking nuts.

This is just pure gold! We finally get a look at long last at just how exactly jack does business. And it doesn’t look like he doesn’t even adhere to his Christian principles, nor does he conduct himself in a professional manner. Even if this is just the tip of the iceberg, it's already pretty damning testimony. I have the feeling I’m in for some good reading in the next few days! :D

Jack’s latest filing is incontrovertible proof then that he knows he’s in deep trouble and at this point is just flailing about, desperately grasping at straws as he tries to find a technicality to get himself off on. Yeah, good luck Jack. You’re going down anyway.

Hey, you know what, GP? That you have managed to secure the transcripts and have published and will continue to publish them is more than enough to have me shell out 20 bucks for a year's worth of membership in the ECA.

Youdaman.

By a show of hands, who don't care that parts of the transcripts ain't got nothing to do with gaming and wanna read 'em anyway?

See all those hands, GP? C'mon, hook us up with a link.

@ Monkey Peaches
Happy Birthday!

The replacement for Tack Jhompson I'm betting will be less entertaining and more competant. Even though he'll still be able to make noise he won't be as loud.
 
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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
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