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

JT seems to be trying to prove that Junkin is biased against him for filing a complaint about unprofessional behavior, by reminding the court how unprofessional he was towards Junkin?

Yeah he's addressing one aspect of the unprofessional behavior (the telling off), and using it to attempt to distract from the other (making claims about judges), but really, I don't see how this helps him. He's mildly proven that Junkin has a bit of a bias, but he has done nothing to show why Junkin's complaint about JT telling fibs about Junkin and the judge is any less valid...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

You know, I may not be a legal expert, but Jack's own Testimony and line of questioning seems to hurt him more than it helps.

This says it all:

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?


All I can say is, "how stupid are you Jack-o?"

What I completely don't get, and if anyone else does just let me know.

Why does Jack in his crusade to censor video games, continue to use what could be considered in most places in at least America, obscene language?

How does this further his cause? And where did the behavior to speak this way come from? Surely it wasn't video games as he doesn't play them.

@jepp

Who said he had to be consistant? Hell, even coherant?

This would make a great Musical. Seriously, JT: The Musical! It would have comedy! More comedy! A village idiot! Lawyers! It would be fun for the whole family.

Ah, if only I could watch the trial. But I can believe it. JT causes trouble for whoever gets his goat, and boy do a lot of people have his goat. Baah!

@jepp:

Maybe from the Biblical command to go forth and multiply? Although that is more like, "Go fuck each other."

@ JdkJ

I was thinking the same, actually. I'd like to see it all.

@Void:

Don't you think if someone more competent did come along they'd wait for JT to be gone for good? (then again you can't swing a sack of money and not hit someone who fits that 'more competent than JT' description...)

And do you really want someone more competent to take his place anyway? Me neither.

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


That reminds me When Jack Thompson wanted to do a Crossfire type meeting in a collage campus with Jason Della Rocca, and Jack wanted money from it while Jason Did not. Jack dropped the proposal...

the jesus man who is all gung ho for anti video games swears

same on that mother fucker

wow im hypocritical...but ok

what a freak

@DarkTetsuya:

I think that myself every time I hear the "When Jack Thompson's gone, whoever replaces him . . . ." line.

Like what? It's a b-ball game? Can't have more than five players on the court at a time?

To steal a line from scrubs to convey how awesome this is.

"This moment is so great, I would cheat on that other moment from before, marry this one and raise a family of tiny little moments"

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?

There are two possible explanations.

1. Because you had your pro hac vice license revoked and couldn't continue practicing law in Alabama. Hard to make money on cases you can't take part in.

2. If this extends to the larger set of cases he's had beyond the scope of those in Alabama... hard to make money on cases you sabotage and then subsequently lose.

GP: While I can't address JT's other legal activities, there's a reason why number is zero. The cases aren't succeeding.

There was a case filed after Columbine, but I don't believe he had a role. That case lost. There was a case filed in Paducah, KY following a school shooting. JT had that one. It lost. There was one in, I believe, TN, some kids shot at people driving down the interstate. He had that one, at least for a while. I believe the plaintiffs dropped the case... There is the Alabama case. Still ongoing, but he was booted. He is part of a New Mexico case, which was tossed recently but an appeal has been filed.

So... no winners, no fees...

Actually, a complete transcript link would be appriciated. Instead of a musical, I'm thinking more of a made for TV movie. The only problem is that in light of the Dead Rising/Dawn of the Dead legal battle going on right now, I think a made for TV movie about JT would run afoul of The Pink Panther copyrights. Just because we swap the hero with the villian doesn't mean they will let us get away with that level of bumbling.

What I'm failing to see is what Jack was attempting to prove with this line of questioning.

Also, I love the legal maneuver of "Your honor, the witness of the prosecution doesn't like me so their sworn testimony is obviously wrong." Jack, if everyone who didn't like you lied all the time, this would be Bizzaro World, where everyone talks in negatives.

Also, the amount of obscenities his mouth spews in his self styled crusade against obscenity is rediculous. He uses words in public that he tried to have 2LiveCrew arrested for.

GP: Actually, there is no complete transcript link. What I've got are hard copies and what you will read here has been typed in by me...

@F**ked Up:

I understand that the Bar introduced 30,000 pages of Jack's e-mails, letters, press releases, etc., into evidence. It's possible to convict someone for a complex, multi-institution, financial fraud in less than 30,000 pages. I also understand that Jack, to (a) be his usual assinine self and (b) frustrate the proceedings, insisted on spending a whole afternoon reading portions of those documents into the record, word-for-word.

Stray thought, and it's of no importance to anything really, but I am vaguely amused by the hypocrisy of Jack Thompson telling someone to fuck themselves. It's not very...christian, of him.

@Xlorep DarkHelm:

I think Jack convinces the families of unfortunate victims to retain him by offering his "services" on a contingency fee basis (i.e., you don't have pay me a cent upfront and I only get paid if I win). It's the "I only get paid if I win" part that Jack keeps tripping over.

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?
_________________________________

I find this quite amusing. Yet disturbing.

The man thinks he's doing it for the good of the community? Truley he is twisted.

Send me the bill for pdf'ing them.

@Xlorep DarkHelm:

Plus, you gotta remember that he's got the market all to himself. Your average sane lawyer ain't in the business of taking guaranteed-to-lose cases on no contingency basis -- 'cause that ain't good for business.

Thanks JDKJ,

So Now I know JT is the master of Stall tactics. Well they say everyone is good at something, but this isnt something to be proud of. Cant we sue him for wasting Tax Payer money?

hmm...
I also wonder if he will be on Fox News after he gets his license revoked?
Nah, nevermind he will be on Fox News. After all Fox News doesnt care about Facts there all about ratings although I wonder if anyone will call them out on it? But this does bring up a point on what will JT do after he gets his licenses revoke? Work at Best Buy?

@ F**ked Up

Of course he will still e on Fox, he is a "school shooting expert" I still want to know how one becomes a school shooting expert.

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…

That's the most profound testimony of the whole trial.

Ha Ebonheart,

Well I was told that Titles are meaningless since well anyone can create a title for themself. After all I am a president (of My own company) and Senior Technical Adviser and etc (for a friends company). But in reality we just gave each other the titles we just use each other when we need help, My company consist of only me and my friends company consist of only him.

Well if your wondering how he became a school shooting expert, just think about what Stephan Colbert had to do to be "Senior Child Molestation Expert"

I sometimes get the feeling that he styles himself as a video game version of Fred Levin. That he sees beating video games as his way to the same fame and fortune that Levin received with his large tobacco class action suit in 1998. But the thing is he doesn't have the ability of Levin nor does he have as strong of a case as Levin did.

@Ebonheart:

1. Monitor the presses for news of a school shooting.

2. Immediately upon receiving news of a school shooting and before the bodies are cold, rush to the nearest Faux News affiliate to claim that the shooter trained on violent video games (preferrably Counterstrike).

3. Contact local law enforcement and inquire if they've found the shooter's violent video games. If they say, "No," tell them they aren't looking hard enough. If they tell you any crap about "Ongoing investigation, none of your business, blah, blah, blah," sue them.

...

5. Draft a sure-to-lose complaint. File it with the court but, more importantly, send it and a press release to all 15,000 media outlets on your Outlook listserve.

6. Etc, etc, etc.

Get the picture?

DUDE! START THE COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE UNEMPLOYMENT! what number are we on?

I would not be surprised to see Junkin file a defamation suit in the future. If JT is disbarred, it certainly lends credibility to it.

JT: Would it surprise you to know it’s zero?
No, it doesn't surprise me or anyone because YOU HAVEN'T WON ANY!!

Nice to see that CJ did point out Jack Thompson's greed regarding the money he wanted to rake in with such cases. And like others have said, what about the "debate" tours, or the money you expected/were-going to make if you WON?

Not to mention all those bills you tried passing, or that such money would actually would go to realistically addressing problems like school violence and bullying(and like unrelated lawsuits are the best way of going about this...)... Sure high financial figures make companies think, but just where is that cash going to go?

Like I said before, I am not concerned about Jack "impotent" Thompson's attacks on "murder trainer simulators," I am more concerned with his unethical actions and abuse of the legal system.

Wow.

I always thought that despite how childish and unprofessional Thompson acted in public, he would put his "lawyer face" on whenever he was in court. It was the only plausable reason for him keeping his license for so long. But now we find out that he acts in pretty much the same way when he's in court too.

Jack's correct when he says that Judge Junkin's admission that he despises him colors the Judge's testimony. It does. In shades of Truth.

There are precious few who've had the unpleasure of up-close-and-personal interaction with Jack Thompson and don't despise him. Ask anyone, from Uncle Luke to Strauss Zelnick.

Judge Junkin's admission is prefectly consistent with the facts of the matter and therefore, in my opinion, tends to corroborate the rest of his testimony. Matter of fact, if he testified to not despising Jack, I'd rasie a skeptical eyebrow.

@Matriculated:

Actually, it was acting the fool in Judge Friedman's courtroom (interrupting his Honor, waving a 3' X 4' signs, acting like a sulky, petulant child, etc.) that partially got him in the hot water in which he currently sinks.

GP: Judge Friedman was another witness on whose testimony GP will be reporting. Stay tuned...

@Matriculated

It's actually not surprising he did something like this. He's done stupid stuff in court. During that whole Bully fiasco when he was brought in for disciplinary stuff he brought with him a poster board with, I think, the Bill of Rights printed on it that he had propped up on a table and kept pointing to and holding up for the Judge to see....while the Judge was directly addressing him. Someone else here might remember the specifics about that particular episode better than me.

@potatojones83:

Close enough.

@kaemmerite
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.

Technically speaking, he was told not to say he was doing this for the good of the community, because he was very interested in the money, and didn't want to share any of it.

I'm just gonna sit back, enjoy my iced tea and muffin, and oh yeah, laugh my ass off at JT. Pretty funny stuff.

wait...he makes an alleged $0 on the court cases, but makes thousands on the lecture and debate circuit (and refuses to participate without it), and he's making nothing off this?

bullshit.

Just reading this twisted logic is making me dizzy. Moar please GP!

So why are people afraid of someone competent filling Jack Thompson's shoes? In my mind, someone competent is someone who would actually pay attention to opposing points of view and take them into consideration, rather than painting his or her viewpoint as THE TRUTH, something which you cannot disagree with and still be considered sane.

Too few people who fit that definition of competence, unfortunately. Or if there are more, they don't speak up anywhere nearly enough.

@Jabrwock:

I don't think Junkin ever filed a complaint (certainly not in Florida) against Thompson. The complaint Jack currently defends against was filed by Judge Moore.

Jack's "I encouraged you to file a complaint [against me], didn’t I?" question probably goes to some kinda "If I didn't do anything wrong, why would I encourage you to file a complaint against me?" argument.

Does GP laugh anymore when going through Jack Thompson news? I and others are eternally amused by his antics--but I imagine those that try to cover him (or in this case, get covered by him, under the volume of press releases) would eventually get tired of it, and no longer even muster a chuckle over such comedy gold as a court transcript.

Junkin wouldn't get very far with a libel claim, because he'd have to show he was damaged by the allegation. Since no one actually believes Jack Thompson, I doubt any damages were incurred. Jack's permanent disbarment certainly seems a sufficient remedy for Junkin and any of the other interested parties.

That testimony was just bizarre. This was testimony in open court, even, not a deposition. The FL bar's representative was probably trying to avoid laughing uncontrollably at this train wreck of a cross examination.

@ Jackdontknowjack

So basiclly write a horrid book that cites "studies from Harvard" cite things that hve no bases in reality no matter what they may be.

Then sue a random person/company/police department for something that they have no control over.

Then say "I predicted [insert event] it was in my book!" when theres no such chapter?

After all that is said and done figuratively call a state bar a bombed out building while camparing them to Heroshima, while under trial deciding my future law career?

Did I miss any other steps? Man Tack is ripe for entertainment, I say we make a movie about his life. Call it "Tack Jhompson: The Take Three story" Working title of course.

@JDKJ:

Exactly... or its like another videogame, we beat this boss, so who's the next one? I thought we all knew fantasy from reality, which is why I find the notion so ridiculous.

@chuck:

Actually, fun a jokes aside, I suspect that Mr. Junkin has suffered mightly at the hands of Mr. Thompson --hence his reference to Jack having "created more problems for me probably than any other single individual that I’ve ever known . . . ."

He's a private practice attorney in, by his own admission, a very small community who now has a claim of being a "case-fixer" hanging over his professional reputation. If I was a plaintiff with a case before Judge Moore, the very last attorney I'm going to hire to represent me is Clatus Junkin. And because it's a small circuit, there probably aren't too many other Circuit Court judges besides Judge Moore and therefore plenty cases before him.

"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?"

Is that because he's never won one? Seriously, I don't know. Has Jack Thompson ever won one of these bullshit cases?

Take a second to put yourself in the shoes of a parent of a child killed in a school shooting. Who has to stomach Jack Thompson all over the airwaves milking a little more attention for himself out of, essentialy, your child's tragic death. Can you feel what they must feel?

Jacko has no witnesses because nobody wants to be affiliated with an asshole like him.

Like the parents of a child killed in one of those school shootings. Who has to stomach Jack Thompson's mug all over the airwaves as he milks for himself a just little bit more attention out of what is essentially your child's tragic death. Slip on those shoes for a second. Those are the people that concern me. And will keep me at my keypad until Jack Thompson's thoroughly nuetered.
 
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Andrew EisenMaybe the fact that TWC throttles my upload speed to 1 Mbps is why I've been having so much difficulty live streaming. Then again, the podcast works fine.10/23/2014 - 3:52pm
PHX Corp@Neo_DrKefka @quiknkold agreed, I think everyone needs to just STFU and play Video Games. If the behavior(between #GG and #SGG2014) continues, it's going to eventually affect the Videogame industry negatively(Lost Sales, etc.)10/23/2014 - 3:50pm
Neo_DrKefkaIn a #GamerGate Stream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd-BahVyFYQ they are too busy talking about Brianna's Wu appearance rather than her actions. Oh god our movement has become less and less about solutions and how can we can resolve these problems.10/23/2014 - 3:28pm
quiknkoldThese people are Arms Dealers selling weapons to both sides of this war, and I feel the only way anything will change is if everybody just stops. CTFO and play games.10/23/2014 - 3:28pm
quiknkoldI'm not specifically Targeting the Gamergate people on this. But There is one or two sick Freaks out there who get their jollys on this, and they are fueled by the war they are making worse.10/23/2014 - 3:27pm
prh99How much longer can the charade continue, the extremists have driven out the majority of people that thought it was about ethics. All that's left are the hooligans.10/23/2014 - 3:25pm
quiknkoldneeds to never happen again10/23/2014 - 3:20pm
quiknkoldand really I just stoped giving a damn about those articles, because the opinions of 7+ Articles does not change the fact that I am a Gamer, That I love Games, and that I am a decent hard working Human Being. And what happened to Felicia Day, who I adore,10/23/2014 - 3:20pm
quiknkold2 reasons why I originally joined gamergate. 1: I didnt like the 7+ anti gamer articles. 2 : I thought there was real newsworthy stuff pouring out of it like the stuff involving Phil Fish. As time went by, I saw no real fruiit10/23/2014 - 3:19pm
quiknkoldcalling for a #ceasefire. cause seriously, people on both sides need to just stop, step back to their corners, and relax for a little and just not deal with this. if something happens, fine, break out the bs again. But I will not stand idle by anymore.10/23/2014 - 3:18pm
james_fudgeQuiknkold: I was sad to see that happened.10/23/2014 - 3:13pm
quiknkoldthis arguement has become utter BS and I will not stand by when somebody who posts her own fears has those fears become true10/23/2014 - 3:10pm
quiknkoldWith Felicia Day's Doxxing, I am officially against Gamergate now. Calling for a #Ceasefire on twitter. This 'crap' needs to end now. Its BS that this happened.10/23/2014 - 3:09pm
Matthew Wilsoncrt's ran over 60 fps. its just publisher choosing graphics over gameplay10/23/2014 - 3:03pm
prh99MW: I'd tend to agree. When most tv's these days are 60Hz+ LCDs, a 30fps lock seems like a relic from the CRT TV days.10/23/2014 - 2:59pm
Matthew Wilsoncall me a pc elitist if you want, but I prefer 60 fps. that being said, Nintendo is one of the few developers that makes all their games at 60 fps. Platum does that too.10/23/2014 - 2:52pm
james_fudgeNeo_DrKefka agreed.10/23/2014 - 2:42pm
prh99Saddly Ubi has locked AC:Unity to 900p on consoles at least and 30fps for everything in the name of parity, and in the case of latter issue for a "more cinematic" feel.10/23/2014 - 2:36pm
PHX Corpa little PSA, Tonight is SSB4WiiU's turn at the nintendo direct at 6pm edt http://www.twitch.tv/nintendo I will be also hosting the Stream on my Twitch.tv page http://www.twitch.tv/trustygemtwitch10/23/2014 - 2:27pm
Andrew EisenBayonetta 2 allegedly banned in Saudi Arabi (but not Bayonetta 1). http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91759010/23/2014 - 2:26pm
 

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