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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SleakerAlthough.. I don't think it hurts anyone if kids think the report is true :P09/01/2014 - 3:26am
Sleakerand just for future reference. National Reports is a fake news site, they decided to remove their disclaimers a while back apparently...09/01/2014 - 3:25am
Thomas RiordanDon't feel bad. I posted the same thing last night and deleted it once I realized it wasn't real.08/31/2014 - 11:13pm
E. Zachary KnightAh. The report actually read serious to me. Oh well. At least it didn't happen.08/31/2014 - 7:46pm
ConsterAlthough apparently someone who was in a swatting ring in Texas took a plea for up to 5 years in July.08/31/2014 - 7:14pm
ConsterProbably because it's a satire site.08/31/2014 - 7:13pm
E. Zachary KnightI agree that the kid should be punished, but the charge and sentence seem a bit overboard to me. http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/08/31/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenI get a "page doesn't exist."08/31/2014 - 11:50am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Nevelets/status/506076879309508608 What we're currently supposed to be offended by, or whatever.08/31/2014 - 10:10am
MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
ConsterWait, what's this about Leland Yee eliminating witnesses?08/30/2014 - 5:50pm
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
 

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