Jack Thompson huffs, puffs, provokes
Dismissed lawyer delivers stinging rebuke to judge in Alabama civil suit.
Last week, Fayette County Circuit Judge James Moore took steps to quiet Florida-based attorney Jack Thompson. Judge Moore imposed an order on the attorney preventing him from participating in the Devin Moore civil trial, as well as limiting Thompson's ability to practice law in Alabama.
The order effectively removed Thompson from the team of attorneys representing the families of two police officers and a dispatcher killed in June 2003 by then-18-year-old Devin Moore. Moore was found guilty of the murders in August.
Thompson had represented three plaintiffs, representatives of the deceased's estates, seeking damages from Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Wal-Mart, and GameStop for their alleged culpability in the homicides.
According to news site Game Politics, Thompson had sought to withdraw from the case, saying the defense was trying to make him the issue and that he was stepping aside so that his clients' needs could better be served. Instead, the judge preemptively removed Thompson.
In a document purportedly filed with the court today (provided to GameSpot by Thompson), Thompson lashed out at Judge Moore, baiting him with rhetorical questions and freighting the filing with italicized, underscored, and boldfaced text as well as provocations that imply untoward behavior on the part of the defense's legal team as well as the judge himself.
The gist of Thompson's argument is that Judge Moore did not have the right to remove Thompson as Thompson had already removed himself from the case, and that there was "no basis whatsoever for this Court not to allow Thompson to withdraw."
"Does the Court really want to take the position that the problem was Thompson’s leaving the case rather than staying in the case? That would be interesting," Thompson wrote in the motion.
In the document, Thompson further needles the court in its decision to remove him from the case: "Did this Court somehow, in the last three weeks, manage to repeal the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?" Thompson asks.
Thompson then calls the court's decision a "legal nullity," and he continues, claiming, "This Court wouldn't let Thompson leave. It kept him just so it could kick him out, with absolutely no authority to do so."
The diatribe also delves into what he calls "total fabrications" by attorneys for the defense, Blank Rome LLP, which lobbied for Thompson's removal. He also accuses the firm of "starting this food fight."
"Further, the Court presided over a wholly unethical and fraudulent assault upon the character of John B. Thompson by opposing counsel, Blank Rome," Thompson writes in the court filing.
"The Court was made aware of total fabrications by Blank Rome in this assault. Thompson responded by aggressively telling the truth in response to those lies. What did this Court do? It punished Thompson for aggressively telling the truth yet looked the other way when Blank Rome elegantly told those lies. This is utter judicial nonsense. The Court is supposed to get at the truth, not deny clients their counsel of choice based upon his predilections as to style.
"Since when is it unethical to belligerently tell the truth but highly ethical to stylishly prevaricate? This Court has entered an Order that rewards an entire law firm and its entertainment industry clients for taking self-righteous offense at the telling of the truth. Blank Rome started the food fight, and this Court ultimately took offense at the undersigned's efforts to shovel the effluent out of the Fayette County Courthouse."
Clearly, the final volley in this very public "food fight" has yet to be made.
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