...and then there is Alabama.
Last Friday, GP broke the story of Fayette County Judge James Moore's stunning decision to kick Thompson off the Strickland vs. Sony case. If we can say one thing about Jack, he certainly doesn't turn tail in the face of adversity. Not only did he file a motion to overturn Judge Moore's action, he indicated that he would be reporting the judge for alleged ethical violations.
In addition, Thompson alluded to a mysterious "fixer." In a letter to the state's Judicial Inquiry Commission, Thompson wrote:
"...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.' For too long we have heard swirling around this Judge allegations of improper influence..."
"...This is almost like My Cousin Vinnie, but with the benign Judge in that comedy replaced by the Judge in And Justice For All... Beyond the allegations of others that cases before Judge Moore can be fixed by the lawyer who claims to be able to fix them... "
While Thompson has avoided naming the alleged "fixer," he filed a curiously-worded motion with the Fayette County Court yesterday, asking for its help in obtaining local counsel. The motion contained this sentence:
"Undersigned has received recommendations as to who would be best local Alabama counsel for that purpose, and the name that keeps popping up is Clatus Junkin."
The story is front-page stuff in Alabama this morning. The Tuscaloosa News quotes Junkin as saying, "If he's talking about me, I'm not that dumb. It questions the integrity not of me so much as the judge. I'm not foolish enough to imply that I could [influence Judge Moore]."
Junkin told Tuscaloosa News reporter Robert Dewitt that he had "one five-minute conversation with Thompson to reconcile differences between Thompson and attorneys who at the time represented the family of one of the police officers. He said he talked to Thompson about working with the plaintiffs but would not agree to some of Thompson's conditions, such as giving Thompson complete control of any contact with the news media."