This is a press release I received from the attorney who represents James Fortune’s stepson. He’s the victim in this case:
It has come to my attention that James and Cheryl Fortune have resorted to witness tampering by picking up the victim, the subject of the impending lawsuit, from the maternal grandmother (without the father’s knowledge or permission); taking him to their attorney’s office and having the minor victim sign a statement purportedly contradicting the facts in this case; and then returning the child to the maternal grandmother before the father arrived to retrieve his son.
At no point was the father advised of the activity. What is most troublesome about these recent actions, is that their lawyer should have known her own conduct violates the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 4.02, which prohibits a lawyer from “communicating or causing another person to communicate about the subject of representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer without the consent of the other lawyer”.
Neither I, nor my client’s father (his legal guardian and representative for purpose of this law suit), were contacted by the Fortunes or their counsel with a request to interview my client about this matter. It is my firm belief that these actions are not only a violation of the Texas Penal Code, Section 36.05, but also the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
As such, I will be asking the proper authorities to investigate these actions for criminal charges and professional sanctions. It is hoped that in the future, the Fortunes and their counsel will contact my office when attempting to question my client about this matter and comply with the rules of procedure.
Sadly, James and Cheryl’s actions are indicative of the manipulation, intimidation, control and confusion that they have perpetrated on my client since his was a young child and further illustrates the merits of our case. The enclosed sworn physician’s statement is only a fraction of the evidence that detail the injuries suffered by client.
For more information contact Attorney Toni Jones-Stroman
Background: James Fortune was arrested and received deferred adjudication for physically abusing his stepson back in 2001 according to court records.
That son, who is now 15, was beaten and submerged in a tub full of hot water according to the civil lawsuit filed by the son’s biological father.
Note: I’m hoping to get a response from Fortune and his attorney as soon as possible.