Anti-game activist/attorney apparently walks out of hearing after Florida court recommends he be forbidden to practice law for a decade.
For over a decade, Florida attorney Jack Thompson has been one of the most public--and vociferous--critics of video games. After helping spark a regulatory crackdown on radio shock jock Howard Stern and Miami rap group 2 Live Crew, he turned his sights on violent titles he termed "murder simulators." One of his first targets was the id shooter Doom, which he said was to blame for the 1999 Columbine massacre.
Thompson is most famous for his acrid criticism of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series. He represented the families of several police officers shot by a teen who professed to be an avid player of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. His most vociferous attacks came after the uncovering of sex minigames hidden in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was eventually recalled from retail.
Besides his tit-for-tat lawsuits with Take-Two--which were finally settled in April 2007--Jack Thompson has engaged in numerous other legal maneuvers against the game industry. In federal court, he unsuccessfully attempted to have another Take-Two game, Bully, labeled a public nuisance. He also coauthored a Louisiana bill banning the sale of obscene games to minors--a bill that was briefly made law before being struck down.
Now, though, it appears Thompson's crusade against games may be coming to an end--in the legal arena, anyway. A Kotaku correspondent on the scene reports that today, the Florida Bar requested in court that Thompson be given an "enhanced disbarment." According to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler, the measure--if imposed--would prohibit Thompson from practicing law in the state of Florida for the next 10 years.
Though Thompson and the Florida Bar have clashed before, today's disbarment recommendation follows last month's hearing in which Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dava Tunis concluded Thompson was guilty of 27 rule violations, including: Improperly practicing law in Alabama, making false statements to tribunals, and disparaging and humiliating litigants and other lawyers, according to a report on Law.com. At that time, Thompson tried to have Tunis removed from the case, claiming Tunis forged a signature on a 2000 loyalty oath and harbors a personal grudge against him.
According to both Kotaku and the blog GamePolitics, Thompson responded to today's flourish with even a greater amount of ardor. After declaring the judge had no authority over him, the agitated attorney stormed out of the courtroom, according to witnesses. Before leaving, he filed a 14-page, 4,500-word objection with the court, in which he blasted the proceedings as a "non-hearing sanctions 'hearing'" and--in a rare move--referred to himself in the first person.
In his objection, Thompson accused Judge Tunis and the Florida Supreme Court of being complicit in a Watergate-esque cover-up of forged loyalty oaths, citing a new oath signed in February as proof. Delcared Thompson: "The consequence of all of this post facto oath-taking is that all that the Florida Supreme Court has done in this case is invalid and will be voided, and if you think I will not accomplish that end then a) you do not understand the lawsuit already filed, and b) you don't know Jack."
Thompson's objection also dismissed the enhanced disbarment ruling as invalid since it did not specifically spell out his offenses. "I have said it before, and I will say it again to you, and of course you will not listen, but the record must be made clear: You can't charge a lawyer and you can't charge a rapist with anything unless you tell him in the charging document with specificity--with facts alleged--what he has done."
In what may be one of his last acts for some time as a Florida lawyer, Thompson went on to accuse two law firms and former Florida governor Jeb Bush as being the hidden hands behind the court's move to disbar him. He named the firms Blank Rome, which represents Take-Two Interactive, and Tew Cardenas, former employer of one of Thompson's clients.
"I am to be punished for trying to save lives, over the objection of Blank Rome, which gives more money to the Bush family than any other law firm in the world," said Thompson, addressing the Judge Tunis and the Florida Supreme Court directly. "This is the Bush family that put you on this bench and whom you have protected by refusing to give me a subpoena that puts Jeb Bush under oath about his personal, financial relationship with the two law firms that are behind all of these Bar complaints, Tew Cardenas and Blank Rome. You are Jeb Bush's protector and shield from Jack Thompson, and you have discharged your sordid task in that regard effectively."
Finally, after comparing Judge Tunis and the Florida Supreme Court to earthworms, deeming the proceedings a "Star Chamber kangaroo court," and invoking the horrors of the Nazi Third Reich, Thompson compared his plight at the disbarment hearings to the infamous 1991 confirmation of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
"Clarence Thomas, at his Senate confirmation hearings, spoke of those proceedings as 'a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the US Senate rather than hung from a tree.'"
"The US Senate, Referee Tunis, has nothing on you and your high-tech lynching of the uppity Christian who stands before you."
A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage and a game console in every living room - can't fight the American dream!
It looks like we can enjoy what we want again. If you're going against games for violence you might as well go against movies and TV.
It's about time! I even wrote him a long-winded email back when his crusade against GTA started and he sends me back a freaking cartoon as his reply... clearly Jack didn't learn jack in the past several years... you CANNOT take down a multi-billion dollar industry.
I heard a rumour that 'Thompson' bought a 360 at the weekend.. Apparently he thinks he's a real bad ass m*ther f*cker when he's cruising through G.T.A.IV with a hooker.
just wondering howdid he find the sex thing in gta, was he personally looking for it or......I KNOW NOW, he hates the sex thing cuz hes GAY IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!
I hope he does get banned, i mean this guy would file a lawsuit based on some false argument when he had never even seen the game he was trying to take action against. Someone who is meant to be such a big enemy of the game industry should've taken the time to at least PLAY the game once through to see what it was about. But then again any smart lawyer would know that theres nothing on it in the first place.
Dear Jack Thompson, please shave your 5 o'clock stubble and stop ranting like a drunken homeless person. Sincerely, The World.
everyone hates jack (even myself)... but face it... take two has to love this guy free publicity out the ass everytime they hint at a new gta game.
Forgive me for this:LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111eleven. There, i'm done.
"I am being punished for trying to save lives" What an utter cock! To be fair, if he was banned from practising law (shame it only counts in Florida), who would we replace him with? We'd all need another politcal puppet to mock once a week! Be honest, if this guy disappeared completely, you'd all miss him - in a twisted way.
Wow, Jack gives Christians a bad name, even the uppity ones! I hope he's disbarred from practicing law in every state.
OMG!!! ITS ABOUT F***ING TIME!! I've hated this guy since the first time I heard of him and he's done nothing but make gamer's lives HELL! And so, in the words of John McClane, "YIPPIE-KAY-YAY, MOTHERF***ERS!!!!!" Or better yet, in the name of Duke Nukem, "Eat s**t and die!"
He is just one of those people that cant stand to see anyone having a good time if it doesnt go along with his personal agenda, and not too mention he wants to make a name for himself and get rich in the process, which he probably succeeded with, but one thing he has going against him is the fact that most of the people playing grand theft auto are adults now, we grew up with this, and we are not gonna let some punk ass **** like him take it away, Death to Thompson!
Wow... this is the first time I see real news from Gamespot XD Gotta say. The dude's very weird. If that's his idea of inciting violence, why not ban football or rugby? There's no such thing as safe gaming. The safest one is that which can be played without actual interection. This dude is really messed up.
What a f***ing jerk... that guy should have never even be a lawyer. I mean, yeah, sure, some games are violent, but I think that they are a way to release stress without really killing people... that's what I do anyway...
Oh my god. I always suspected that Thompson suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia, but after reading everything he had to say to the Florida Bar, the guy has to be certifiably delusional and institutionally insane. Nazi references and Government conspiracies involving the Bush family (not that they are saints or anything) is ridiculous on it's own without the ton of other things he threw in there. The man needs a myriad of psychiatric evaluations in addition to disbarment for practicing law. How can anyone look at the actions of this man and think he is anything but insane?
Gamer justice at it's finest, oh by the way Thompson I hope you enjoy living the rest of your miserable life with your head up your ass.
I particularly like those parts where he compares himself to a rapist and where he calls the members of the supreme court "earthworms". ; )
This is a big win for the gaming industry. We have finally gotten rid of that noisy scoundrel. I hope Thompson doesn't have an ace up his sleeve.
HILARIOUS. No longer will I hear about this moron trying to banish my one form of sanity retaining entertainment.
Those still arguing this doesn't affect the anti-video game movement: Jack's own colleagues question his sanity; his arguments against video games can't be separated from his total lack of credibility. You also forget Jack lost every single case, and won none, in his crusade. The truth is plenty of adult gamers fell for Jack's arguments and now are embarrassed to admit it.
whats even sadder to me is that he obviously doesn't play games...what an empty borin life he must lead ha ha
With all the fighting that goes on over console wars, it's always funny to see all gamers pull together over their mutual dislike of this man. Also: "After declaring the judge had no authority over him...." I'm pretty sure they do, seeing as it was the Florida Bar that requested the disbarment.
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