Jack Thompson disbarred

The long and twisting saga of Jack Thompson's legal career appears to be drawing to a close. Earlier this year, a Florida judge recommended the inflammatory lawyer be permanently disbarred for a prolonged pattern of misconduct and multiple violations of Florida Bar rules. The Florida Supreme Court...

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The long and twisting saga of Jack Thompson's legal career appears to be drawing to a close.

Earlier this year, a Florida judge recommended the inflammatory lawyer be permanently disbarred for a prolonged pattern of misconduct and multiple violations of Florida Bar rules. The Florida Supreme Court today embraced that recommendation, permanently disbarring on Thompson.

"Based on the record before it, the Court agrees that respondent is not amenable to rehabilitation," the Justices' decision read. "Further, the Court approves the referee's recommendation that permanent disbarment is the appropriate sanction."

Thompson will be given 30 days during which he must close out his practice and make arrangements for existing clients. He may file a motion to have his case reheard, but due to a sanction already placed on Thompson, he needs another member of the Florida Bar in good standing to sign off on the motion before the court will consider it.

In a prepared statement sent to media outlets, Thompson claimed the disbarment was an act of retaliation for a number of actions, the most recent of which being a civil lawsuit Friday naming more than 70 defendants (and one late defendant's estate) including the Florida Bar and all seven of the state's Supreme Court Justices for alleged violations of his civil rights.

"The timing of this disbarment transparently reveals its motivation," Thompson wrote, adding, "This rush to disbarment is in retribution for the filing of that federal suit. With enemies this foolish, Thompson needs only the loyal friends he has."

Over the course of Thompson's legal career, he has sought and gained notoriety for taking on abrasive elements of pop culture. He led the charge against 2 Live Crew over lyrical content in that group's 1989 album As Nasty as They Wanna Be (and it's hit single, "Me So Horny"). Radio shock-jock Howard Stern was another target of Thompson's ire before he turned his eye to the gaming industry and id Software's Doom in 1996, which he blasted as a "murder simulator" and eventually blamed for the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre.

However, Thompson's most notable target has been the Grand Theft Auto series from Take-Two Interactive, which he accused of "mentally molesting minors for money." After three police officers were killed by a professed Grand Theft Auto: Vice City player in Alabama, Thompson represented their families in a civil lawsuit to hold Take-Two responsible.

Thompson has made eye-opening headlines frequently over the last three years, notably when he sicced the police after the creators of webcomic Penny Arcade for harassment after they made a charitable donation in his name. In addition, he has been publicly disavowed by the president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, and helped draft game-related legislation in the wake of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" scandal.

Perhaps more than any of that, his most notable accomplishment may have come in a lawsuit to prevent the release of Take-Two Interactive's Bully in Florida under public nuisance laws. While a judge eventually approved Bully's release, he did so only after taking the unprecedented step of requiring Take-Two to produce the T-for-Teen-rated game for his review before it could hit store shelves. His behavior during the proceedings helped begin the course of events which led to his disbarment.

Discussion

875 comments
Shadowhawk128x
Shadowhawk128x

Maybe now he'll take a look at all the stuff he said and realized how ridiculous he looks. Owned :)

MaxMouse
MaxMouse

I like how midway put jack thompson in mortal kombat Armageddon. It shows that they are really making fun of this loser

Akthalian
Akthalian

HIs main goal is going to be trying to raise public awareness about the "graphic nature of game media". God forbid that parents would be responsible enough to monitor their own children and impose their own morality instead of leaving that up to the government. But hey, why be a parent if the government can do it for you?

guilty_spork
guilty_spork

I can see Thompson attempting to use this to elevate himself to martyr status. He will never quit, just change tactics. I trully believe however, that his equally ambitious, politically motivated ex-associates will continue to disavow him and his half-cocked scheming. He has done irreparable harm to his "cause" and when you combine this fact with the ever increasing age and maturity of gamers, he and his ilk will become silly caricatures, much like the anti-communist crusaders of the McCarthy era. Time will see the game industry win the same war that, film, comics and rock n roll have fought in their own time under the gun of the right-wing conservatives. We dont need to argue our point of view when we have incompetent boobs like Jack Thompson to argue his side so incompetently. Thank you Mr. Thompson, for the best laugh I've had since Jerry Falwell died.

MattGPA78
MattGPA78

This is a completely appropriate move by the Florida Supreme Court. Setting aside for a moment Mr. Thompson's activism against the video game industry: if you're an attorney, and a judge's ruling in a case does not go in your favor, you're harming no one but yourself if you raise an almighty, indignant stink about it. Mr. Thompson's subsequent behavior was petty and unprofessional, and he deserved to have his law license taken away. Regarding his "crusade" against the video game industry: I can agree that violent M-rated video games should not be played by young children. It is, however, self-righteous and misguided for Jack Thompson and those like him to lay all the blame for the issue on video game developers & publishers (who submit their work to an impartial ratings board), and on retailers (who enforce that ratings system by not selling M-rated games to minors without parental consent), but never on the parents who buy those games for their children under 17 despite the warning labels and advice from retailers.

adamchuff
adamchuff

this guy is a douche, has been and always will be, he obviously plays the games since he knows so much about them, he is probably just sad that he isn't able to live a game, so he bashes them.

never-named
never-named

With nothing to do maybe Thompson will be gamer himself...NAH!

Jbentkowski2
Jbentkowski2

I agree, it's good to see this jackass go. lol, spuzzy, reminds me of when i got a warning for posting the word "moron". Some people need to grow up.

Spuzzy77
Spuzzy77

S'about time. I had posted this earlier but because either I got warned or someone didn't like an asterisked 'bad word' (watch any network tv and you'll hear worse) my message got deleted. *sigh* censorship. how wonderful. wonder if it was JT himself who complained...

sandyqbg
sandyqbg

Good news for gamers. But he'll still be trying to attract publicity without the use of legal means

bigmikeOK
bigmikeOK

Mr. Thompson shall always be remembered as one of the industry's greatest rivals. It must have been difficult for him to watch as the industry he so detested was rising to great and even greater economic success with only limited regulations as he tried to level some of the most respectable developers/publishers to their knees. My how the mighty have fallen. The tool he sought to use on the gaming industry has instead turned its attention on him. Mr. Thompson, thanks for the memories and good bye you hypicrtical tyrant.

Link_Destined_1
Link_Destined_1

There's only one thing bad that could come of this: now Rockstar lost its main source of publicity...oh, wait. They're big enough that they don't need him anymore. Well, as some of have said, we probably haven't heard the last of him. It's just that his ability to actually act on his rants and raves has been severally reduced.

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

LOL he refers to himself in the third person. WHAT A DOUCHE!

necronaux
necronaux

Don't let him off this easy, toss his butt in jail.

mitsman
mitsman

He he :) 'tis joyous tidings indeed :) I've got to say though... I am kind of surprised to see a character like this get ditched by the system. Hasn't he always been a faithful bowing little pawn after all? Nevertheless, a sincerely good riddance to him and his absurdly puritanical rantings. It's not that we don't appreciate a voice of opposition. It's that we want such voices to speak reasonably - not just blurt out self-righteous propaganda "in the name of American squeamishness" (to quote Chief Wiggum from Simpsons). Cautioning parents to watch out when their kids play an overly bloody and violent game is reasonable, keeping in mind that "overly" is always relative to each kid's age. Blaming a bunch of animated pixels for the homicidal rage of a clearly deranged person who could be set off by anything, is NOT reasonable. There was a documentary on TV the other day, about the Scottsboro case (NOT about video games). Jack Thompson is like the negative opposite of Sam Leibowitz, in every aspect. Some lawyers are a credit to their practice, while others give the practice a bad name. So let Jack take his personal agendas of political and professional ascension, and go home to fade away in infamy. If anyone involved in gaming, be they producers or gamers, can finally get impartial legal representation by people who know what they're talking about, that would be ideal. The first "one small step" has already been taken!

Aizou
Aizou

And with that, Florida has become a good deal less senile. His biggest mistake was not in just sounding like a raving loon but in being a raving loon as well.

Viralmessiah666
Viralmessiah666

I'd also like to add that to be an embarrassment to other LAWYERS is a pretty impressive thing. thats like smelling so bad,you can't even drive a cab.....

Viralmessiah666
Viralmessiah666

now,lets hope what happens is that all of the companies he harassed with the help of the civil courts decide to sue him back,and he eventually dies alone and penniless,on the streets,giving handjobs for crack...Jack,if you're reading this,i hope you almost survive the worlds longest,and most painful bout of colon cancer,theres a special place in hell waiting for you

Payback7
Payback7

hehe, took longer then I thought! But I'm happy to hear the Thompson saga should be finally over :)

grifter_tm
grifter_tm

If only we could deal with the other nuts in that sensationalize the connection with video games with every violent crime done by anyone below 30 the same way. Those folks (the media and politicians) scare all the other folks and marginalize gamers into geeky, socially inept, homicidal maniacs.

EPaul
EPaul

lol, i wonder how he make his living now probably going on Fox News campaigning against violent games...

janderdarkmoon
janderdarkmoon

Just because he is disbarred it doesn't necessarily mean we have heard the last from him. He could still spearhead these self righteous campaigns, just lacking even more credibility. Not that a political figure really needs credibility in America these days.

forhekset
forhekset

Did he seriously refer to himself in the third person? Finally, his reign of terror and amusement is over. Whos next? JJpenguin: Youre full of ****

Silent_Raven92
Silent_Raven92

Thank God. I couldn't stand him. But he was a good laugh sometimes... for the wrong reasons XD

lew_0911
lew_0911

In other you-saw-it-coming news, we will all die.

lew_0911
lew_0911

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

Exposure to violent media (especially in adolescents) leads to more violent behaviour. FACT. But that doesn't mean everyone who plays GTA 4 is a serial rapist/kller. Take the manhunt incident, a boy who was apprently 'obsessed' with manhunt killed his friend. 1 person out of the hundreds of thousands of people who bought the game. That's like suing Martin luther king because one protester turned violent. In addition, if this game was really having effects, wouldn't you know? anyone remember clockwork orange, inspired by gangs, who subsequently emulated it. There were gangs who clearly took their inspiration (the image, the ideology) from that film, as you could see them in the streets. It got so bad that the director himself pulled the movie. Just because one a$$hole decides killing is fun, doesn't mean we're all serial killers, just a little more agressive

raptorlead1
raptorlead1

so long and thanks for all the fish....

bukejit
bukejit

The people who control how gaming is censored should know what theyre talking about ie actually be gamers. Not an old man who hasnt actually picked up a game in his life. How could he possibly know how good or bad games are? How can he possibly understand how these things affect your mind if he hasnt actually played the thing? The whole thing just sounds ridiculous to me. Goodbye and good riddance.

vengeance00
vengeance00

thank God! hes finally gone, 2K must be having a party right now. i know i am. :D

the_sorrow_MGS_
the_sorrow_MGS_

sometimes I think he must be joking with his theories, its hard to believe someone could be that rediculous.

zolloz89
zolloz89

if a game drives a person to violence, then its obviously a mental problem. parents should be able to control their kids enough so that they play games that the parents deem appropriate. i love my gta 4, but i doubt id let my 14 yr old son play it.

timlovesrugby
timlovesrugby

Maybe there wasn't a direct impact from his work on our gaming but the ideals and intent were still there. Censorship at the level Thompson fought for is detrimental to entertainment and art in any liberal society, hence his reputation among gamers who care about the wellbeing of the industry is just.

lightning_kf
lightning_kf

rockstar_88: Yeah. Amazing, huh? Still, anyone who says that games bring about violence really need to shut up. After all, aren't parents the one who should taken most of the blame?

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

Although I do believe he was a wise guy ( in a bad way).

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

"Jack never done anything to hurt me or my gaming fun. You people need to find a real villan to throw your rotten veg and lolz at. Start with your leaders who invade other countries and kill its innocent population for money. But you probably think that's ok, go on hating Jack then, the man who done a lot of barking but never actually done anything to hurt you or gaming." Well said

timlovesrugby
timlovesrugby

@ _Donnelly_ First l2grammar, "jack never done" makes you sound like the uneducated hick you most likely are considering your institutionalised and short sighted view. Thompson had a significant effect on gaming censorship, looking at San An and stuff like that, but primarily he represented censorship which makes him the devil for anyone who enjoys their civil liberties.

UDarkling
UDarkling

I knew that alot of gamers were wanting something like this to happen but I neve knew that this would happen, I always thought that the couts and whatever neverminded Jack Thompson's views against video games.

sStyle
sStyle

ouch, that's gotta sting Jack's ego. ah well. shouldn't play with fire when you soaked the matches in petrol, that's what I say. @_Donnelly_: Have you read about HB1381, the Thompson Bill? Just imagine if that bill passed, who do you think would suffer from that? there would have been a lot of angry gamers out there without a daily fix of rated M games. im sure i can speak for most people when I say I have a fair share of rated M games in my collection and I would be more than just pissed off if I couldnt get my hands on them because of one guy's petty crusade against the gaming industry.

_Donnelly_
_Donnelly_

Jack never done anything to hurt me or my gaming fun. You people need to find a real villan to throw your rotten veg and lolz at. Start with your leaders who invade other countries and kill its innocent population for money. But you probably think that's ok, go on hating Jack then, the man who done a lot of barking but never actually done anything to hurt you or gaming.

bennytazz
bennytazz

Haha - whilst very likely what he deserved, isn't it a bit disappointing that gaming has lost it's arch nemesis?? I mean, I actually quite enjoyed reading about him practically self destructing with each new ludicrous case he brought to the courts.....

HHHulk121
HHHulk121

We should make a game about him lol, that'll really drive the nailin the coffin :)