Jack Thompson is in court again after being tossed off an Alabama civil-court case against game-industry players, including the makers of Grand Theft Auto, but this time he's representing himself. Earlier this week, Thompson filed suit against the Florida Bar, of which he is a member, claiming the regulatory association has been conspiring against his rights as a citizen.
The North Country Gazette Web site is reporting that Thompson believes the Bar has been collaborating with opposing lawyers in his lawsuits over Grand Theft Auto and Howard Stern, encouraging them to file Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) complaints against him for over a year and a half. In common legal lingo, a SLAPP complaint is a lawsuit that creates a chilling effect on free speech--it is intended solely to discourage a party from expressing a certain point of view by intimidation and the burden of legal costs associated with defending oneself against the complaint.
This is not the first time Thompson has sued the Florida Bar. He sued the group under the Civil Rights Act in 1990, but his complaint was dismissed with prejudice the next year. The case dragged into 1993 as the Florida Bar attempted to have a judge impose sanctions on Thompson, but their efforts fell short. The North Country Gazette reports that Thompson's complaint references his history with the Bar.
"In the early 1990s, for example, The Florida Bar, in league with pornographers and their attorneys, as well as with an operative of the American Civil Liberties Union, persuaded the Florida Supreme Court, ex parte, to enter an order mandating that Thompson must submit, without protest, to psychiatric and psychological tests administered by health care providers chosen by The Bar because of 'Thompson's alleged obsession against pornography which is so severe that he is disabled by that obsession and thus unfit to practice law,'" his complaint reads. "'Brain damage' was also alleged…The Bar's experts found that Thompson was suffering neither from brain damage nor from any mental illness, and that he was in fact simply pursuing his activist Christian faith in the public and legal arenas."
Thompson's complaint then says the Bar was made to pay him monetary damages as a result of the charges.