Alabama judge tosses Thompson

Florida lawyer's request to leave case denied; judge opts to revoke temporary license to practice law in the state instead.

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Earlier this month, outspoken Florida attorney Jack Thompson withdrew from a high-profile Alabama civil suit against several game makers and retailers. According to Game Politics, the judge today rejected Thompson's withdrawal, and instead kicked him off the case and revoked his temporary license to practice law in Alabama, to boot.

Thompson had been representing the families of two police officers and a dispatcher killed in June 2003 by then-18-year-old Devin Moore in a suit against Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Wal-Mart, and GameStop. Last month the defense put forth a pair of motions to Fayette County Circuit Judge James Moore: one asking for the case to be thrown out entirely, and another asking that Thompson be dismissed from the case for violations of legal ethics.

The defense in particular pointed to Thompson's numerous press releases and open letters on the subject of violence in games. Days before the motions were made, Thompson issued a press release characterizing Japanese electronics giant Sony's willingness to allow a game as violent as Grand Theft Auto III to be distributed in the US as "Pearl Harbor 2."

Thompson withdrew from the case, saying the defense was trying to make him the issue, but that he was stepping aside so that his clients' needs could better be served. Game Politics is reporting that Judge Moore criticized Thompson's professional conduct in an 18-page ruling, to which Thompson has responded with a letter to Alabama's Judicial Inquiry Commission questioning Judge Moore's ethics.

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