Controversial lawyer exits GTA case

Jack Thompson removes himself from Alabama lawsuit against makers, sellers of Grand Theft Auto III.


Game Politics is reporting tonight that Florida attorney Jack Thompson has voluntarily removed himself from an Alabama court case against high-profile gaming industry defendants.

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 week the defense put forth a pair of motions that Fayette County Circuit Judge James Moore had yet to rule on: 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.

One such instance occurred just days before the defense filed those motions. In a press release, Thompson characterized 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."

"He can’t proceed with the civility the rules require," attorney for the defense Jim Smith said. "All lawyers have to conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and civility. This isn't a street fight."

But before the judge could decide one way or the other, Thompson stepped aside, telling Game Politics, "The other side wants to make me the issue. The important thing is that the clients be served." Thompson also said it was his idea to step down, and that he wasn't being pressured to do so by the judge.

The suit will go forward for now, although the judge hasn't yet ruled on the motion to dismiss the case. Game Politics also reports that Thompson said his departure from the case was inevitable, as he would likely have to take the stand in the case.

Thompson did not immediately return GameSpot's attempts to contact him for comment.

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Avatar image for Cloud737

Awww, too bad Thompson had to leave. I would have preferred him to stay until the judge decided to throw him out of court and remove his license.

Avatar image for hart704

I have tons of M rated games. Come and arrest me too! Come on! I'm beggin' ya, Thompson! Make me famous!

Avatar image for lo_0710_basic

What an idiot. Its a video game...its not the company's fault the guy committed a crime. As sad as it is (what happened)...this is about $$. I mean, the ramifications of the ruling they are asking for would effect the entire entertainment industry because you can't single out video games alone.....from wrestling on TV, to movies as well......Hmm, so Flight 93 just came out...does that mean it promotes people to hijack planes and kill people....or what about Rambo? This decision can't be for games alone.....its ridiculous and an absolute travesty...this guy just wants a headline and a dollar. People are to blame for their own actions.

Avatar image for elapointe

So some lying jerk-off is trying to work against video games. He gets removed from the case... happy ending, right? Wrong. There are still people out there (H. Clinton) who are still in office and maybe even making a move for PRESIDENT that hate video games with a passion. It's not the responsibility of the gaming population to control this sort of thing - it's the parents' fault for kids under 18, and for kids over 18, it's their own responsibility. The fact that an 18-year-old can shift some of the blame onto video games for his double-murder is completely unacceptable. The video game community as a whole should NOT be punished because of a quote from some murderer!

Avatar image for smurfa1

And he is a moron, what's that, comparing GTA with Pearl Harbour 2? They have nothing in common.

Avatar image for mmaginnis

It seems Senator McCarth... uh... Thompson is a liar as well. He was removed from the case by Judge Moore; he did not voluntarily remove himself.