Thompson gets his day in court

Civil suit against game companies kicks off, but Florida attorney's behavior has to stand trial first.


Before Florida attorney Jack Thompson's can argue that companies that made or sold Grand Theft Auto III are responsible for a June 2003 triple murder, Thompson first has to convince a circuit court judge that he should be allowed to practice law in Alabama.

Thompson is representing the families of two police officers and a dispatcher killed by then-18-year-old Devin Moore in a suit against Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Wal-Mart, and GameStop. But according to a report in The Tuscaloosa News (registration required), the defendants have turned the tables with a motion to have Thompson dismissed from the case, as well as have his privilege to practice law in Alabama revoked for violations of legal ethics.

The motion was based on Thompson's many press releases and their frequent attacks on the law firm that represents some of his favorite targets (and one with ties to some of this case's defandants)Z: Blank Rome. A lawyer with Blank Rome said Thompson was incapable of proceeding with civility and said he would "turn the courtroom into a circus."

To which Thompson responded, "I didn't start this food fight. They started it and I have a right to respond because, believe it or not, I have a life outside of this case."

The defense also motioned to have the entire case dismissed, saying that games were protected under the First Amendment and that Moore's actions could not have been foreseen by the defendants.

Fayette County Circuit Judge James Moore asked both sides to draft arguments for how he should decide on the motion to dismiss the trial, in addition to saying he would make a decision on both motions at a later date.

For the all the ugly details and blow-by-blow exchanges of each side's lawyers, check out the full story (registration required) on The Tuscaloosa News site.

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