Thompson to be accused of contempt?
Take-Two lawyers reportedly ask that the incendiary anti-game attorney be brought up on charges related to his outburst following a judge's ruling on Bully.
For years, Jack Thompson has been famous--and infamous--for his own personal brand of heated rhetoric. Often using biblical references and the odd bit of apocalyptic language, the Miami-area Attorney has called for the banning of numerous games, including The Sims 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The latest game to earn Thompson's ire is Bully, Rockstar Games' critically acclaimed adventure game that follows a teenage troublemaker through the travails of boarding school. Earlier this month, Thompson tried to have sales of the game--which has sparked controversy for its depictions of teenager-on-teenager violence and boy-on-boy liplocks--halted on legal grounds.
As part of his efforts to halt sales of Bully, Thompson petitioned Miami Judge Ronald Friedman to view the game before it went on sale last week. However, when the judge approved the game for sale, Thompson became angry, accusing the judge of "smiling" as he approved the sale of a game that would inspire teenagers to commit acts of violence as extreme as murder.
Now, it appears Thompson's sharp words to Judge Friedman may land him in hot legal water. According to the blog GamePolitics.com, lawyers for Rockstar Games parent Take-Two Interactive are asking that Thompson be held in contempt of court for his comments to Judge Friedman.
Lawyers from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, law firm Blank Rome, which Thompson has publicly accused of organizing a conspiracy against him personally, have reportedly filed a "Petition for Order to Show Cause" against Thompson. If granted, the petition would compel Thompson to appear in Friedman's court to explain why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court--a charge that could carry a hefty fine and imprisonment of several months if Thompson were convicted.
While potentially serious, no contempt charges have yet been leveled at Thompson. However, that has not stopped the attorney from attacking Take-Two in a flurry of e-mails sent out to media outlets. "The motion to show cause filed by defendant Take-Two is a transparent, panicked attempt to cover up the misconduct, including the fraudulent misrepresentations to the public and to this Court, by its employees and its counsel, Blank Rome," Thompson said in an e-mail.
"If this court in any fashion proceeds toward issuing a show cause order, given its utter baselessness and the bad faith goo in which it slithers, then Thompson will add whatever judge should do so as a defendant in the aforementioned federal civil rights action," he said, referring to the case he brought to halt Bully's sale. (Emphasis in the original.) "Plaintiff has seen arbitrariness from judges before in his thirty years of practicing law, but nothing close to this. If the federal judiciary must restrain this Court and punish it, then so be it."