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Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing 522

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-let-this-be-the-end dept.
Erik J writes "Apparently Jack had heard enough. The Florida Bar asked for an 'enhanced disbarment' in the disciplinary hearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."
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Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing

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  • Ten years is unusual (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:14PM (#23661639) Journal
    I am a lawyer, but this isn't legal advice. If this even *could* apply to you, you would already be a lawyer . . .

    Ten years is unusual. I'm not even sure I've ever *heard* of "enhanced disbarment" before.

    By its nature, disbarment is permanent. In many (most?) states, an attorney can petition to be considered for lifting of disbarment after five years--but has a heavy burden; he must show that he is no longer a danger if allowed to practice. The fact that he is a danger was established prior to disbarment; disputing it would end the possibility of showing the needed change.

    Ten years, however . . . and that does *not* mean he gets the license back then, only that that is the earliest date at which he *could* request it and attempt to show fitness . . .

    hawk, esq.
  • by buss_error (142273) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:14PM (#23661645) Homepage Journal
    "Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."

    .
    No matter how badly things go for you in court, no matter how much you dislike the ruling, no matter how unjust you feel you've been treated... NEVER insult a judge or be less than totally respectful for the process.

    And don't ever tell a judge they "don't have the authority". You'll be in a higher court soon. Judges don't like people being disrepectful of other judges, not even when the judge in question is wrong. Especailly when your own motives and reasons are (properly) called into question.

  • Bababooey! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:19PM (#23661687) Homepage
    Jack Thompson: "Because I took on Bar complainant, Al Cardenas, the Howard Stern Show is off terrestrial radio and his influence diminished."

    Really, Jack? I thought it was because Sirius offered Stern a free hand with content and over $100 million per year on a 5-year contract.
  • Uhmmm.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bryanporter (847667) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:24PM (#23661737) Homepage
    Three words:

    1. He
    2. Is
    3. Insane

    'Nuff said.
  • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:33PM (#23661869) Journal
    The first rule of litigation is, "Don't p*** off the judge."

    Seriously.

    hawk, esq.
  • Re:Hasn't he... (Score:5, Informative)

    by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:33PM (#23661873)
    disbarring a lawyer is a long complicated procedure. Indeed this was his disbarrment hearing that he walked out on.

    In a prepared statement left with the court he called the florida bar association Fascists. While the final ruling isn't due until September(long process remember) I can't imagine a judge being called incompetent is going to help him any.
  • Re:Bababooey! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:41PM (#23661941) Homepage
    Well said. [google.com]
  • Re:Hasn't he... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:42PM (#23661959)
    Doesn't seem like it took that long for Bill Clinton to be disbarred. It just wasn't very well reported when it happened.
  • by Cadallin (863437) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:44PM (#23661981)
    This should be blindingly obvious, but I'm always amazed at the number of people who make this exact mistake. Top two rules:

    1. Do NOT Piss off the Judge.

    2. Do not piss off your defense attorney.

    If you cause #1, you will cause #2, and you will be well and truly fucked.

    Oh yeah, #3 Do NOT testify in your own defense (And even worse, Do NOT insist against the best advise of your lawyer that you be allowed to). It doesn't matter how well you think you'll do, or how innocent you think your ass is. It is almost always (i.e. 99% of the time) a horrible idea.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:45PM (#23661989) Homepage
    And don't ever tell a judge they "don't have the authority". You'll be in a higher court soon.

    Appeal isn't a simple matter; it's a long and costly process that should be avoided if possible. There's nothing really wrong with respectfully pointing out in a pleading that the court you're before doesn't have the discretion to do something. Granted he didn't do that in this case, but in general judges have thicker skins than slashdotters give them credit for.
  • by aeschenkarnos (517917) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:53PM (#23662077)
    Right, telling a judge that they don't have the authority to hear your case will SURELY persuade them to go lenient on you.

    You do have the right to question a court's jurisdiction. However, there is a strong presumption that they do have it, and there are ways to go about it that do not constitute a challenge to the judge's personal integrity. If your problem is with the judge's personal integrity, you appeal to a higher court.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:55PM (#23662117) Homepage
    This should be blindingly obvious, but I'm always amazed at the number of people who make this exact mistake. Top two rules: 1. Do NOT Piss off the Judge. 2. Do not piss off your defense attorney.

    In a jury trial the main thing you want to do is not alienate the jury. You can get by with a judge and a defense attorney angry at you, but if the jury hates you you're in trouble.
  • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:57PM (#23662145) Journal
    I'll be brief: I'm unapologetically ready and eager to gag and demean someone who himself crusades to do precisely the same of both to others.

    Jack Thompson was even involved in the 80's daycare scare (the "ritual satanic abuse") that ruined dozens of lives. For that alone, he is not simply strident, objectionable, or obstreperous, but really and truly evil. Schadenfreude may be shameful, but today I nonetheless feel the joy.
  • Pull a Reiser (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmaUMLAUTil.com minus punct> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:59PM (#23662157) Homepage Journal
    Your post can be summed up as "don't pull a Reiser."
  • Re:Now What? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:02PM (#23662189) Journal
    Tunis has basically handed the charge to the FL Supreme Court, who will rule on it on Sep 2. They may strike one or more charges, but he's got 27 racked up against him, so it hardly matters.

    It would take a wormhole opened into bizarro world for them to actually overturn the recommendation. The worst they might do within the realm of probability is disqualify Tunis and make Jack do it all over again.

    My guess is Thompson's behavior will be such that they may actually pass down a harsher judgment.
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:41PM (#23662557)
    Yes, if only someone would invent parental controls [microsoft.com].
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Talez (468021) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:45PM (#23662595)
    In particular, what if games came with an age group flag when they were installed, and operating system users could also have an age limit specified, so that applications with a "18+" flag would not launch of a user configured as "13."

    You know that was such a good idea that every console maker decided to implement it as well as Microsoft with Windows Vista.

    It's really a non argument.
  • by Gideon Fubar (833343) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:14PM (#23662847) Journal
    To clarify, he claims that the judge had someone forge her signature on the oath for some unknown reason, and the only evidence he has is the testimony of a discredited handwriting specialist.

    Seriously, it's somewhat farfetched.
  • Re:fp (Score:5, Informative)

    by glitch23 (557124) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:17PM (#23662871)

    I consider this a colostomy for the legal system (one less asshole).

    I get your point however a colostomy [wikipedia.org] isn't actually the removal of the anus. I can't find what that procedure is called but the colostomy just changes the location for the function of the anus. No removal actually occurs from what I can tell.

  • Re:fp (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldepeche (854916) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:19PM (#23662897)
    Well, they do have a few convicted felons. G. Gordon Liddy, Ollie North...
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:24PM (#23662935)
    Uh, Dr. Phil has a PhD in clinical psychology, so yes, indeed he can call himself a Doctor. He just isn't a medical doctor. Any Pharmacist who graduated after 1990 is most likely a Doctor as well, being a Doctor of Pharmacy, or PharmD.

    Also, he does, or did have a license to practice, as he was a member of his fathers practice. The sanctions prevent him from practicing independently, but not as part of a practice.
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gideon Fubar (833343) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:27PM (#23662965) Journal
    ad hominem (adj): logical fallacy in which the writer attacks the person who presents the issue rather than deal logically with the issue itself.

    The GP asked you to present evidence, by expressing doubt that you could do so. This is not an ad hominem, especially if he's correct.

    I for one happen to agree with your point about culture feeding itself, but i have to say that i doubt that the past was as rosy as you paint it.
  • Re:Hasn't he... (Score:2, Informative)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @11:04PM (#23663275) Homepage
    Hang on. This all sounds suspiciously familiar. Is he by any chance related to Fred Phelps?

    Phelps makes Jack Thompson look like Gandhi. In terms of evil Phelps and Thompson aren't anywhere near each other.
  • They want to disbar him because he is an embarrassment and he's abusing the position of a law practitioner. He is also a menace to the society because of he is a lawyer, one of the several occupations whose words hold sway in courts of public opinion as well, and yet he has been saying stuff which clear does not represent the opinion(s) held by most of the other lawyers in Florida.

    Exactly. I'm a member of the Florida Bar, and when I took my oath (presumably the same one Thompson took) I was consciously binding myself to a certain standard of behavior, and agreeing to limitations as to what I can say and how I can behave. If I ever find those limits too restrictive I can resign from the Bar. What Thompson wants is to be able to use the tools available to him as a licensed attorney, but not follow the restrictions he agreed to when being given those tools.
  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @11:51PM (#23663579) Homepage
    To clarify, he claims that the judge had someone forge her signature on the oath for some unknown reason, and the only evidence he has is the testimony of a discredited handwriting specialist.

    ...and, since the loyalty oath is identical in substance to a part of the oath of attorney for Florida lawyers, the judge has already sworn to what is contained in it.
  • Re:fp (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2008 @12:22AM (#23663763)
    i just love how the whole video game debate simply gets writen off with an insightful +5 as a right wing conspiracy when we know the truth... i guess there's just never enough political spin for some around here.

    http://www.physorg.com/news5230.html
  • Re:fp (Score:4, Informative)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @12:31AM (#23663833) Homepage
    Well, they do have a few convicted felons. G. Gordon Liddy, Ollie North...

    North's conviction was overturned, so technically he's not a convicted felon. Of course he's an amoral, deceitful, arrogant swine who admitted under oath to breaking the law, but he's not technically a felon.
  • Re:fp (Score:4, Informative)

    by deniable (76198) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @01:15AM (#23664107)
    Given that Fox News is a big practical joke on the Americans, Rupert will hire whoever he needs to keep it running. All Australians should be proud of him. Keeping that many people fooled for so long is a sign of true mastery. Just wait till they start reporting the Al Queda / Drop Bear connection or that beer shortages cause global warming.
  • Re:fp (Score:5, Informative)

    by thermian (1267986) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @01:45AM (#23664275)
    It's called a Total Pelvic Exenteration, and it's probably the nastiest operation a woman can undergo.

    It's only for women though. I assisted on several in my former career, not a fun thing the help with, I can tell you.
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:4, Informative)

    by bh_doc (930270) <blhiggins.gmail@com> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @02:04AM (#23664351) Homepage
    Not the ACB's fault. It's the South Australian Attorney-general that's preventing it. To implement the R18+ rating for games requires all the state and federal attorney-generals to agree, and he's the one bass-ackwards idiot saying no.
  • Loyalty oath issue (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @02:06AM (#23664373) Homepage

    The loyalty oath issue is interesting. The loyalty oath in Florida used to contain the language "that I am not a member of the Communist Party; that I have not and will not lend my aid, support, advice, counsel or influence to the Communist Party". This was a big deal during the Red Scare era in the 1950s. It's not an oath of office; all state employees were required to sign it.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that language to be an unconstitutional restriction on free speech and association [justia.com] in 1961. So the legislature took out the "Communist party" part. The shortened oath is still required of all state employees and candidates [myfloridalegal.com].

    Florida law says that any state employee refusing to sign the oath shall be discharged. It's not clear there's any penalty for an employee who, through some omission of the state, was never asked to sign it.

    Florida judges are mostly elected, and normally the loyalty oath is required as part of the paperwork for getting on the ballot. But it seems that Judge Tunis [countyjudges.com] was appointed (by Gov. Jeb Bush) to fill a vacancy created when the Legislature increased the number of judgeships. For most state employees, it's the responsibility of the employee's superior to make sure that the loyalty oath is signed. But for elected positions, there's no "superior", so it's not clear who's supposed to get this done. Which is probably how she became a judge without signing the loyalty oath first. Anyway, Judge Tunis did sign the oath at a later date.

  • Re:Good ridance (Score:3, Informative)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @03:20AM (#23664771)
    of course what good is his advice if the board felt the need to kick him out... you have to screw up pretty badly to be KICKED out, it's more than just letting it lapse.
  • Re:Hasn't he... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2008 @03:24AM (#23664795)
    He repeatedly files ridiculous law suits ....

    On the outside chance anyone cares, it's called barratry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barratry [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Hasn't he... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ishobo (160209) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @03:28AM (#23664821)

    Doesn't seem like it took that long for Bill Clinton to be disbarred. It just wasn't very well reported when it happened.
    It was not well reported because it never happened. Bill Clinton voluntarily resigned from the Arkansas and Supreme Court bar rather than face disbarment, after he was suspended by both the Arkansas and U.S. Supreme Courts. His suspension, for five years, was part of a settlement to avoid perjury charges.

    No sitting or former president has ever been disbarred by the Supreme Court.
  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @03:41AM (#23664895)
    things like that are designed to break the system. he doesn't agree it's morally right but does it anyway because it's god's moral war so breaking rules is OK.

    The point he was proving is that first amendment rules would apply to the filings. He's correct if he had asked permission first, proved they were relevant to the case, and not done great disrespect to the judge. That is what he's in trouble for, the FBI puts legal gay porn in evidence all the time so the press will leak it against politicians they don't like... it's not the images that are the problem.
    The second reason he did it was the "think of the children" facade. Because he "backdoored" the images, they were filed as public documentation where normal filings of this type would be restricted by the judge to attorneys. He then proceeded to point out that now "children" could legally access this horrible vile imagery by requesting public documents, the court is providing Porn!!! Look how broken the system is... imagine that's what video games are doing... putting graphic images in a "child's toy", never mind the clear MA rating that says not to sell to kids.

    He wants the "Law" to protect kids, but completely disrespects all aspects and rulings that have been made legally.
  • SCO... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @05:57AM (#23665615)
    I've followed the reports on http://www.groklaw.net/ [groklaw.net], and it seems to me that it was SCO which abused the legal system. As in

    -making public threats to Linux users without providing evidence for their claims
    -using all sorts of delay tactics in court to prevent a quick trial
    -filing for bankruptcy a few days before an important court decison, which smacks of an attempt to get a venue change (because the bankruptcy court gets jurisdiction)

    IBM's and Novell's legal teams looked much more respectable by comparison. If they have gamed the legal system themselves at a few points, it was insignificant beside SCO's behavior.

    In other words, even a moderately sleazy lawyer will look good compared to SCO's legal team. So don't be surprised if some minor abuses from SCO's opponents were overlooked (I'm not saying there were such abuses, I merely consider the possibility).
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:46AM (#23666563)
    Uh, actually all three major consoles in this current generation (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) have parental controls built-in. The console can read the rating on the disc and you can set a maximum allowed rating. So yes, they do have the tools necessary to enforce what games their children play, and no, they don't have the right to prevent the rest of us from playing what we want.
  • Re:fp (Score:2, Informative)

    by hocrap (167178) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:58AM (#23666673)
    "In women, the operation is performed mostly for advanced and invasive cases of endometrial, ovarian, vaginal, and cervical cancer; for aggressive prostate cancer in men; and rectal cancer in either sex."

    http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Ce-Fi/Exenteration.html [surgeryencyclopedia.com]
  • by vecctor (935163) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @09:15AM (#23666877)
    Consoles have parental controls as well:

    Here is handy instructions for each one:

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2006-12-28-parental-controls-consoles_x.htm [usatoday.com]
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:2, Informative)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @09:24AM (#23667015) Journal
    It is, however, likely that hell just go play at a friends anyway.

    True. I know hell plays at my friends!
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @10:23AM (#23667823) Journal
    I've never been able to figure out why people seem to think that insulting someone they want something from is going to get them better results

    They're not "thinking" per se; they're using the amygdala [wikipedia.org] instead of the prefrontal cortex [wikipedia.org]. People with bipolar disorder do this a lot.

    According to a recent study [reuters.com], Jack should start smoking pot. Lots of pot. Seriously. I've known bipolars who said that smoking pot keeps them sane, and from the cited study one can see why.
  • Re:Good ridance (Score:3, Informative)

    by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdot@remco.p ... minus physicist> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @11:31AM (#23668757)
    And I just have Nero Mini version, just the burning tool, which is excellent :)
    (and runs flawlessly on Vista)

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