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Jack Thompson Disbarred 522

Posted by timothy
from the it-burns-it-burns dept.
Sockatume writes "The Florida Supreme Court has approved Judge Dava Tunis' recommendations for the permanent disbarment of John B. "Jack" Thompson, with no leave to reapply and $43,675.35 in disciplinary costs. The ruling is a step up from the enhanced disbarment that had been suggested by the prosecution, which would have forbidden him from reapplying for ten years. Thompson has 30 days to appeal the ruling before the disbarment is permanent. Thompson responds to the ruling."
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Jack Thompson Disbarred

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  • What's next? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Robaato (958471) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:46PM (#25155143)
    Now that Jack is defying the court order requiring him to have another member in good standing of the Florida bar to submit motions for him, what other sanctions can be placed upon him? Is there a more extreme penalty for him beyond permanent disbarrment?

    Contempt of court, I guess...
  • by eln (21727) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:46PM (#25155155) Homepage

    He was disbarred in Florida. Doesn't this mean he can still take the exam and be re-barred (okay, probably not the word, although anything involving Thompson and rebar sounds like fun) in any other state?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:57PM (#25155341)
    It has seen the end of Jack Thompson [kotaku.com],
    It has seen the end of a RIAA lawsuit [zdnet.com],
    The end of copyright cops [wired.com],
    The end of Comcast's forging of RST packets [pcauthority.com.au],
    It will soon see the end of the Empire itself!
  • by al3 (1285708) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:02PM (#25155393)
    Great. Now that he doesn't have all that lawyer stuff taking up his time he'll be able to save the children full-time by being a consultant or lobbyist or something.
  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by electrictroy (912290) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:19PM (#25155677)

    Okay:

    I'm no fan of this guy, but what exactly did he do that was worthy of debarment? I'm not aware of any illegal activities?

  • Re:Holy cow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gruntled (107194) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:25PM (#25155755)

    Not gonna happen. You quote people in stories to give arguments authority (again, not to toot my own horn, but I was a journalist for two decades). The only thing Jack is good for going forward is as an example of how the people who think videogames make children commit murder are themselves crazy. How hard is it to get disbarred? John Yoo, the lawyer who wrote the opinion saying it was fine for the United States for disregard 100 years of treaties, international law, and the Geneva Convention and torture people, *he* hasn't been disbarred. Getting disbarred is really highly unusual, absent some kind of criminal conviction (like President Clinton's perjury charges). Jack's credibility is gone forever. I predict a new standard bearer against video game violence will arise: Female, mother with young children, probably calling herself doctor but with a PhD in education. You heard it here first...

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mr_mischief (456295) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:46PM (#25156081) Journal

    How about his filings disrespectful to the courts [wikipedia.org] for starters? Perhaps submitting gay porn as court documents so they're part of the public record [digg.com] strikes you as a better reason? How about "making false and disparaging statements" [law.com] about judges and other attorneys?

    The claims are that he repeatedly makes false and inflammatory claims about others in and out of court, disrespects the officers of the court, and refuses to follow the rules of the court or to act with decorum in the courtroom. I'd say those are sufficient grounds. The Florida Bar Association and the courts appear to think so, and they consider the complaints against him legitimate enough to act. IANAL, but I know they need to abide by some rules and that they should know those rules better than the rest of us.

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LithiumX (717017) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:00PM (#25156285)

    Fat chance. Now he'll have his own talk show on Fox

    The man doesn't appear to be entirely sane. It's near-impossible to tell if his ravings are the product of delusions - or just attempts to apply ANY potential perversion of logic to avoid the crop he's sown.

    With the lunatic rambling this guy uses to defend his arguments, and all of his abuse of supposition in lieu of actual logic, I'm pretty sure no network would dream of giving him his own show.


    Wait... did you say Fox?
    Forget everything I just said then...

  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#25156321)
    Jack is already probably broke: his wife (an otherwise respectable woman and lawyer) is sick with cancer, and Jack has been unable to find work as anything but a commentator on an occasional news program for years. He wasn't paid for most of those appearances, most likely. His book didn't sell. That $43k fine was the limit of the legal options (you can't get punitive damages here).

    Now, he's still open to civil lawsuits by other groups. For example, from my reading of the public documents about his settlement with Take 2, he's probably in violation of that settlement and could be liable for damages to Take 2/Rockstar. Similarly, he can still be sued for liable by people like Judge Tunis (whom he accused of bribery in his latest filings).
  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:07PM (#25156403)
    He can say whatever he likes as a private citizen and people are free to ignore, support, or oppose him as they please, but his career as a litigant against the video game industry is likely to be limited in any case by the vexatious litigant [wikipedia.org] laws and politically video games are a minor issue at best (i.e. they come up from time to time in the context of highly visible crimes, especially shooting spree crimes, but otherwise most people couldn't give two shits because they are too busy trying to save their mortgage and keep their jobs). We may not have heard the last of him on the Internet, but I suspect that his career as a semi-serious public figure is probably over and I say good riddance.
  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:15PM (#25156533)
    well, he could apply to any of the other 49 state's bar, and, if admitted, pass the bar exam there. He can also become legal adviser to anyone who'd like to hire him. It's not like the disbarment invalidates his legal degree, all it does make it impossible to act as an officer of the court in Florida. He might even become a judge in a jurisdiction that doesn't require bar membership to stand for office.
  • Re:Not Quite... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:40PM (#25157039) Homepage Journal

    It gets better. Read his emergency filing, and you learn that basically his whole argument is this:

    1. Innocent person "Bob" is in jail, due to a conspiracy by the Bar.
    2. Due to Thompson's disbarrment, Thompson (the only one who sees the conspiracy) can no longer represent "Bob".
    3. "Bob" is doomed unless Thompson's disbarrment is stayed.

    Of course, they could always suspend the disbarrment until "Bob"'s case is decided, and then disbar him. That would be even more awesome, because then they get to smack him down for his conspiracy theory as well!

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:14PM (#25157579) Journal

    "In 1992, Thompson asked a Florida judge to declare the Florida Bar Association unconstitutional. He said that the bar was engaged in a vendetta against him because of his religious beliefs, which he said conflicted with what he called the bar's pro-gay, humanist, liberal agenda. He also said that the "wedding of all three functions of government into the Florida Bar, the 'official arm' of the Florida Supreme Court, is violative of the bedrock constitutional requirement of the separation powers and the 'checks and balances' which the separation guarantees."[121] Thompson accepted a $20,000 out-of-court settlement.[122]"

    Ouch. It looks like he really did hit a sweet spot. Otherwise they wouldn't have given him the 20k. But why is nobody on /. mentioning this?

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LithiumX (717017) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:19PM (#25158471)

    Are any hardcore religion fanatics "entirely sane"

    As long as they understand that their beliefs are based on faith, they can be. Then again, "fanatics" usually don't seem able to think that way - and like everyone who believes in something, it's hard for them to imagine anything else.

    Think religion is whacked? Do you believe in things like "justice", "morality", "liberty", or even a difference between "right and wrong"? All of these are based on millenia of philosophy, but are still abstracts based on truths we only hold as articles of faith. And just like religious beliefs, all logical arguments in support of them end up circular arguments (ie all arguments in support of a need for justice depend on an implicit assumption that it's desirable, ditto just about every other abstract we hold dear).

    Then again, I just got done arguing that "white" is effectively the same thing as "black" with a coworker - and taking the framework of the entire EM spectrum, you have to admit it's true. :)

    Now if I could only convince him that the Terminator storyline is totally incompatible with parallel realities...

  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @07:15PM (#25159127) Journal
    American fundamentalists != modern Christianity The rest of the Christian world != a few fringe Christians

    Thank you. As a Christian living and practicing my faith in modern America, I often find myself frustrated and dismayed at damage done to the public perception of the Christian faith by groups like the Christian Coalition; and by those who would rather point to carefully selected parts of scripture as an attempt to justify hatred, violence, and nationalism than to truly embrace and grow into what is really a faith of love, hope, and compassion.
    I am persistently puzzled by how the Republican Party came to be associated with Christianity in the US. Looking at the actual actions taken by Jesus (the miracles) he seemed to be in favor of lots of free medical care, and a fair amount of feeding of hungry masses, and being rather forgiving of debts. That looks to be far more in line with policies associated with the Democratic Party than with traditional Republican policies. My Bible doesn't have "The Miracle of the Multi-National" or "The Blessing of the Interventionist Army".
  • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by devnulljapan (316200) on Friday September 26, 2008 @03:18AM (#25162657)

    American fundamentalists != modern Christianity
    The rest of the Christian world != a few fringe Christians

      Thank you. As a Christian living and practicing my faith in modern America, I often find myself frustrated and dismayed at damage done to the public perception of the Christian faith by groups like the Christian Coalition; and by those who would rather point to carefully selected parts of scripture as an attempt to justify hatred, violence, and nationalism than to truly embrace and grow into what is really a faith of love, hope, and compassion.
      I am persistently puzzled by how the Republican Party came to be associated with Christianity in the US. Looking at the actual actions taken by Jesus (the miracles) he seemed to be in favor of lots of free medical care, and a fair amount of feeding of hungry masses, and being rather forgiving of debts. That looks to be far more in line with policies associated with the Democratic Party than with traditional Republican policies. My Bible doesn't have "The Miracle of the Multi-National" or "The Blessing of the Interventionist Army".

    So what are you going to do about it? I'd be deathly embarrassed to have these jackasses speak for me, and whether you like it or not, they do speak (loudly) for you, and include you in their "80% of Americans are christians like us" statistics they like to use to silence criticism. Stand up, and ostracise them. Let the world know just what %age are actually these batshit insane fundie death cult just can't wait for the end times Armageddon's just peachy keen with us wackaloons and that you want your religion back from the oil and arms companies.

    /soapbox

    ...please?

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