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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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  • Hallelujah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tergvelo (926069) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:42PM (#25155075)
    It's about damn time this poor excuse for a human being was disbarred.
    Maybe now we won't have to hear about him all the damn time.
    ~t
    • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by uberjack (1311219) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:16PM (#25155615)

      It's about damn time this poor excuse for a human being was disbarred. Maybe now we won't have to hear about him all the damn time. ~t

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

      • 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...

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

          by hairykrishna (740240) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @07:46PM (#25159523)
          He's religious and therefore obviously at least slightly delusional and prone to ignoring logic.
    • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:16PM (#25155617)

      I hope he gets the help he needs. I think its getting obvious that his mental condition is far from normal and his obsession with finding wrongs in videogames has ruined his life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by electrictroy (912290)

        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:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

          by Hairy Heron (1296923) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:24PM (#25155743)
          Conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar.
        • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

          by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:27PM (#25155793)
          You mean aside from recklessly ignoring court orders and abuse of his position as a lawyer? Perhaps you should read up on his activities [wikipedia.org].
          • 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, Informative)

          by Hyppy (74366) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:39PM (#25155947)
          In many places, it's illegal to continuously file frivolous lawsuits.
          • by flyingsquid (813711) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:54PM (#25156207)
            Did he deserve to be disbarred? Perhaps. But there is such a thing as going too far. I mean, I really don't think it was appropriate when the judge ordered Mr. Thompson to lie down on the floor, and then repeatedly squatted over his head while yelling "PWNED!!!! PWNED!!!"
            • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

              by KillerBob (217953) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:09PM (#25156437)

              Read the Kotaku link on it... as of this writing, it's still up, while the other one is slashdotted...

              http://kotaku.com/5054772/jack-thompson-disbarred [kotaku.com]

              The document they posted is quite brief, but for those who don't feel like reading the whole thing, the paragraph that answers your question is paragraph 4:

              Among the extensive findings of fact presented in the report, the Court takes particular note of the following which occurred during the three-year period at issue in five counts in these cases: (1) respondent made false statements of material fact to courts and repeatedly violated a court order; (2) respondent communicated the subject of representation directly with clients of opposing counsel; (3) respondent engaged in prohibited ex parte communications; (4) respondent publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes, and press releases, to the affected individuals; (5) respondent targeted an individual who was not involved with respondent in any way, merely due to "the position [the individual] holds in state and national politics;" (6) respondent falsely, recklessly, and publicly accused a judge as being amenable to the "fixing" of cases; (7) respondent sent courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials; (8) respondent falsely and publicly accused various attorneys and their clients of engaging in a conspiracy/enterprise involving "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors" and attempted to get prosecuting authorities to charge these attorneys and their clients for racketeering and extortion; (9) respondent harassed the former client of an attorney in an effort to get the client to use its influence to persuade the attorney to withdraw a defamation suit filed by the attorney against respondent; and (10) respondent retaliated against attorneys who filed Bar complaints against him for his unethical conduct by asserting to their clients, government officials, politicians, the media, female lawyers in their law firm, employees, personal friends, acquaintances, and their wives, that the attorneys were criminal Case Nos. SC07-80 and SC07-354 Page Three pornographers who objectify women.

              Quoted, unmodified. Every paragraph of the filing is pertinent... it's only about a page's worth of text, so well worth the read. And IMHO, it's well worth disbarring him. And the only way he's affected *me* personally was that, thanks to one of his initiatives, I had to ask the staff at EB Games to sell me a copy of Bully, because they didn't have it actually *on* the shelves.

              • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:20PM (#25157693) Homepage Journal

                Not to defend Thompson, consider the following charges:

                • "false statements of material fact,"
                • "hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging" communications,
                • "targeted an individual ... merely due to the position [the individual] holds in state and national politics",
                • wild accusations of corruption, conspiracy, and other criminal actions
                • sending "inappropriate and offensive sexual materials"

                Doesn't this list make him sound like a pretty typical Slashdotter?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I'm not aware of any illegal activities

          IANAL, but I've worked with them for years now as a paramalegal. There are ethical rules that attorneys need to follow (some of which we follow, too). AFAIK, Thompson was acting contrary to many of those standards which are part of staying with the bar, hence his disbarment.
          • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:10PM (#25157517) Homepage
            "There are ethical rules that attorneys need to follow (some of which we follow, too). AFAIK, Thompson was acting contrary to many of those standards which are part of staying with the bar, hence his disbarment."

            Jumping Jesus in a hopped up chariot. A lawyer being kicked out of the club for being unethical?
            Isn't that like being kicked out of Aeorosmith for having a drug problem??
            I mean, how bad would it have to be before a group of lawyers thinks what you are doing is too unethical?


            That all being said I really think it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...
        • 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, Informative)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:33PM (#25156899) Journal

          Disbarment doesn't have anything to do with illegal activities...You should read the trial transcripts. I read them as a lark, because I get a kick out of JT's nutbaggery, but I lost my enjoyment about halfway through reading all the testimony from lawyers and judges about a truly obscene level of harassment.

          It's clear that they felt that bringing a suit against him for libel and slander would only further his aims, so you see, for example, a prominent partner at a law firm, another member of which was involved in a suit against JT, being publicly accused of peddling pornographic materials to minors. A clear attempt at intimidation.

          Likewise the Alabama case, when the judge revoked JT's pro hac vice after JT's blatantly contradicted the Judge's instructions regarding talking to the press, which also included some basic lies regarding his status on the case (the pro hac vice had not been approved when he started representing himself as the actual lawyer on the case, which he couldn't have been without the PHV). After the PHV was revoked, JT started making criminal racketeering charges against the judge, and the judge who had held the seat previously, who, as in the first case, wasn't even involved.

          Imagine being dragged through the mud by a rabid, paranoid jackass who is just out to intimidate someone else whom you happen to know.

          Here is a link to the Referee Report Recommending his disbarment [libsyn.com] (pdf warning). It's part funny, and part disgusting.

          It's frankly amazing that he got away with it as long as he did. You'd think, if gamers were as violent as he swears we are, someone would have killed his dumb ass.

      • by NotPeteMcCabe (833508) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:37PM (#25155921)
        I knew videogames would ruin your life!
    • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:26PM (#25155769)

      Maybe now we won't have to hear about him all the damn time.

      ~t

      Not even close.

      Jack is going to call out against video games until he dies or retires. He enjoys the attention and the money.

      He's now completely free to so whatever he wants and say whatever he wants and act in any manner he pleases - he has no professional association to give him any oversight.

      We haven't seen the last of him, not by a long shot.

      Even if we had seen the last of him, that would be a bad thing. He's a raving loon, and if he represents those who are against violent games, that's good for those of us who are 30+ years old, have jobs, mortgages, kids, spouses, and the entire GTA series.

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

        by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:32PM (#25155859)
        As long as he can't harass people with lawsuits, that crazy fuck can SAY whatever he likes.
      • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Speare (84249) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#25155997) Homepage Journal

        Jack is going to call out against video games until he dies or retires.

        Um, hope nobody has to explain to you that being disbarred IS a retirement. He's retired. He cannot practice his profession legally. He may start a new career as a news commentator (Nancy Grace already filled CNN's quota for shrill moralistic harpies but there's always CBS or NBC or something). That's a separate career if it ever materializes, so as of now, he IS retired.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Okay, yes, he's been forcibly retired from being a lawyer.

          There's no "Crazy Fucker" Association that can do the same thing and prevent him from getting in front of a camera.

          He fucking loves being in front of a camera and hearing himself talk.

          I guarantee that he'll be all over the news for the next school shooting.

          • 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:Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

              by HUADPE (903765) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:59PM (#25157365) Homepage
              He will have a very very hard time getting admitted to the bar of any other state or the federal bar.

              Bar associations take a disbarment, especially one as exceptional as this (lifetime) very seriously. I also doubt that he could, in fact, pass most states' bar exams.

              For those not familiar, getting admitted to the bar isn't just passing the exam, it involves being reviewed for professionalism. I imagine that he would piss off the reviewers in the same way he apparently pissed this judge off into giving the absolute most powerful punishment available.

      • Re:Hallelujah! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by COMON$ (806135) * on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:52PM (#25156175) Journal
        Precisely it is guys like this that keep people laughing at Christianity, they use and abuse the people to make a buck. What is to say he just wont go pass the Bar in another state like Utah....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CodeBuster (516420)
        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 m
  • by Gorm the DBA (581373) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:43PM (#25155093) Journal
    In related news, sales of Grand Theft Auto took a nose dive, as the free publicity engine Mr. Thompson had given them no longer functions...

    Not that I see that as a bad thing...

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:44PM (#25155103) Homepage Journal

    this will give more time to sit around in front of the computer at home, playing video games

    • by eln (21727) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:49PM (#25155209) Homepage

      this will give more time to sit around in front of the computer at home, playing video games

      Bad idea. Thanks to him, we all know that violent video games are a direct cause of violent behavior, and I don't think we need someone as dangerously imbalanced as him getting violent.

  • 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 Sockatume (732728) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:48PM (#25155191)
      Permanent Disbarment with Extreme Prejudice. It involves some sort of laser cannon.
    • Not Quite... (Score:3, Informative)

      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,

      From TFSCD, "The Court approves the corrected referee's report and John Bruce Thompson is permanently disbarred, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients. If respondent notifies the Court in writing that he is no longer practicing and does not need the thirty days to protect existing clients, this Court will enter an order making the permanent disbarment effective immediately. Respondent shall accept no new

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by egomaniac (105476)

        You misunderstand. This has nothing to do with his disbarment; rather GPP is referring to a previous court order prohibiting him from submitting briefs that were not signed by another bar member in good standing.

        By submitting this motion he has violated that order, though I doubt much will come of it since he has already been disbarred.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by X0563511 (793323)

          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 d

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:47PM (#25155161)
    The Gamepolitics link is to the recommendation, not the approval. My bad. The correct link is this [kotaku.com].
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:47PM (#25155167) Journal
    From Jack's press release regarding his filing of some kind of emergency injunction aggainst the bar:

    Thompson always wanted to own a Bar. Now, armed with multiple US Supreme Court rulings that no state bar can do what it has done to Thompson, he is set to own that Bar.

    1. Doesn't he mean "pwn" that Bar?

    2. Thompson knew this was going to happen, so last week he file an action against the bar; now he claims his disbarment was retaliation. Nice pre-emptive strike last week, Jack -- too bad it's as transparent as day that it's unrelated to the numerous reasons the Florida Bar Association decided you're unfit to practice law.

  • by Androclese (627848) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:54PM (#25155299)
    ...the system actually works on occasion.
  • 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 Coopjust (872796) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:58PM (#25155355)
    In his response, he accuses the bar of acting against him to protect the "unethical" conduct of the State Attorney general against one of his clients. He goes on to insinuate that one of the justices didn't actually know anything about the case (scratch that, it's an outright accusation:

    it is fascinating that Justice Cannady, who has undoubtedly reviewed absolutely nothing about this disciplinary case, has put his name to this disbarment order on the day that he was served with the federal civil rights action. What a coincidence.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:00PM (#25155373)

    I mean seriously - this is just too good to be true.

    Jack Thompson disbarred. The RIAA loses its first court case on their "making available" theory.

    I'm waiting for the OMG ponies to show up.

    • Re:April fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:12PM (#25155549)

      I mean seriously - this is just too good to be true. Jack Thompson disbarred. The RIAA loses its first court case on their "making available" theory.

      Wait till you get to the one about your government wanting $2000 of your money to bail out banks who apparently still thought that pyramid schemes were a good idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mr_mischief (456295)

        They want to bail out banks and still let them collect on as many of the loans as they can, too. Don't you think if they're going to cover the loan losses that the loan should be fully forgiven and the people should keep the collateral? After all, the government is paying the loans with the taxpayers' money.

        • Re:April fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:27PM (#25157789) Homepage

          They want to bail out banks and still let them collect on as many of the loans as they can, too. Don't you think if they're going to cover the loan losses that the loan should be fully forgiven and the people should keep the collateral? After all, the government is paying the loans with the taxpayers' money.

          No.

          Don't you get it?

          "Personal responsibility" is for working-class peons. They were stupid enough to take loans they couldn't afford (and if they believed the financial planner who said they could, that's also their fault) and they can't get out of that just because the chickens have come home to roost. They need to take responsibility for their irresponsibility, not have the government come in like a dad whose son spent their tuition money on beer.

          "Too big to fail" is the mantra for the movers and shakers in the finance industry. For one, it's not their money they're screwing around with, so it's not personal. For two, building an entire economic edifice on top of the backs of debtors who can't afford their debt isn't irresponsible, it's simply a calculated risk. Taking risks is what the pioneers did, and it made this country great, so we shouldn't discourage that by making them suffer the consequences of that risk. Besides, these people are important.

          Ahem. Sorry. I'm depressing myself in a thread that should be full of glee.

    • by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:35PM (#25155893)

      This just in: SCO admits shenanigans, forfeits all future appeals!

      Microsoft declares the war is over; adopts open-source licenses for all of its products

      P is proven not to equal NP; poor grad student becomes king of shit fuck mountain ...I mean seriously, what a day! I don't know about all of you, but I'm going to go celebrate by playing my "murder simulator"!

  • Nerd-vana (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:02PM (#25155385)

    So today we have stories in which the DOJ opposes becoming the Federal Copyright Cops, the RIAA loses a couple hundred thousand dollar lawsuit, and Jack Thompson gets disbarred. To quote Perfect Strangers: Now we are so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:04PM (#25155413)

    .... Please give him a cup of hot coffee to calm him down?

  • by jameskojiro (705701) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:26PM (#25155773) Journal

    Have a Bar called "Jack's Bar" and as you walk in there is a white haired lawyer that the bouncer is int he process of throwing out.

    Bouncer: Sir you are being a nuisance to the customers please leave.

    Lawyer: But.... I am a prominent lawyer in the community, I was on nationwide TV for crying out loud!

    Bouncer: Shutup and get out, NOW!!!

    Bouncer then throws the lawyer out on his his ass, get it, "Dis-Bar-ed" LOLZ!

  • by superdave80 (1226592) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:18PM (#25156597)

    From his 'response':

    With enemies this foolish, Thompson needs only the loyal friends he has.

    I have some bad news for you, Jack: Your Mom and Dad don't count as 'friends'... and they can't stand you anymore either.

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:38PM (#25157007)

    Jack Thompson disbarred. On my birthday.

    Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...

  • Decision (Score:4, Funny)

    by Godji (957148) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:22PM (#25157717) Homepage
    To rephrase the judge's decision:

    <singing>Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more no more no more no more, hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more!</singing>

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