A Florida Court yesterday gave the order for anti-video game activist Jack Thompson to be permanently disbarred, a sanction recommended by Judge Dava Tunis in July. Thompson has 30 days to get his affairs in order and make arrangements for clients.
“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 business from the date this order is filed.”
Proceedings for the disbarment began early in 2007. The Florida Bar accused Thompson of professional misconduct. According to Law.com, Judge Dava Tunis concluded Thompson made false statements to tribunals, disparaged and humiliated litigants and other lawyers, and improperly practiced law outside the state of Florida.
Tunis said she reviewed 2,400 pages of transcripts and 1,700 pages of exhibits before finding Jack Thompson guilty of 24 out of 31 alleged rule violations. She recommended Thompson be permanently disbarred and fined $43,675.35.
As sudden (and for most gamers, entertaining) as this news is, Thompson is not one to rest on his laurels and has already responded to the ruling. Gaming wesbite Kotaku, reports that Thompson has filed an emergency motion with the court despite the fact he needs another attorney to file a motion for rehearing on his behalf.
Thompson sent out a press release claiming the disbarment was in retaliation, among other things, for Thompson’s Tyndale House book Out of Harm’s Way which he says “blew the whistle on the Florida Supreme Court’s earlier efforts in the 1990’s to literally pathologize his faith-based and successful activism against the American entertainment industry.” He goes on to further explain what he believes to be an unfair disbarment :
“The timing of this disbarment transparently reveals its motivation : This past Friday Thompson filed a federal civil rights action against The Bar, the Supreme Court, and all seven of its Justices,” the statement read. “This rush to disbarment is in retribution for the filing of that federal suit. With enemies this foolish, Thompson needs only the loyal friends he has.”
So while Thompson has been disbarred this, unfortunately, is not the last we’ll see of him. "...this should be fun, starting now," Thompson wrote to Kotaku in an email. We don’t doubt that.