Controversial Florida attorney Jack Thompson disbarred

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Jack Thompson at the California University of Pennsylvania in 2007
Image: GuardianV.

Florida attorney Jack Thompson was disbarred by a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday for a variety of offenses, and has been banned from practicing law in Florida. The proceedings listed ten distinct behaviors by Thompson that led to his disbarment, including making false statements to a court, and violating a court order. Judge Dava Tunis said that Thompson had "abused the legal system by submitting numerous, frivolous and inappropriate filings". The judge also noted that Thompson had shown no remorse for his actions and had refused to cooperate with the disbarment hearing. Tunis concluded that the probability of rehabilitation was small.

In addition to this disbarment, Thompson is required to pay the court $43,675.35 as a recovery for the court's time and expense.

Thompson had previously come to public attention in 1988 when he ran for Dade County prosecutor against then incumbent Janet Reno. Thompson made repeated accusations that Reno was a lesbian and subsequently filed battery charges against Reno. These charges were found to be without merit.

After he lost the election to Reno, Thompson engaged in a variety of moral campaigns. Thompson targeted rap music and Howard Stern. Over the last decade Thompson has focused most of his effort against video games and computer games, accusing them of promoting violence and encouraging children to engage in violent behavior. His most recent media attention came when he criticized Grand Theft Auto series of games for sexual and violent content and Bully for violent content.

Thompson responded to the disbarment by issuing a press release claiming it was politically motivated. "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. This rush to disbarment is in retribution for the filing of that federal suit." Thompson went on to say that "this should be fun, starting now."