Summarizing the Latest from Jack Thompson

For the convenience of readers who do not have the energy to read the latest pleading from Coral-Gables-based anti-video-game-zealot Jack Thompson, AKA John Thompson, in the ongoing proceedings as to whether he should be disbarred, I present the following graphical summary:

(For those who came in late, Wikipedia has a decent background article on Jack Thompson.)

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6 Responses to Summarizing the Latest from Jack Thompson

  1. fishbane says:

    I can’t imagine how even Thompson that that was a good idea. I’m thinking the meds might need to be adjusted…

  2. Jack Thompson, Attorney says:

    Professor Froomkin is a classic example of this truth: Those who can’t, teach.

    He’s obviously envious of someone who is actually participating in the public square rather that in some academic cloister. How sad.

    Happy New Year. Jack Thompson

    PS: I’m not on meds. The Bar finds I’m perfectly sane. That’s why they’re concerned.

  3. Michael says:

    A few facts about Jack Thompson:

    • In August 1998, Mr. Thompson filed a grievance with the Arkansas State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Conduct against President Bill Clinton. The original claims included perjury, subornation of perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Then on March 1, 1999 he amended his action to include a claim that President Clinton was guilty of rape. [Clinton’s actual 5-year suspension was a settlement of a wholly separate proceeding instigated by a complaint from Judge Susan Webber Wright and was entirely related to his grand jury testimony.]
    • Writing for NewsMax.com, in August, 2000, Mr. Thompson made a series of allegations regarding Janet Reno, claiming among other things that she was suffering from various mental disorders as side effects of Parkinson’s medication. You really have to read this article to believe how cruel, unfair, and unfounded it is. It is not perhaps irrelevant that Reno had beaten Thompson in an earlier election for County Attorney here in Florida. Previously, Mr. Thompson accused Janet Reno of being a lesbian, and suggested she might be subject to blackmail by the Mafia.
    • On October 2, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush’s press office characterized as inaccurate statements by Mr. Thompson in a press release in which Mr. Thompson claimed that the Governor had asked him to draft video game legislation and promised to support it (source). Mr. Thompson replied that the Governor’s office was the one not telling the truth.
    • On October 10, 2005, Mr. Thompson sent an open letter to members of the press and to Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein. He proposed that, if someone could “create, manufacture, distribute, and sell a video game in 2006″ that allowed players to play a scenario he had written, he would donate $10,000 to the charity of gaming company Take Two Chairman Paul Eibeler’s choosing. Someone produced a game (in 2005) hewing very closely to these specifications, but rather than make good his promise, Mr. Thompson reneged on the offer, claiming it was just “satire”. When a Seattle game company, Penny Arcade, decided to make the $10,000 charitable donation in Mr. Thompson’s place as a publicity stunt, Thompson allegedly responded by phoning in complaints against its executives to the Seattle police and to the Seattle US Attorney. (source)
    • More recently, in Alabama, Mr. Thompson’s antics so offended a well-respected judge that he wrote an 18-page order throwing Mr. Thompson off the Strickland v. Sony case because “Mr. Thompson’s actions before this Court suggest that he is unable to conduct himself in a manner befitting practice in this state.” And, “Mr. Thompson felt compelled to smear opposing counsel, other attorneys with no involvement in this case and individuals … Mr. Thompson’s conduct towards opposing counsel has demonstrated a repeated inability to conduct himself with the required professional courtesy and civility.” The opinion also states that the judge is referring the matter to the Disciplinary Commission of the Alabama Bar for “appropriate action.” Mr. Thompson responded with a letter to the same commission questioning the judge’s ethics. (source)

    It is true, however, that the last time the Bar required Jack Thompson be subjected to psychiatric testing as his sanity had been called into question, he found a doctor who opined that Thompson did not have mental problems.

    Update (12/26): In light of Mr. Thompson’s comment below, I went back online to see what I could find. Here’s what I found:

    In “Out of Harm’s Way”, Mr. Thompson’s 2005 book about his experiences, he writes on page 72 that as part of the Florida Bar’s previous and unsuccessful disbarment proceedings against him, he met with both a psychiatrist and psychologist chosen by the Florida Bar, and that both found him to be sane. He adds, “Often when I tell this story in a radio interview or in front of an audience, I end with this: ‘And so, ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you as the only officially certified sane lawyer in the entire state of Florida.'”

    The August 21, 2007, Gamepolitics article that I linked to above refers to a then-new and still ongoing disputes between Thompson and the Florida Bar, which include his federal complaint(s) against the bar. Gamepolitics reports that Thompson filed a pleading in the federal suit, which they describe as follows, “In documents filed Monday with the U.S. District Court in Florida where he has a pair of lawsuits in progress against the Bar, Thompson wrote that he pre-emptively saw a psychologist at his own expense.”

    I haven’t seen any relevant documents in the ongoing case(s), so I can’t vouch for that summary. In light of Thompson’s comments below, I’m now unclear if Thompson is claiming that Gamepolitics’s statement is false, and there was no such brief, in which case the only relevant psychological reports were those by persons selected by the Florida Bar, or if it may be that there are two sets of psychiatric reports, the old ones he described in his book and some later one which Gamepolitics says Thompson says he commissioned.

    In any case, it seems I may have conflated the two sets of proceedings, in which case there might be as many as three different opinions attesting to Thompson’s sanity.

    None of which, however, has much to do with my point in the original posting, which was about a legal document, not about a person. And I stand by my view of that document: From a means-end rationality point of view — if you are trying to win a case — the brief ‘Rumpole’ posted and that I linked to is absolutely not the way to do it.

  4. Alan Childress says:

    I linked your post onto The Legal Profession Blog, because it involves an interesting issue of bar discipline which is our subject matter, and then Mr. Thompson commented in such a way that makes it seem as if I am you and am following some ACLU script. Not very lawyer-like to mix people up and make unsupported assertions (much like his attributing the “meds” comment to you when it was a commenter). This is sad on several levels, least of which is that the violent-videogame cause he promotes is one that many people would agree with if he presented it cogently. It is as if he is really working FOR Sony by doing it this way, I say in reply to him. My full response to his comment is at
    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2007/12/jack-thompsons.html

    and my original innocuous link to you was at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2007/12/michael-froomki.html

    I stand behind the aside that you are always interesting. Though I would add that your sp-m reduction device always freezes my laptop and reminds me of an earlier post you had: what would a sp-m reduction filter on discourse.net be like if Microsoft designed it?

  5. Jack Thompson, Attorney says:

    No, Professor Froomkin, the last time The Bar required me to be examined, their own experts found me perfectly sane and The Bar’s insurance carrier paid me damages. Maybe you should stick with things you know something about.

    I am now contacting the U of M law school to ask it who its insurance carrier for libel by its professors is. Jack Thompson

  6. michael says:

    I am always happy to be corrected. Can you provide a link the correct story, please?

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