Jack Thompson, outspoken critic of violent video games, has been permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court. Effective 30 days from today, Thompson has also been ordered to pay Florida Bar fees in excess of $43,000 dollars.
In what has been almost a year-long ordeal, the disbarring stems from an ethics hearing back in November of last year concerning several complaints about Thompson’s conduct in court cases against the video game industry.
"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.
While Thompson’s legal career seems to be coming to a close, there is the chance of a retrial, as long as a member of the Florida bar who is in "good standing" files the motion. Seeing how this excludes Jack Thompson, the fact that he submitted a motion for retrial on his own behalf is bizarre to say the least. Thompson’s claims that the judgment is in retaliation for his book, Out of Harm’s Way, which according to Thompson through Kotaku, "blew the whistle on what he describes as the Florida Supreme Court’s attack on his activism against the American entertainment industry."
Thompson’s emergency motion for a retrial was filed today. In it, he outlines that his disbarring will be detrimental to potential clients, including one Richard Gorman, with whom Thompson was supposed to meet this Friday. According to the motion, "Mr. Gorman is sitting in his prison cell solely because of the unethical conduct of Assistant State Attorney Matthew Alex Smith and the obstruction of justice by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. The attached Report of No Probable Cause is a smoking gun document that proves that the entire Board of Governors of The Florida Bar is involved in a cover-up in order to keep this innocent man in jail, all for the purpose of protecting the corrupt Leon County State Attorney’s Office."
Could the face of anti-video game violence be at the center of a statewide conspiracy? Hopefully a retrial will keep this story going for another year. In the meantime, I’m sure Thompson will keep making appearances on Fox News, attempting to connect the latest violent crime to Counter-Strike.