Posts tagged as:

Jack Thompson

The disbarred lawyer and anti-videogame crusader says the social networking site is responsible for tolerating user posts that he says constitute physical threats to his well-being. [PC Mag, Ken at Popehat] More: Citizen Media Law.

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April 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 24, 2009

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If Salt Lake City’s Deseret News must run anti-videogame screeds, couldn’t it find authors to write them who are not, you know, disgraced and disbarred?

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Jack Thompson disbarred

by Walter Olson on September 26, 2008

The Miami anti-videogame crusader may still carry on with his bullying and tantrums, but it won’t be as an officer of the court any more. The order takes effect in 30 days. (Kotaku, ShackNews). More: Thompson’s counterattack includes a suit naming dozens of bar officials and others as defendants (ABA Journal).

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In a 169-page report (PDF at GamePolitics, courtesy Escapist), Judge Dava Tunis has explained her recommendation that anti-videogame crusader Jack Thompson, a regular on this site for many years, be permanently disbarred with no chance of reinstatement. Thompson’s personal abusiveness, Tunis found, is part of a “pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes.” (Escapist, Daily Business Review, Kotaku; related, GamePolitics (opposing lawyer found Thompson’s personal attacks the “emotional equivalent of stalking”)).

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The federal judges in the Northern District of Georgia decided to place curbs on the famously litigious inmate who’s filed more than 1,000 lawsuits nationwide naming celebrities and politicians as members of hallucinatory cabals against him. In March the judges enjoined him from filing more suits without permission in the district, which he can do only if he agrees to be prosecuted for false statements. (Miami Daily Business Review, Jun. 12, also with some discussion of Jack Thompson and of a few other Florida litigants who’ve had their acts shut down after filing (e.g.) 18, 20 and 60+ meritless or inappropriate actions.)

The order in the Northern District of Georgia has not prevented Riches from continuing to file lawsuits against celebrities and public figures elsewhere, as in the federal District of South Carolina. (Rachel Barron, “Vinod Khosla Slapped With $43M Lawsuit”, Greentech Media, Jun. 20).

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June 18 roundup

by Ted Frank on June 18, 2008

  • Are plaintiffs’ attorneys judge-shopping by filing and dismissing and refiling identical class-action complaints in the highly-publicized restaurant menu case against Applebee’s? [Cal Biz Lit]
  • You won’t be surprised that most of the nine worst business stories picked by BMI involve spoon-feeding by plaintiffs’ attorneys to a credulous press. [Business & Media Institute]
  • “There’s no justification whatsoever for the agency to take any kind of action,” said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “The claims being made about the dangers of shower curtains are phantasmagorical. It’s ridiculous.” Yeah, but the lawsuits are bound to happen anyway. [NY Daily News]
  • Jack Thompson stays in the news when U.S. Marshals pay him a visit after a letter to a judge. [GamePolitics (h/t J.L.)]
  • “A City lawyer who is demanding £19 million in compensation for work-place bullying faked a nervous breakdown to secure a larger payout, an employment tribunal was told.” [London Times via ATL]
  • Did defensive medicine almost kill a patient when doctor worries more about potential lawsuit than whether nurse could save patient’s life? Heck if I know, but the underlying medicine is debated in the comments. [EM Physician blog]
  • Hair-stylist fined £4,000 for “hurt feelings” after refusing to hire a Muslim stylist who wouldn’t show her hair at work. [Daily Mail (h/t Slim); earlier on Overlawyered]
  • Disturbing turn in the Adam Reposa disciplinary hearing over his obscene gesture in court: state bar introduces satirical magazine as evidence because they “thought it was indicative of Reposa’s lack of respect for the law and the court system.” [Texas Lawyer/law.com] Mind you, this is the same Texas legal discipline system that refused to take action against Fred Baron and gave a slap on the wrist to the lawyers who tried to fake evidence in a product liability suit against Chrysler. As long as your priorities are straight.

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Ted earlier linked to an audio of the hearing, but GamePolitics.com has now posted a transcript.

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Overlawyered will have a little less to write about when the Florida Supreme Court implements the recommendation from the Florida Bar. The Daily Business Review (via Above the Law) has full coverage, including audio of the hearing; in the comments to the DBR story, Thompson is once again promising law enforcement will come to his rescue. Jack Thompson, of course, was a regular subject of Overlawyered coverage; click on the tag to remember his greatest hits.

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“Miami-Dade Circuit 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.” The judge recommended sanctions, on which a hearing is scheduled for June 4. (Daily Business Review; GamePolitics.com).

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Grand Theft Auto roundup

by Ted Frank on April 28, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV debuts at midnight tonight to spectacular reviews, and the litigation is sure to follow…

  • Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson (Mar. 21; Feb. 22; Sep. 27, etc., etc.), whose antics could fill an entire sub-blog, has sent an obnoxious letter to the mother of Rockstar’s boss, Strauss Zelnick, accusing it of being pornography and training for murder. A new book, Grand Theft Childhood, as documented by WaPo’s Mike Musgrave, suggests that the fears of corrupted childhood are overblown, though Lord knows I wouldn’t let any teenage kids I was responsible for play this game.
  • As someone who purchased Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas the first day it was out for the Xbox 360 original Xbox, I am a member of a plaintiff class in a class action settlement over the Hot Coffee mod where players can access the Internet and voluntarily modify the game to make it slightly more offensive to the easily offended. (To imagine that one can find p0rnography on the Internet!) In the settlement, I get, well, nothing, and the attorneys will ask for about a million dollars; worse, individual “representative” class members who suffered no injury will get $5000 that could have been used to buy more music rights for Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re frequently asked what we can do if we’re unhappy with a class action settlement where we’re a member, but this settlement was sufficiently appalling that I actually retained an attorney and he served an objection on my behalf on Friday. Further updates to come.

Update: I incorrectly said I bought San Andreas for the Xbox 360. Of course, San Andreas was never available for the 360. I bought the June 2005 release for the original Xbox.

Update: More.

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It “won’t accept any more filings” from the embattled anti-videogame attorney “without the signature of another Florida Bar member.” (DBR). Relatedly, Above the Law is retiring Thompson to a Hall of Fame in which he will be ineligible for further naming as ATL’s Lawyer of the Day, because it just isn’t fair to other lawyers who do outlandish things to let Thompson win so often.

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You guessed it: it’s the Jack Thompson Florida folly discussed here a couple of weeks ago (Bonnie Goldstein, Slate, Mar. 7). Bonus: the court includes a reference to the precedents set by Montgomery Blair Sibley in his struggles with the Florida bar (earlier). P.S. More from Dennis McCauley at GamePolitics who exchanges emails with Thompson regarding his use of a photo of burned-out Hiroshima to presage what may “figuratively” happen to the Florida bar if he gets sanctioned.

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Perennial Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson may find that his doodles, or supplementary art, or whatever, on court filings are an expensive matter, as the Florida Supreme Court continues to consider disciplinary action against him. Aside from the extraneous picture matter, which includes images of “swastikas, kangaroos in court, a reproduced dollar bill, cartoon squirrels, Paul Simon, Paul Newman, Ray Charles, a handprint with the word ‘slap’ written under it, Bar Governor Benedict P. Kuehne, a baby, Ed Bradley, Jack Nicholson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Julius Caesar, monkeys, a house of cards,” and so forth, Thompson, known for his crusades against violence and sex in videogames, is accused of engaging in constant filings that are “repetitive, frivolous and insult the integrity of the court,” and faces a possible order that would bar him from filing actions unless signed by another Florida bar member. Thompson rejects the charges, saying, “I have a right to file anything I want with the court.” (Alana Roberts, “Anti-Porn Crusader May Face Sanctions for ‘Meritless Filings’”, Daily Business Review, Feb. 22).

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December 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 10, 2007

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October 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 3, 2007

  • Yet another Apple suit, this time on behalf of user who wishes iPod and iTunes were more compatible with other song vendors and devices [Miami Herald/ILR]

  • Fairview Heights, Ill. alderman says town was “deceived” into serving as lead plaintiff in class action against Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia and other online travel firms [Madison County Record]; More: here and here.

  • “Evasive”, “bad faith”: federal judge slams health insurance lawyers for stalling suit by docs [Phila. Inquirer; Plus: their side @ Law.com]

  • Plastic water guns draw ire of politicos in Albany, N.Y. [Times-Union via Nobody's Business]

  • High lawyers’ fees said to be pricing middle class Canadians out of the justice system, but it must be said the numbers cited sound pretty low by U.S. standards [Maclean's]

  • Flickr makes it easy to grab and reuse strangers’ photos, and legal sorrows ensue [NY Times]

  • Jack Thompson tries to get federal judge Jordan removed from hearing one of his lawsuits against the Florida Bar [GamePolitics.com; & yet more]

  • New at Point of Law: trial lawyers deem “slanderous” ads featuring fictional law firm of Sooem, Settle & Kashin; Business Week cover story on wage/hour suits; John Edwards comes out again for “certificate of merit” med-mal reform; replace your old kitchen cabinets and get lead paint companies to pay; and much more;

  • Some New York lawmakers think secondhand smoke is just as bad for you as actually being a smoker [Siegel via Sullum; more on recent smoking bans, complete with culturally-sensitive hookah exception]

  • “Disability Math” video explores paradox of how employment fell among handicapped after enactment of the ADA [Dubner, Freakonomics; more (now with more direct Freakonomics link)]

  • Class-action lawyers sue over kids’ Pokémon card trading craze, claiming it’s illegal gambling [Eight years ago on Overlawyered; Milberg Weiss angle here]

Latest Jack Thompson follies

by Ted Frank on September 27, 2007

Longtime Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson (Sep. 20, etc.), suing the Florida Bar in federal court to avoid misconduct charges, was apparently outraged that one of the attorneys working with the Bar was affiliated with a website that in turn had advertising to pornographic websites—and to prove his (wildly off-topic) point filed several graphically pornographic photos with the court. The district judge was not amused, threatened to hold Thompson in contempt, and an unapologetic Thompson is encouraging the judge to throw him in jail. [GamePolitics via Above the Law]

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Anti-videogame Miami attorney and longtime Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson claims that players in the forthcoming Grand Theft Auto IV are given instructions to kill a certain lawyer in his office and that the lawyer utters the line “Guns don’t kill people. Video games do,” which means it must be a parody of Thompson himself. He’s fired off a demand that the release be halted. (GamePolitics.com, Sept. 18; Geoffrey Rapp, PrawfsBlawg, Sept. 20). For Thompson’s legal threats last year against the publisher of Mortal Kombat because users can employ the game’s build-a-fighter mode to create characters that might resemble him, see Oct. 30, 2006. Plus: Thompson responds in comments.

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