Jack Thompson, the serial litigator and would-be censor whose crusade against violent video games, porn, rap music and other things he considers unseemly, has a legal career that is suddenly teetering on the brink of legal-eagle oblivion. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava Tunis, the referee in Thompson's disbarment proceedings, rejected the Florida Bar's recommendation of disbarment for ten years.
How about, she suggested, permanent, non-negotiable disbarment? And a fine amounting to more than $43,000?
Tunis reached her recommendation after reviewing thousands of pages of complaints, as well as things like Thompson's appearance on 60 Minutes with reporter Ed Bradley.
Bradley was reporting on a kid in Alabama who had shot a couple of cops, and Thompson said he could prove that the video game Grand Theft Auto made him do it.
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Tunis noted that Thompson continued to wear his 15 minutes of 60 Minutes fame like "a veritable badge of honor." Then he sent a fax to the judge in the case, attempting to re-argue matters that had already been heard in court. Lawyers aren't supposed to communicate informally with judges on matters before them.
In the end, Thompson's fate will be decided by the Florida Supreme Court, with Tunis' 165-page compendium for guidance.
- As told to Edmund Newton