Failed Jack Thompson Law May Cost Louisiana $157K …and he wants to try again?

Controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson has been teasing GamePolitics this week, claiming that a legislator in an unnamed “eastern state” has asked him to draft a video game law.

That’s a bit surprising, given that Federal Distict Court Judge James Brady’s complete rejection of Louisiana’s 2006 Thompson-drafted video game legislation is a matter of public record. What’s more, in the wake of Judge Brady’s ruling, the video game industry is seeking to recover significant legal fees from the Katrina-ravaged state.

GamePolitics has obtained court documents indicating that the amount in question is a whopping $157,548. By the way, stay in school, kids. A reading of the video game industry motion shows that lead attorney Katherine Fallow bills at $450 per hour.

Speaking of legal fees, ESA Senior VP and General Counsel Gail Markels detailed to more than $1.5 million recovered or pending from jurisdictions which have passed unconstitutional video game laws in the last five years. These include:

  • Illinois – $510,000
  • Indianapolis – $318,000
  • St. Louis County – $180,000
  • Washington – $344,000
  • Michigan – $180,000
  • Minnesota – $73,000
  • Louisiana – $157,000

Markels told the website that the percentage of legal fees approved by federal judges has increased as “courts are starting to recognize these laws aren’t constitutional from introduction, and there’s no question they’ll be stricken.”

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  1. 0

    […] More: Information originally from story, however has it laid out easier to read. Info about Washington budget, Info about Indiana budget. I know JT may not have been directly involved, but as the leading proponent of video game legislation he surely influenced them. […]

  2. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I agree with you Chuma.

    Evangelist like JT are one of the denominations of Christianity I dislike more than others. They have skewed the bible to their form of thinking to make it look like they are (as chuma says,) “holier than thou.”

    I wonder what kind of games, movies or books these anti-game freaks would create with their (no violence, no sex, no blood) approach. It’d probably be copies of other works and boring to say the least.

  3. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You have heard the term ‘Holier than thou’? Hes basically trying to shield himself from attacks by hiding behind God in the belief that noone would dare question his motivation if it has a religious base to it. By portraying himself as righteous and us as miscreants and anti-christs he is just aiming to appeal to the religious conservative right, which is still rampant since Bush came into power. Don’t be surprised if for these reasons all the states he creates laws for come from the more conservative south of the US.

    As for the violence in the bible, it has been pointed out a lot of times to people and Mel Gibson did a good job in showing just how violent a society it was 2000 years ago, even if the film was pretty damned terrible. With religion in the way of things, and an inability to relate to 2000 years ago with modern context, its a wasted argument though. Far better is to just remove religion from the debate on gaming entirely at every opportunity and look at peoples words on their merits without having to hear the Blue’s Brothers cry of “We’re on a mission from God”.

  4. 0
    Fojar says:

    Why must Jack always bring the bible into these things? Does he think that being “christian” make his rule absolute? Does he think it makes him invulnerable to any criticism? I mean, maybe if he actually *read* the bible, he would realize that most of the violence in it is 10x worse then any video game has ever had. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a gamer devil.

  5. 0
    Jotun says:

    To Thefremen,

    Trust me, you will get the kick out of it when you see another Jack’s lawsuit coming by like an 747 Boenig airplane, but will soon be dropping down to the ground and crashed into scraps of metal.

    And by the way, the reason why Jack Thompson loves talking about war, is because he is not a man of peace, he is a man of hatred and racism.

    Although I don’t believe there is gods, but I believe that each of us has demons lurking in our minds and causes us anixiety and trouble, so to dolts like Jack Thompson, back out of us or join us, together we can fight evil, secluding ourselves just because we are different makes good fight weak.

  6. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    About 2-3 years ago when the industry was reeling from Hot Coffee and Jack seemed like a threat, a story like this would have had me a little worried. These days I’m almost rubbing my hands with glee at the next specticle. Lets face it, Jack’s appearances in courts of late have almost been theatre, if somewhat more brief and entertaining. There’s been very little to fear and has almost helped the gaming industry at every turn.

  7. 0
    Siftr says:

    Jack thomopson will be the end of goverment before he will be the end of videogames. he will learn that eventually when you cost a state an excess of 100,000 dollars, they tend not to like you much.

  8. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    What. A. Jackass.

    Why do people constantly want to interview this nut? In his own little mind, his own little world he believes he is always right.

    And he wants to bring on more lawsuits?! He talks about wasting time on earth playing videogames. It must be more productive than spending up his life now filing all these lawsuits that always end up failing right and left. Life will pass him by and all he’ll have to show for it is a bunch of failed lawsuits.

    – Warren Lewis……..

  9. 0
    Rich says:

    He just loves mentioning the war doesn’t he? He really believes the video game industry is worse than the Third Reich!!!

    Fun read though, but nothing he hasn’t said before. Just all his usual rubbish in one area, with a few mentions of his TV appearances and his (failed) law suits.

    Same old same old… move on Thompson please. Video games have been around a while now, Blu Ray and HD DVD are the new kids now, go target them before they become mainstream.

  10. 0
    Jotun says:

    Hey Jack and all the fundalmentalists around the world, the more you impose legislations, the more money you lose! It’s simple, the world works this way.

    So, come back when you are ready to face more and more money loss, if you want still to be stubborn though.

  11. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Geez, bro, you need to warn us when you post a link that makes Jack’s ugly face pop up without warning! How will I get to sleep now? =)


    Sorry, I didn’t think that one was THAT bad.

  12. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It would look so bad for Jack if the industry gave back the $157,548 saying “We didn’t think it was fair for one misguided man to waste so much money that should have gone to helping people after the destruction caused by Katrina”.

    As it is, it already looks so bad on his record. People should find schools or causes that have been short on funding since Katrina and send details to Mr. Thompson saying “Look what you have done. You could have prevented this by learning from previous mistakes and informing the state that this law had no chance of passing. You call yourself a Christian, but your selfish pride in this push for personal glory and vindication has wasted $157,548 that could have gone to helping communities devastated by Hurricaine Katrina.”

    Now he announces that he’s going to do it all over again in another state? Some legislator is looking raise some publicity for themselves by going after an easy target, misunderstood by a majority of people and claiming he is doing it for the good of the children. When the state eventually has to reimburse the games industry for their legal fees, we will see what areas have to lose money and then we’ll see exactly how much they have done for the good of the children.

  13. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Well, that’s $157,548 that should have gone towards repairing the damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita(which everyone seems to have forgotten) or towards building up the coastline, or towards new hurricane-protection levees in areas of the state that doesn’t have them.”

    I doubt he cares how much money gets wasted as long as he gets his way.

  14. 0
    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    sniff* Do you smell that? Smells like a big ol’ pile of FAIL, and it’s right around the corner. I’m suprised, after all of JT’s past mishaps, some one achually contacted him to draft another bill. That will in fact, get thrown out with the rest of them. Causing thousands of dollars in legal fees that could have been spent in a better way. Or this could just be a “clever” rouse by jack to try and scare people into being on his side. Just like his expert gamer (what ever happend to him/her?) his claims are mostly all show and no go. Better to just take this with a grain of salt and move on.

  15. 0
    Dog Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From the interview linked above (the words of JT): “By contrast, the US video game enthusiast site GamePolitics has denied me posting privileges and has even gone so far as to prevent me, technologically, from even viewing this site at which I am nearly daily attacked.”

    Amazing, then, that he continues to send press releases to Dennis or fails to admit his wrongdoing in what repeatedly got him banned from this site.

  16. 0
    Blitz in NJ says:

    Hi all, first-time poster here. (Love the site, Dennis; been coming here since Tycho at Penny Arcade mentioned it a while back.)

    I don’t think the state JT is talking about is NY. True, Hillary is a NY senator but (1) as far as I know, U.S. senators don’t have a hand in crafting state laws, only federal ones; and (2) she seems to have switched gears by joining with the ESRB to help promote awareness of the ratings.

    Also, NY just elected Eliot Spitzer (former state Attorney General) as governor. And while he did make mention (during his campaign) of maybe having some kind of universal rating system for all media (movies, games, TV, etc.), I can’t see him asking JT of all people for help in crafting a law. Say what you will about Spitzer, but he’s an intelligent, no-BS-kind-of-guy who I think would be unlikely to ally himself with someone with a reputation as tarnished as JT’s.

  17. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I dont understand what’s wrong with these legislations, now that I’ve looked at them. Most of them just restrict sale of M rated games for people under 17. Is it the principle of the matter that’s the problem or… what is it, exactly that makes everyone hate these legislations that much?

  18. 0

    Lousiana didn’t even put up much of a defense in this as apparently the attorney general didn’t want to have to enforce this law. Think what it would have cost if the case took a few months.

    @Shoehorn, the ESA needs that money to pay their lawyers. With E3 gone, they’re not phenomonally rich.

  19. 0
    Dorkmaster Flek says:

    You want to know how to get rid of people like Thompson? Show these numbers to the public, and politicians too. If I lived in those states, I would be asking my representatives why they passed legislation that ended up costing the state valuable money that could be used to fund schools, public services and rebuild ravaged areas. I’d be telling everyone I know how the state wastes money, and how Jack Thompson is personally responsible for drafting several of these laws and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM failed miserably. I’d be writing my representatives and newspapers trying to get people’s attention on this waste of time and money. Fortunately we don’t have any gaming legislation up here in Canada. 😛

  20. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    New York sounds reasonable, that’s the state with Clinton as senator, right? He could be going after his old “friends”, on some sort of revenge platform. If it’s true, keep your ears open for a legislation attempt in the state with Joe Lieberman as senator.

  21. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Well, that’s $157,548 that should have gone towards repairing the damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita(which everyone seems to have forgotten) or towards building up the coastline, or towards new hurricane-protection levees in areas of the state that doesn’t have them.

    I’m guessing it’s New York that’s the state the delusion weirdo is braying about.

    Anyway, all 50 states will be rejected by the courts in this delusional self-absorbed quest of the Metropolitian Moron of Miami.

  22. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ya know, I’m 21, jobless, so I can’t afford a firearm, and the ones in reach don’t have ammo, and I’ve been playing violent games since I was 13, Duke Nukem Time to kill, Grand Theft Auto, Conker’s Bad Fur day, Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct….. just, alot of very violent games. If he can explain to me in a mature and polite manner, why I haven’t killed anyone in my years as a gamer, then I might listen. Of course, if that happens I expect to see a pig flying next to a 747 jet.

  23. 0
    Grimm22 says:

    Is it just me or does anyone else notice somthing with all this?

    More kids have died over the Saddam Execution video than video games

    And The video has been out for about a week or two and yet game related deaths have been around for years. And yet people still blame games?!?

  24. 0
    Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    1) These are only the costs incurred by ESA and their attorneys. There are two sides in a trial (not to mention the costs involved in passage of the laws in the first place). The government’s costs are not reflected in the ESA’s fees and could could easily be equivalent. So in reality, the citizens of the involved states are paying double the amounts listed above.

    2) Ignoring Jack won’t make him go away. But neither does flaming him at length. We all know Jack and little he does surprises us anymore. Better to have constitutionally protected satirical fun with him in his role as a media celebrity. At some point, his behavior has to cross the line into malicious prosecution. Since he seems to favor taking on Take Two, perhaps they will show some cojones and file a countersuit or two. I imagine there’s some attorney’s at Blank Rome who might have some fun with that. Though I keep hoping that someday he’ll run afoul of Microsoft … because Microsoft doesn’t take prisoners. 😉

    3) I’ve come to the conclusion that the citizens of states deserve the legislators and executives they elect and the fees they incur for their ignorant decisions, whether they have to do with making unconstitutional laws about games or how to spend money targeted for dealing with or preventing disasters. Especially true when they re-elect a politician with a track record of making bad choices.

  25. 0
    Automancer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From that link:

    Interviewer: “Are there any games you have personally enjoyed playing?”

    J.T: “No. I have so little time on this earth that I choose not to waste it in what amounts to mental masturbation. I have played the violent games I have targeted to know what I am talking about. The stomping of women in GTA, in light of my representation of women who have been battered and raped made me nauseous. Anyone who “enjoys” a game like that is off his rocker.”

    This is exactly why I tend not to believe anything he says, because he says it out of ignorance. His view is one which will never change because he is unwilling to see any other side rather than the one he does.

    His comment on the “Modest Video Game Proposal” is also slightly disturbing, almost as if he wants to do those things himself.

    On topic, let him waste more money for Louisiana I’m sure they won’t continue to take that lying down, there will be a point where they will say, “No.”


  26. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I have a hard time beleiving after the LA debacle that any politician would want to work with JT ever again. There’s planty of evidence here and elsewhere about what happened. All someone has to do is look it up and forward it to the politico in question. As I said once before, JT is pretty good at damning himslef with his own words. Consideirng how high profile this was, I think most politicians would think twice about dealing with him.

  27. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s not his money. As long as there a politicians gullible enough to work alongside a leech like Thompson, he will continue to waste taxpayer money.

  28. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I forgot to add that the last bit at the end was alughable, “I’m actually defending freedom! Because if I don’t, something worse will happen!” It’s a fairly common ruse that those who try to take away our freedoms often cloak themselves in rightousness and try to scare people by making them think that a catastrophe is around the corner.

  29. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This and the interview on that Yuki posted once again illustrates his willful ignorance and stubborness. The interview, while containing his usual BS, does however excellently highlights the trait that I find the most annoying and infuriating about both him and others like him: his absolute moral certitude.

    JT is right up to a point; to some degree we and the industry fear him, but only because we recognize him as a fanatic, and history has shown that fanatics are truly dangerous people. His own perception that he is doing “good” is also what is frightening. People whom we see as “evil” don’t see themselves that way, and in fact have oftentimes seen themselves as doing “good” in their own worldview. For instance, I’m sure both Torquemada and Cotton Mather saw themselves as doing what was right, but history shows us otherwise. JT fails to realize that while he may refer to people like Osama bin Laden, in a way he is not that much different from him, as both are fanatics that are willing to resort to extreme measures in order to get what they want and have repeatedly
    stated that they will settle for nothing less than the complete and utter destruction of their “enemies.”

    These stories perfectly exemplify how much of a fanatic JT is. George Santayana once said, “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” JT may not have forgotten his aim, but the redoubling of his effort in the face of constant failure I think shows that he is teetering close to the edge of that. Ironically, a more fitting definition comes from JT’s own self-professed idol, Winston Churchill: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
    Perhaps someone might want to bring this quote to his attention. Maybe he’ll think twice afterwards about invoking Churchill! 😉

    His stab about Gamepolitics was especially amusing. He conveniently forgets that at first Dennis was impartial and encouraged everyone to be open-minded. It wasn’t until JT started to insult everyone here, make veiled legal threats and generally harrassed the site that Dennis finally got fed up and banned him. And JT thinks we’re the bad guys?! Had he conducted himself in a more respectful and less condescending manner, he would have been recieved better here, and maybe we would have been more sympathetic. If he thinks we attack him here, it is because he brought it upon himself through his own behavior. A shame he never realized that.

  30. 0
    Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ MaskedPixelante

    Freedom of Speech (also sometimes referred to as Freedom of Expression) is one of the things makes the USA unique amongst nations. Within limits, one can say or express things without fear of censorship or reprisal from the government. There are very few nations (if any?) that allow that degree of freedom. Laws, or practices that capriciously limit that freedom are to be avoided whenever possible (and though I espouse free speech, I also recognize that there are cases where restrictions must apply).

    Laws that criminlize some sales of games with mature content would have a chilling effect on the type of games produced. Hypothetical example: Wal_mart is or was the largest retailer of game software in the USA. Rather than risk massive fines or jail time for employees for selling an M rated game to someone younger than 17, they might simply choose not to carry M rated games. If the largest retailer of games no longer carried M games, the likelihood of major publishers wanting to make such games could be severely reduced (i.e.; “the chilling effect”).

    Furthermore, it’s a “slippery slope” issue. If we become willing to censor some forms of speech (or try to force it into classifications currently used to restrict the sale of things like pornography), it makes it that much easier for politicians, who hold power, sociocrats, and activists to suppress other forms of expression … such as opinions that disagree with their policies, practices, or points of view.

  31. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If at first you don’t succeed, spend another $150,000. Afterall, it’s for the children. Eventually some judge will accept the fact that money fixes everything, right? 😉

  32. 0
    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ MaskedPixelante

    The main problem with the video game laws is they are exclusive to video games. There is no similar restriction on movies, books, or any other form of media. Anti-video game advocates have completely failed to show that video games have a significantly different effect on people than any other form of media, so they cannot be given such exclusive control. I saw holocaust videos in middle school during class, which were far more graphic than any video game has ever been or will probably ever be, yet it was important to see them to understand what had happened. Who gets to say what content children should be “sheltered” from?

  33. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I;d say you hit the nail on the head. We play it, we see and hear a story, characters with problems, decent gameplay, and alot fo other things.

    He doesn’t even see it and he sees drugs, swearing ,guns ,sex, that’s it.

  34. 0
    Dan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A modified version of a post I made else where regarding Jack:

    Jack clams his critics don’t research him, he however knows they in fact do research him and that why he constructs pleasant sounding arguments that make him seem rational but are filled with distortion, all and out lies, weasel words, and many types logical fallacies. He is charismatic and a good speaker but his actions betray his words.

    Since Jack so believe in full disclose, ethical behavior and seeing the truth he might want to explain why he continues to spread misinformation about the nature of school shootings that is only liable to put our children at greater risk for school violence.

    Let me explain:
    Preaching in behalf of a law he helped draft he told the Louisiana legislators that according to the FBI and Secret Service reports on school shootings video games and violent media was the one common denominator in school violence he reported those sentiments in an article in the Shreveport times article and on other occasion he and other have gone as far as to specifically say videogame were the cause of school shootings and right here he continued to say there was an established link between video games and school violence.

    This is quite simple false the FBI and Secret service never said this they in fact, said their was no common dominator and contraindicated any approach that tries to look for a single denominator. But don’t believe me here are link to the studies Mister Thompson calms he has read.

    The secret service’s report:
    The FBI’s report:

    Let us take a look:
    Jack claim in the aforementioned article in the Shreveport times: “The FBI and Secret Service found, in studying all the school shootings up to and through Columbine, the one common denominator was the immersion of the perpetrators in violent entertainment.” Neither the FBI nor the Secret Service has ever said anything of the sort. It is true that the Secret Service in its report, “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative”, found that “Over half of the attackers demonstrated some interest in violence” they also noted that “there was no one common type of interest in violence indicated” and that Thompson’s preferred target of immersion in violent video games was present in a merger 12 percent of cases. Had this been said alone it might give Thompson some support but reading the report in it’s entire makes the it quite clear that Thompson is grossly distorting the facts. The FBI in its report, “The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective”, also makes it explicitly clear that “No one or two traits or characteristics should be considered in isolation or given more weight than the others. Any of these traits, or several, can be seen in students who are not contemplating a school shooting or other act of violence” and both organizations empathized the fact that “There is no accurate or useful “profile” of students who engaged in targeted school violence” and that “there is no set of traits that described all–or even most–of the attackers.” It is quite clear there is no common denominator, of any sort. Furthermore, neither the FBI nor the Secret Service made as much as an intimation of the relationship between violent media and school violence being casual in nature, the Secret Service in fact stated, “Many adolescents are fascinated with violence and the macabre, and writings and drawings on these themes can be a reflection of a harmless but rich and creative fantasy life.” These studies recommend a comprehensive threat assessment approach and blatantly contraindicated Thompson approach: Let’s looking at the number of things he has done that go directly against the FBI recommendations:
    1) Claiming a common denominator exist where there is none.
    2) Profiling people based on video game play. What part of there is no profile did you misread, John Bruce?
    3) Looking at everything as a video game issues. Did you not read how they warned against the every problem is a nail fallacy?

    There are more wrong with Mister John Bruce view point but I chose too focus on this because as John Bruce himself has put it lives are at stack, and John Bruce is not helping matters by not only advocating but try to embedded via law a contradicted mindset towards the problem. John Bruce think we oppose his goal we don’t we oppose his methods. As a believer of Christ John Bruce should now that for an act to be truly good the intention means and ends must all be good Jack fails too follow the second of these three and worse still for ,his own goal no less, he believes his own hype. It is a same Jack could be a much more effective, much more respectable media critic, it is wrong for us too hate all critics of violence in media, but actions like the above strip him of all credibility, and ones credibility is like ones virginity once it gone it gone.

    To summarize it succulently Jack words claim he wants too pass game legislation too prevent another Columbine however ,his actions, his repeated distortions of what the government said and recommended in regards to the tragedy at Columbine suggest he wants to pass violent video game legislation at the cost of another Columbine.

  35. 0
    Daniel says:

    While I agree in large part with the above post, I didn’t post that. Also, last night, I posted a much longer post at the top of the page, but it says Dan instead of Daniel. There must be something wrong with the server because, on this page, my comment at the top is not the one that I wrote. I don’t know what happened and what went wrong.

  36. 0
    wildweasel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If karma would do its thing anytime soon, all the states that still need to pay industry legal fees would instead pass them off to Thompson. “Here, you pay the bill. We’re outta here.”

  37. 0
    Daniel says:

    @ MrKenyon

    What do you mean Dennis removed it? All I said was that I hope Jack Thompson loses his lisence to practice law. I didn’t say anything bad or threatening. Who is Dennis anyway?

  38. 0
    Calvinball says:

    @ Daniel

    Dennis is GP or GamePolitics.

    This is his site that we all read and post on.

    From the top the 8th post down is GP asking you to tone it down.

  39. 0
    Daniel says:

    @ GamePolitics

    What was so wrong with that post? I was just saying how I feel about Jack Thompson and his lies. I’ve said far more insulting things about him in the past. He’s trying to destroy the video game industry and I don’t like him for that.

  40. 0
    yoda ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ MaskedPixelante

    Another HUGE problem with some of the laws (not sure about his) is that they are based on the ESRB rating, this is not a governmental organization and to have a law rely on that rating means that in effect you have allowed a non-governmental institution have the right to create laws.

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