Embattled attorney Jack Thompson filed documents with a federal court in Florida yesterday, requesting to subpoena President George W. Bush for a deposition in what appears to be an increasingly desperate fight to retain Thompson’s license to practice law.
The controversial attorney, facing a pair of ethics complaints (see below) filed by the Florida Bar, will stand trial before a referee appointed by the Florida Supreme Court beginning on November 26th.
Thompson is currently suing that referee, Judge Dava Tunis, along with the entire Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Bar in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
So where does The Decider (seen at left in full Madden regalia) fit into the case?
That’s not really clear. But the linkage – at least in Thompson’s mind – seems to be that the Blank Rome law firm represents video game industry defendants in Strickland vs. Sony, an Alabama lawsuit alleging that an 18-year-old was acting under the influence of Grand Theft Auto when he killed two police officers and a police dispatcher in 2004. And Blank Rome – or at least some of its partners – are also lobbyists as well as heavyweight Republican donors.
Thompson, by the way, was thrown off the Strickland case by an Alabama Circuit Court judge in November, 2005. In a document filed yesterday with the U.S. District Court, Thompson writes:
I have already sent the George and Jeb Bush subpoenas to Referee Tunis for her signature. She may run on this, but she can’t hide. She must sign the subpoenas, as her filing [of the Thompson Bar complaints] with the federal court has made the testimony I seek in the depositions of both men highly relevant to my Bar defense.
If the President’s position is that I do not get to depose him while he is in office, then I would note that Paula Jones’ lawyers were able to convince a federal judge otherwise. If President Bush is successful is convincing the court that I must wait until he leaves office, that’s something I am prepared to do.
GP: In fact, waiting until President Bush left office in January, 2009 would suit Thompson quite well, effectively delaying any action on the Bar complaints until then. This looks like a stall tactic from here.
On the other hand, it’s extremely unlikely that Bush would be compelled to appear. Thompson is also seeking a subpoena for President Bush’s brother Jeb, the former governor of Florida.
The Bar complaints filed with the U.S. District Court by Judge Tunis relate to Thompson’s Alabama video game case (37-page PDF) and Thompson’s conduct in last October’s failed attempt (15-page PDF) to have Bully declared a public nuisance.