Jack Thompson Says He Will File Best Buy Lawsuit Today

October 23, 2007 -
Controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson has indicated that he plans to file a video game-related lawsuit today against electronics retailer Best Buy in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Thompson, embroiled in an increasingly desperate struggle with the Florida Bar to save his law license, asserts that Best Buy is selling M-rated games to minors.

He will base his suit on Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act which he claimsthat Best Buy is violating by offering M-rated games for sale on its website. In a letter to the retailer's corporate counsel, Thompson writes:
Best Buy, despite promises made to the American people and to me personally, has continued to sell Mature-rated video games to children under seventeen years of age. Best Buy has been doing this at its cash registers here in Miami, Florida, and it is presently doing so, this very moment, at www.bestbuy.com, as it sells Mature-rated games to anyone of any age with no real age verification whatsoever.

This constitutes a Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice, under Florida and other states’ laws, because your company/client has been telling the public it age IDs buyers of such games who appear to be 21 or under while in fact it does not uniformly do so...

Thompson also indicated that he will seek to make the lawsuit a class action, which would require him to locate other plaintiffs.

GP: Best Buy's online sales practices are similar to those of other video game retailers. The assumption is that most under-17's do not possess a credit card. The Federal Trade Commission, by the way, deems the use of a credit card as acceptable proof of age in online transactions. From the FTC website:
Operators must use reasonable procedures to ensure they are dealing with the child's parent before they provide access to the child's specific information. They can use a variety of methods to verify the parent's identity, including:

...accepting and verifying a credit card number...

Moreover, Best Buy's website is probably the strongest in terms of content awareness among any of the major video game retailers. ESRB ratings are prominently displayed as are content summaries from watchdog group Common Sense Media.

Comments

Last time he tried to sue Walmart, it fell right on his nose. I don't know about Florida (I live in Québec), but the Best Buy we have here is perfectly legal.

And Jack, the proof that you're an irresponsible parent is...what kind of responsible parent would let their 15 years-old son borrow their credit card. I lived long enough in an high school to notice that 15 years-old aren't mature enough to use credit cards correctly.

And I wish that he will be disbarred. Because even if someone more competent takes his place, this person will probably more sane, more reasonable, will probably not insult the gaming community and (most important), will actually listen to the gaming community (this would lead to better debates and more compromises). If his successor isn't all this, he'll also be bound to be disbarred.

I live in Alberta, Canada where the the legal drinking age and the age of "maturity" is 18 I'm 25 and I get carded when I go to best buy which I don't mind I think it is good practice to get carded when buying that stuff. What also makes me bring this up is I get carded more often when I'm buying games then when I buy booze and smokes. I think that Jacky boy's doing a great job of digging a grave and filling it back in on top of himself.

By the way Dennis love the site one of the first ones I read at work in the morning keep up the good work.

Two things:

First, Jack is CONSTANTLY announcing that he's "going to" file this suit, that suit, or the other... if I had a dollar for every lawsuit he threatened and never followed through with, I'd probably be quite well-off. This is really not newsworthy, IMO.

Second, and much more important. There is a concept in law called the vexatious litigant. This is a legal standing that can be levied by courts as a punishment to people who use the law as a weapon against anyone who they think wrongs them. Lawyers are exempt from being declared a vexatious litigant, but Jack Thompson is soon to lose that protection...

What being labeled a vexatious litigant does, in short, is that the person is no longer allowed to file lawsuits on their own behalf. Depending on district and rules, they must either contract a lawyer to file for them, and/or ask permission from the court to initiate any new proceedings.

*A few minutes later, after checking* It seems that Florida instituted a Vexatious Litigant law in 2000. Under the Florida version, any pro se (non-lawyer filing on their own behalf) that loses 5 cases within 5 calendar years (excluding Family Law and Small Claims) may be required to post a bond equivalent to the Defendant's estimated legal fees; failing the posting of said bond, the pro se will be barred from litigating.

This law is still active as of 2007; it is §68.093.

To the esteemed Mr. Norm Kent, I suspect that you are already familiar with this law, but you may want to brush up on it... you may need to reference it soon.

Lmao No S*** Gryphon

Man i have to play violent video games to vent and get out my frustrations..and thats why i love saints row now....Damn is it fun getting my gang together and killing cops and the fbi and swat guys for a hour or so while listening to some Jojo...Nothing is more relaxing then that

Can anyone figure out what the hell Jack is talking about concerning being in Connecticut on the 3rd? I've searched every place in the state that could hold an event and none of them have one on their calender.

Considering Jack used his son for the "stings", I suppose that means that if this case goes to court, that his son will have to be brought in as a witness.

Does anyone else see the evil of this?

For Thompson to do his crazy thing is one thing, but the fact that he's dragging his son into his crazy world just strikes me as terrible.

I really feel incredibly sorry for the kid. Who I imagine is quite brainwashed at this point, or at the verge of quite a rebellion.

"Protect the children," huh? Right.

I have it!
JT and Roy Pearson, the Pantsless Lawyer, can do a tag team lawsuit against Best Buy and GamePolitics! BestBuy for breaking it's promise to him by selling his son a game that he sent his son in to purchase (and therefore he had his parents permission to get), and GamePolitics for making him seem so gosh darn silly!
Roy will be helping JT because, lets face it, JT makes Roy look good.

Jack -

You must understand that responsibility needs to fall on the parents. When you take on these fights you take responsibility from parents and place it on the government. It is painfully obvious you haven't a clue how dangerous this is.

I don't understand why government even needs to be involved with situations such as this. Calling on government for silly things simply increases the scope of a government that has already overreached it's scope. Consider all the public money wasted on garbage such as this and then consider all the public money wasted by the government when they try to control every aspect of society in an effort to create a more comfortable and perfect society. Trying to create a utopia is a bad idea because a perfect life is different to so many people it would be impossible to include everyone. This country is living beyond it's means and it is because of people like you Jack.

Who is going to pay for all of this? The children you are trying so desperately to protect. They will inherit a huge debt and a cluttered system long overdue for a reform.

Stop fucking up my country. Asshole.

At this point he's just digging his own grave.

I'd like to see exactly what law is being broken by selling such games to children. Granted, it is an ethical issue but there is no law in place as a controlled substance. How do you determine punative damages for being sold a video game? There is absolutely no precident.

Can you say desperation anyone? Maybe he just wants to have the world record for most bar complaints?

Sorry jack, but one would have thought you'd have learned by now. Best buy will have you crushed and a bar complaint on your ass in a few hours after you file the suit.

go ahead jack dick around with best buy see where it gets.

Good luck proving that "intent to defraud" thing. He must not be aware that the website is a different company than the brick-and-mortar stores. I don't believe BestBuy.com ever claimed to positively ID all customers buying "M" games. They do have as much information as possible about ESRB ratings, though.

Hey Jack, you need a shovel?

@Yuki

He already has it.

I just want to get things straight, once he is disbarred, all of "this" stops right? I mean, not having to see him proclaimed as an "expert" (hard to say out loud with a straight face) in the media is nice and all, but Jack's disbarment doesn't carry the same weight if he is allowed to pull this kind of crap with impunity.

Not only that, but are we going to see more Norm Kent's once Jack's license is revoked? I'm pretty sure Mr. Kent isn't the only person that Jack has slandered/libeled/produced flat out lies about. It'd be interesting to see the tides change when individuals and groups are allowed to use the justice system to punish Thompson for producing some of the most slanderous statements by a so called "professional".

Erm, by law, Best Buy is actually allowed to sell these games to kids. Company policy says NO, but that doesn't mean they are doing illegal stuff if they did.

And seeing that the use of a creditcard requires adult authorisation, online sales are still legal.

So....no law has been broken whatsoever.

I will bet this case will be thrown out.

@Majestic_12_x

You'd hope so. The flip side is that he may post on here more than he does now.

You're damn straight that Norm isn't the only one Jack has lied/slandered/libeled on. Dennis is the second best example.

jack, nobody cares.

This just in:

Attorney Attacks Windmill
Water Is Wet
Sky Is Blue

Why is Water wet anyway?

The fact that Thompson gave his 15 year old son a credit card is actually the fault of the gaming industry...

Just prove it Jack me lad.

Prove that they indiscriminatly sell non-illegal goods to minors.

There is a policy in place, true it might not be perfect, but it is there.

Sales on the net with credit cards don't count since the parents must give their approval for use or ownership of the card anyway.

I believe Jack forgot the little back and forth he had with Gena Feist from Take Two:

http://gamepolitics.com/2007/08/31/take-two-warns-jack-thompson-over-man...

I believe her answer to this very complaint made to them was:

The Take Two website verifies age in two ways. First, consumers who purchase M or RP rated games certify that they are at least 17 years of age. Numerous websites use the same method for verifying age in connection with sales of movies and games. Second, we verify age through the use of a credit card number in connection with a transaction. Such transaction based verification is acceptable to both credit card companies and the FTC (see, e.g. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/coppa.shtm ).


So yeah, I don't think this will go very far.

@BlackIce Leftie

I don't really care about Jack mouthing off on GP since we already know what state of mind he is in. When he spews his vitriolic dog crap to the media, he might just catch the ear of someone who happens to believe that vitriolic dog crap needs legislative action. The same goes for his inane lawsuits and other attempts to restrict the First Amendment. All this legislative action doesn't happen for free though, most of it is paid for by the public's dime. Yes, while Jack's attempt to legislate violent video games in Louisiana was a complete and utter catastrophe, it did use up unnecessary taxpayer money in the process.

That's one reason why all this verbal garbage has got to stop, and I can only hope that a disbarment would end the flow that originates from Jack's mouth. Does anyone know if a disbarment decision can include prejudice similar to a court decision? Just to show that Jack's behavior is unbecoming of a professional (which he laughingly claims to be), and the decision to revoke his license is just and thoroughly so. I know that's a bit of a stretch, but we all know that Jack is going to claw and scratch in order to get his license back if (when, actually) it is revoked.

in todays lesson we learn fakes stand no chance against the real article (hopefully we will have full coverage of the train wreck)

I believe he's claiming it's illegal because it violates an out-of-court settlement they made. As GP pointed out, what they are doing is legally acceptable, though.

He really thinks he's got his case against the Florida Bar in the bag, so he keeps writing up these stupid lawsuits that would likely take place AFTER his November trial, if at all.

Jack, you're done. You know what's gonna happen when you lose your lisence? Those all dissapear. Poof. Gone. And with your credibility as a human being lost, no one will ever give a rats ass about your decade-long lost cause.

Yeah, i know. Reality's a bitch. Welcome to LIFE.

As a 25-year-old who has grown accustomed to pulling out his ID in Best Buy at a cashier's request, I personally don't see what Jack is talking about. Sure, they may not card every single person who buys an M-rated game, but they are also not legally bound to do so. I've also never heard Best Buy claim that they do this with every customer.
But I guess he'll do anything to get headlines. He already knows he won't win this case, but as long as people keep reporting on it he'll keep doing it.

Majestic_12_x:

"I just want to get things straight, once he is disbarred, all of “this” stops right?"


I believe he will need to pay for legal representation in order to create any suits against people which will severely cripple his ability as who in their right mind would want to assist an ex-lawyer whose frivilous lawsuits cost him his own right to practice law?

As to whether it will stop him from makin threats of legal action is another matter... That said, I have no idea of the legality of him doing so when not a lawyer representing hims client (usually himself). I also suspect that individuals and companies would be much more inclined to counter sue him when he has to pay for his own lawyer as multiple lawsits might well force him into bankrupcy.

Soon enough (end of the year?) we will see all this come to fruition and he will have had his wings clipped. I doubt even Fox News would risk touching someone when the counter argument starts with "THIS is the man you put up against me on this News Channel??? He's can't even practice law anymore!"

Either way, when Jack gets disbarred he can't afford court appearances.

Once again, Dennis intentionally has it wrong. The suit is also based upon stings done on Best Buy to prove that it is selling M games to kids under 17 at their retail stores. Further, Best Buy entered an agreement with me to stop this. It is breaching the agreement.

Oh, and there will be another defendant in the suit. Can anyone guess who it will be?

This fool sues everyone.

Chicken Little.
. . Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates . .

Re Jack
I have said it before and will say it again...

What is with your hypocrisy and selectivity about this "age verification" issue?

I already pointed out where you FAIL IT in terms of selecting specific retailers out when A GOOD MAJORITY of retailers HAVE THE EXACT SAME SYSTEM IN PLACE!

Both Sears and Walmart have the same "age verification" setup for crying out loud! Seriously, out of all the retailers out there, I really wonder why Jack has such a hard on for Best Buy...

Hummm, I also wonder just how those legal those unofficial stings are, and obviously question the person behind them(i.e. how many Best Buys and other stores did they hit that turned them away?).

@Chuma:

"...who in their right mind would want to assist an ex-lawyer whose frivilous lawsuits cost him his own right to practice law?"

Good point, but as Ted Dibiase used to say, "Everyone's got a price".

Jack fails at life..

Two things. One, correct me if I'm wrong but part of a settlement in a previous Jack/BestBuy suit was that BestBuy would basically abide by its ratings enforcement policy and not sell games to minors. The basis of some of his recent legal threats is that, since minors can still obtain games, BestBuy is not following its court settlement. Deceptive and Unfair Trade seems a stretch, though, especially as credit cards are considered valid age verification.
Two, if JT is disbarred it will NOT mean under any circumstances that he must stop filing lawsuits. Anyone can file a civil suit - hell, I've filed one before. And he knows more of the ins and outs necessary to go after big targets like Bestbuy.
(Anyone can file a civil suit, but lack of expertise isn't an excuse for not filing the right motions. The exception is small claims, ; judges in small claims are instructed to give parties a break as far as enforcing paperwork rules goes, to make the process less harrowing for the average joe.)
Being disbarred DOES mean that he can no longer under any circumstances imply he is a lawyer or offer professional legal advice. Doing so is probably illegal. He also can no longer be considered as an 'expert' in any legal proceedings because he doesn't have any professional credentials. Without some sort of professional license he's not necessarily any more versed in any matters, especially video games, then some of the posters here.

Re Majestic_12_x
Nope, his past and current actions shows that he is going to do even more stupid stuff.

So I wouldn't count on this being a quick issue, and in all the only people being hurt by his current & future crazy actions are his family and himself.

Those who don't want to admit they have problems and openly seek help are going to keep on their path of personal destruction...

What a crybaby. Another frivolous lawsuit in the court docket by the poster child for tort reform(Yeah, "loser pays" sounds really good right now and long overdue).

Practice what you preach, Jacky Boy: Grow up and get a life.

@EZK
I was just going to bring that up. To be honest, I had hopped it would have stayed burried.

I'm not a fan of Best Buy (has had bad customer service, but maybe it's just the one closest to me), but either way, I hope they take counter-action, if they can.

Wait, won't this be like, the eleventy-billionth lawsuit he's filed this year?

Jack Thompson is suing Best Buy for "Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice" under Florida law. I do not know about Florida law but I can say that here it is not considered "Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice". The Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice laws are usually to protect consumers that pay for an item or service and do not get their money's worth because the vendor lied in some way or used some bait'n'switch.

Thompson might try "Best Buy has increased sales from parents that would not shop at Best Buy if they knew that they do not respect their age verification policy, that is how they lie to their customers" but in the eyes of the law this might be a stretch.

Ouch! I strained an eyeball rolling them so much.

Hasn't he tried this before? Jack, no matter how many times you try, that round peg will not fit in the square hole. Video games are not illegal, nor should they be.

The only thing Jack has really done is show how busted our legal system is.

Moreover, Best Buy’s website is probably the strongest in terms of content awareness among any of the major video game retailers. ESRB ratings are prominently displayed as are content summaries from watchdog group Common Sense Media.

And this is probably one of the reasons he is going after Best Buy. If he actually wins (Not gonna happen, but Teddy Rosevelt won against the biggest Trust of them all in his day as his first case) he'll have leverage to use against every other retailer in the country.

@Luke JJ

it's square peg, round hole. (round into square can fit)

@benji -- based off what I've seen from his rambling court filings, I'd hardly call Thompson an expert on legal proceedings even though he has a license.

Another suit that won't get anywhere.

I think personally we should take legal action against the person who sold Jack Thompson a loud hailer.

And with each passing day, Jack's behavior gets more and more erratic as it becomes more and more likely he'll be disbarred. Public meltdowns are sad things, aren't they?

I don't know why he keeps at Best Buy. This has a similar ring to one he filled before. Remember that one? The one where he said lawsuits would fall on their offices "like snowflakes?" Last I checked, they weren't digging themselves out of paper. Again, more huff and bluster. BB would do well to ignore him by now.

@ Majestic_12

I'd like to think so. Still, he can't stop filing as a private citizen. But as Chuma said, after he's disbarred, who would touch him? Other than the gay porn filings, one would only have to look at the reasons why he was disbarred to see that the guy's not playing with a full deck. And the courts will be more likely to dismiss any suits he files out of hand than they did when he was still a lawyer.

Jack has always successfully split hairs when it comes to libel and slander, as has been pointed out, you have to be able to prove malicous intent on the part of the one making it. In the past, Jack's been able to successfully avoid being directly accused of it, but this time in regards to the National Gay News site, I think he slipped up finally. Not to bring up a video game reference, but I think Norm Kent's got him dead to rights. ;) Dennis might too, if for no other reason than stalking and harrassment.

Dunno about Florida, but I get carded every time I buy a game at Best Buy here (in central Pennsylvania). The cash register has a little alert come up requesting if the buyer is over 17 when an M rated game is scanned. They don't even care about a credit card till you show them some age verification like a drivers license. As far as the online store goes, when the credit card transaction is started they can get your age out of a database and confirm that the card holder is old enough to make the purchase. This is frivolous at best, and is only indicative of a few employees either accepting credit cards as proof of age (valid and legal) or guessing the buyer is older than they really are and thinking they're old enough to not need carded (still valid and legal even though they were wrong about the age).

Is there any possibility that part of his disbarrment will require a psychiatrist appointment with one that doesn't know him already (that is personally, impossible to have missed JT in the news and all by now) and would likely put him in a mental home after being informed of JT's history?

@Black Manta

You also forgetting the expense. It's easy for Jack to throw this crud around because his a lawyer: He doesn't need to hire anybody, he just does it himself. Once he's no longer a lawyer, he'll have to hire one to do his dirty work. I doubt any new job he gets will pay enough for him to keep his antics up, he'll run out of cash eventually. And then there's nothing he can do.
 
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