In a four-page written order (download here), the Florida Supreme Court today affirmed a referee’s recommendation to permanently disbar controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson.
The action, which takes effect in 30 days, means that Thompson will no longer be licensed to practice law and may not apply for reinstatement. Ever.
In citing a litany of offenses, the Court noted Thompson’s extensive pattern of misconduct and cited a "complete lack of remorse." The Court also quoted extensively from the June, 2008 report of Judge Dava Tunis, who served as referee at Thompson’s November, 2007 trial on charges brought by the Florida Bar:
In her report, the referee states: Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, [r]espondent has demonstrated 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.
He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him.
Noting that "The Court concludes that the facts, as even more extensively detailed in the referee’s report, support the referee’s numerous recommendations as to guilt," the justices of the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Thompson’s offenses as delineated by Judge Tunis.
Some of these include findings that Thompson made false statements and accusations, repeatedly harassed those he considered opponents, and, while falsely accusing others of "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors," himself attached pornography to court filings.
- [Thompson] made false statements of material fact to courts and repeatedly violated a court order
- [Thompson] communicated the subject of representation directly with clients of opposing counsel
- [Thompson] engaged in prohibited ex parte communications
- [Thompson] publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes, and press releases, to the affected individuals
- [Thompson] targeted an individual who was not involved with respondent in any way, merely due to "the position [the individual] holds in state and national politics"
- [Thompson]falsely, recklessly, and publicly accused a judge as being amenable to the "fixing" of cases
- [Thompson] sent courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials
- [Thompson] falsely and publicly accused various attorneys and their clients of engaging in a
conspiracy/enterprise involving "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors" and attempted to get prosecuting authorities to charge these attorneys and their clients for racketeering and extortion
- [Thompson] harassed the former client of an attorney in an effort to get the client to use its influence to persuade the attorney to withdraw a defamation suit filed by the attorney against respondent
- [Thompson] retaliated against attorneys who filed Bar complaints against him for his unethical conduct by asserting to their clients, government officials, politicians, the media, female lawyers in their law firm, employees, personal friends, acquaintances, and their wives, that the attorneys were criminal pornographers who objectify women.
The Court also upheld a fine of $43,675 against Thompson.
For his part, Thompson offered his standard-issue bluster, announcing his disbarment in an e-mail which carried the subject line "Now the Fun Begins." Thompson has also filed a request with the U.S. District Court for an emergency stay of the FLSC’s order disbarring him.