Yesterday the Florida Supreme Court permanently disbarred Jack Thompson. Barring an unlikley reversal, the 56-year-old attorney will be stripped of his license to practice law in 30 days.
How did things get this far? GamePolitics, which has covered Thompson extensively since the site went live in 2005, has compiled a timeline of key events during that time:
November 18, 2005: Thompson is lead attorney in a $600 million dollar lawsuit against Take-Two, Rockstar, Sony, GameStop and Wal-mart which alleges that 18-year-old GTA player Devin Moore was influenced by the games when he killed two police officers and a police dispatcher in Fayette, Alabama. Following a motion by Take-Two’s lawyers, Alabama Judge James Moore revokes Thompson’s right to practice in Alabama, essentially throwing him off the GTA case. Moore will later file a Bar complaint against Thompson over his conduct and be a key witness at his Bar trial.
October 13, 2006: Miami Judge Ronald Friedman dismisses Thompson’s bid to have Bully declared a public nuisance. Friedman will later file a Bar complaint against Thompson over his conduct and will also testify at his Bar trial.
October 22, 2006: Thompson announces he is running for Judge Friedman’s seat on the bench. However, he never follows through.
January 23, 2007: Thompson calls for the impeachment of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff after Shurtleff advises Utah legislators that the Thompson-authored video game law they are considering is unconstitutional.
March 16, 2007: Thompson is sued by Take-Two Interactive. The publisher seeks to block Thompson from damaging future sales of Manhunt 2 and GTA IV. A month later, the parties will reach a settlement.
April 10, 2007: In a harshly-worded ruling, U.S. District Court Judge James Brady declares Louisiana’s video game law unconstitutional. Thompson, who wrote the legislation, has blamed Louisiana officials for its failure.
April 16, 2007: While the Virginia Tech shooting rampage is still ongoing, Thompson appears on Fox News to assert a violent video game connection. Later, a blue ribbon panel will find no evidence that the killer played violent games.
June 14, 2007: GamePolitics reveals that Thompson met secretly with Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick in Manhattan shortly after Zelnick took control of the company.
August 3, 2007: Thompson writes in a court filing that he is experiencing cardiac arrhythmia as well as chest pains due to the stress of his campaign against the Florida Bar.
August 21, 2007: Thompson claims that he underwent a psychological evaluation at his own expense and was pronounced mentally fit.
September 21, 2007: Thompson seeks to have Halo 3 declared a public nuisance in Florida
September 26, 2007: U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan reprimands Thompson for including gay porn in a court filing.
October 3, 2007: Thompson tries to add Judge Adalberto Jordan as a defendant in a case against the Florida Bar over which Jordan is presiding.
November 3, 2007: Thompson debates game developer Lorne Lanning at vgXpo in Philadelphia.
November 16, 2007: Thompson tries (and fails) to get GamePolitics & the Entertainment Consumers Association added as defedants in one of his numerous federal lawsuits against the Florida Bar.
November 26, 2007: Thompson’s Florida Bar ethics trial commences in Miami with Judge Dava Tunis presiding. It will last nine days.
December 18, 2007: Thompson’s $600 million New Mexico lawsuit which attempted to draw a link between GTA and a grisly triple murder is thrown out by a judge.
December 28, 2007: Trying to prove a video game connection, Thompson sues the Omaha Police Dept. for records of mall shooter Robert Hawkins.
March 7, 2008: Thompson circulates an e-mail which says that the Florida Bar will look like a bombed-out building if the Florida Supreme Court files an order against him.
March 18, 2008: GamePolitics begins serializing transcripts of testimony from Thompson’s November, 2007 Bar trial.
March 19, 2008: Thompson threatens legal action against GamePolitics for publishing the Bar trial transcripts, which are a matter of public record. Despite the threats, the series continues.
March 20, 2008: Florida Supreme Court informs Thompson that, due to submitting porn and other inappropriate filings, the Court will no longer accept any filings from him unless another attorney signs off.
April 9, 2008: Thompson complains in a court filing that the FBI will no longer take his calls.
April 26, 2008: Thompson persuades officials of Miami-Dade Transit to remove GTA IV ads from bus kiosks
May 20, 2008: Judge Tunis finds Thompson guilty of 27 of 31 ethical misconduct charges
May 26, 2008: Thompson tells a Florida radio show host that he has plans to run for the Florida legislature.
May 30, 2008: Thompson swears in a federal court filing that Judge Tunis leaked documents to GamePolitics. Actually, we got the documents from the court via public records request.
June 4, 2008: The Florida Bar recommends to Judge Tunis that Thompson be disbarred for 10 years. Thompson storms out of the hearing after Tunis refuses to let him read a statement in court.
June 16, 2008: Thompson alleges that a pair of U.S. Marshals visited him at his home.
July 2, 2008: Thompson is honored as winner of "America’s Freedom Award" at America’s Freedom Festival in conservative Provo, Utah.
July 9, 2008: Thompson alleges that he was barred by U.S. Marshals from entering the U.S. District Court building in Miami alone. An officer escorted him to his destination. Thompson sues over the incident.
July 9, 2008: Citing both his ethical misconduct and his behavior during his Florida Bar proceedings, Judge Tunis one-ups the Florida Bar by ignoring its recommendation for 10-year disbarment and instead recommends a permanment disbarment for Thompson.
September 25, 2008: Florida Supreme Court orders Thompson permanently disbarred, effective October 30th, 2008.