He made us laugh. He made us cry. He made us angry. He made us scratch our heads.
Whatever you think of him, Jack Thompson certainly had an impact on the videogame industry and definitely helped to rally gamers together, even if, by and large, they rallied to oppose him.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Thompson’s disbarment. While being disbarred has not resulted in Thompson disappearing, it has taken away something from the vociferous one. Maybe it just made him easier to ignore or dismiss.
Earlier this week we received an email from Thompson stating that he was returning to practice law. Frankly we didn’t know whether to run it or not, but today seems as good a day as any to post it. We did ask a few members of the legal community to eyeball his stance, and while we won’t get into specifics, the response was that Thompson doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.
Thompson’s full email is after the jump.
Immediate News Release – Sept. 19, 2009
Miamian Jack Thompson Set to Return to Practice of Law
On September 25, 2008, the Florida Supreme Court entered an order permanently disbarring Miamian Jack Thompson from the practice of law. Thompson had been a continuous member in good standing of The Florida Bar for 31 years.
He was “disbarred” by virtue of Bar complaints instigated by the broadcasters of the Howard Stern Show, against whom Thompson had secured $4 million in FCC decency fines, and by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., in retribution for Thompson’s appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes to expose its sale of the cop-killing murder simulator Grand Theft Auto video games that had caused the deaths of scores of individuals, including three Alabama policemen whose families Thompson represented.
Thompson has just discovered that all of the court orders that resulted in his “disbarment” are void ab initio—legal nullities from the outset and thus of no force and effect. The Florida Supreme Court, in violation of the laws of Florida assigned to Thompson’s case a referee from Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit, rather than from the state’s Second Judicial Circuit, where he would have received a fair trial. Bar counsel hid this fatal defect not only from Thompson but from the Florida Supreme Court as well.
What this means is that Thompson literally was never disbarred. See the mountain of case authority on the consequence of orders that are void ab initio, including Elliott v. Lessee of Piersol, 26 U.S. 328 (1828) and Vallely v. Northern Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 254 U.S. 348 (1920). This has been the law in this country for more than 180 years.
Thompson intends to resume the practice of law as a member of The Florida Bar on October 1, 2009. He has invited, this day, Mary Ellen Bateman, who prosecutes the “unlicensed practice of law” for The Florida Bar, to get a court order to stop him. Unless she acts, he’s back in business, and the children of this country will have returned to them the lawyerly labors of a man who a) secured the first FCC decency fines in the history of this country, b) the first verdict in world history that a sound recording was obscene, c) forced Time Warner to pull from stores worldwide Ice-T’s “Cop Killer,” d) and forced Take-Two, along with Senator Hillary Clinton to recall all copies worldwide of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which cost Take-Two tens of millions of dollars.
Florida Supreme Court Justices Polston and Canady recently wrote: “Is it too much to ask that The Florida Bar obey its own Rules?” Apparently it is too much to ask. When government breaks the laws, there is no law.