Gaming Critic Jack Thompson Disbarred

In a moment gamers around the world have been awaiting for years, one of gaming’s most vocal and extreme critics, attorney Jack Thompson, has been disbarred. Best known for his attacks on the Grand Theft Auto series and publicized sparring with gaming advocates like the authors of Penny Arcade, Thompson’s over-the-top methods were also the final straw that lead the Supreme Court of Florida to take away his license to practice law.

According to the court’s decision [PDF], Thompson “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,” which violated the guidelines of professional behavior laid out for attorneys.

Among the 10 violations cited in the court’s opinion, Thompson made false statements of material fact to courts, falsely, recklessly and publicly accused a judge of “fixing” cases, sent courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials, and even harassed former clients of attorneys that opposed him.

While the court has less severe courses of action for dealing with out-of-line attorneys, it disbarred Thompson partially on the basis of his stated unwillingness to change, making him “not amenable to rehabilitation.”

Thompson has publicly responded to his disbarment via a statement sent to gaming blog Kotaku. He alleges that the court’s action was retribution for two things: his book, Out of Harm’s Way, which “blew the whistle” on the court’s attempt to allegedly attack his activism in the 1990’s, and a federal civil rights action Thompson filed against the court one week earlier.

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