Thursday, September 25, 2008

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been: Jack Thompson, Disbarred

We all all knew this day would come, somehow.

Florida Judge Dava Tunis recommended permanent disbarment of bombastic Nazi-hunter Jack Thomspon, and her recommendation has been approved. From Kotaku:
The Court approves the corrected referee's report and John Bruce Thompson is permanently disbarred, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients.

Thompson also owes $43, 675.35 in legal fees to the Florida Bar.

There's more information available at Game Politics, but the site is getting hammered right now, so you might not be able to get through.

Of course, Thompson has already responded to this news--at length, which is the only way he can. Instead of quoting various bits of madness from his ramblings, let me provide you with a summary:
If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?
--Alice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

Alice in Wonderland, Jack Thompson--it's all pretty much the same.

When I read this news, it made me curious to find out just how difficult it is to get disbarred in Florida.

Almost impossible, as it turns out.

Thanks to the "connected series of tubes" that is the Internet, I found disciplinary statistics for the Florida Bar. Here are a few highlights:
Bar population: 79,290
Permanent disbarment: 5

Bar population: 81,534
Permanent disbarment: 18

Bar population: 84,884
Permanent disbarment: 12

So last year, if you were a member of the Florida Bar, you had a less than 1 in 12,000 chance of being permanently disbarred.

In gaming terms, being disbarred in Florida=EPIC FAIL.

What I wonder is whether state legislatures will continue to use Simple Jack as an advisor when they draft clearly unconstitutional legislation involving video games. I know--that seems impossible, but in America today, our slogan is cognitive dissonance: it's not just for breakfast anymore.

Trivia note: when I originally wrote this post, I typed Judge "Dava Tunis" as "Tuna Davis."

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