It’s over: Jack Thompson officially disbarred

Wednesday, 29th October 2008 07:51 GMT By Nathan Grayson

30 days and zero appeals later, Jack Thompson’s career in “law” is finally kaput.

The Florida Bar’s website, after a quick search for the unsuccessful law-fighter, serves as official proof of the man’s disbarment. A large, bold, “Not Eligible to practice in Florida” is now the most noticeable aspect of his profile. Neat.

Go check it out, if you feel like it. Make Thompson’s defamed profile your desktop background or something.

Thanks, GamePolitics. You made our day.

[Doesn't this mean he can just go and practice in Ohio, or something? - Ed]

By Nathan Grayson



  1. Shatner

    Those opposed to Thompson’s rhetoric need to be careful not to stoop to his tactics by taking one event and using it to further their own agenda.

    Thompson often misappropriated the topic of videogame violence to raise his profile and hammer home his personal crusade.

    If the games culture at large takes his disbarment and misappropriates it as some form of a triumph for gaming acceptance (or retribution for wrongs directed at the culture) then it’s no better than Thompson was.

    “When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you”

    At the very least, there is the risk of turning Thompson into a martyr – something he would be sure to exploit. Just because he’s no longer a practicing lawyer it doesn’t mean his crusade is over. If anything he has less reason to discipline himself than he ever did.

    For the record, on the whole I don’t disagree with Thompson’s principles (and, when you get down to it, I don’t think many others do either) – I just disagree with the way he goes about expressing them.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. patlike

    I wholly disagree with his principles: Jack Thompson has consistently shown that he is a thoroughly misguided individual, and the law has acted accordingly. Games are not as threatening to children as polio. To suggest as such is literally wrong. It’s good that he’s been disbarred. He was doing his best to mislead as many people as possible and further a baseless right wing agenda, no matter how “noble” he thought he was being. He deserved to be punished.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I think it’s “kaput”, by the way.

    He’ll probably be even more dangerous now he’s not constrained by the rules of the legal system, tbh.

    Bye for now, John! I mean Jack.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. patlike

    It is, yep. Changed it.

    I’m not sure he’ll be more dangerous now. It’s official: he’s been disbarred. That means he’s not a lawyer any more, and can’t be treated as such. He’s just an “activist,” and an extreme one. I’m assuming the establishment making a definite move to shun him means the Thompson “thing” will be more marginalised by default.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. pjmaybe

    It DOES indeed mean that all he has to do is go to the next state and go and start practicing again. In fact I wouldn’t bet against him doing just that.

    Problem with the bloke was that (like a few too many Americans) he used a misguided moral crusade as a means to further his own ends and keep his own public profile high.

    That said, I found him scary but in some ways I found a lot of knee-jerk gamers’ reactions to him even scarier.

    Anyhoo, he’s a pussycat compared to Keith Vaz. Now there’s someone who needs a pair of concrete waders.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Shatner

    pat, he isn’t being “punished” for ANYTHING about gaming though. This is precisely the thing I was referring to when I mentioned misappropriating his disbarment and suggesting it’s related to his actions and comments against videogames. It’s exactly the same sort of misappropriation of events that Thompson consistently used.

    This jubilant dancing on Thompson’s legal grave is no better than his melodramatic rants. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    And with regard to principles: I don’t want to see impressionable youngster play violent videogames. Games have an age rating for a reason. I’d never play GTA in front of my 9 year old nephew. I don’t think I’m a prude – but what’s harmless videogame violence for my eyes is not the same thing for his eyes. I don’t want to see gamers get so engrossed in a tunnel vision of gaming that all they can think about is their next headshot. That’s simply not healthy. That’s not a gaming thing, that’s a “too much of anything is not a good thing”.

    I don’t think those principles are bad. But, in Thompson’s case, the way he went about expressing them was extremely poor.

    I know a british games magazine editor that did a face-to-face interview with Thompson and found him to be one of the most reasonable and affable people he’d encountered.

    And, turning this on it’s head: Would Thompson be have the profile he has if the media hadn’t publicised his actions so heavily? I don’t really consider Game Politics as games media and they’re very clearly about games politics (duh!) which makes their coverage of Thompson pretty obvious. They cover LOTS of this sort of stuff but nobody got adopted by the mainstream games media like Thompson did.

    This article, just by its existence, brings Thompson back into the limelight.

    It’d be a shame to see a load of people rant on as though they’re so much better than Thompson by copying his hateful and misleading tactics – but I suspect that’s just what’ll happen but that many people will be too insular to see the mistake they’re making.

    If you hate someone else because they hate you (or what you represent) how can you fail to see the parallels in your mentalities?

    Oh, and the games media ranting against misrepresentation or being deliberately misleading is like Ronald McDonald ranting against obesity. ;)

    #6 6 years ago
  7. patlike

    Shat – I don’t hate him at all. I think he’s a well-meaning man. I don’t agree with him, though, and I think the way he behaved deserved to be dealt with in the way it’s been dealt with. He abused the law, and that’s a fact.

    I’m not sure we can grant ourselves the luxury of hindsight on Thompson yet, because I don’t think it’s over, really.

    He was picked up by the media for a reason: he made ridiculous statements in public about games, and made himself an obvious target. Lowenstein’s assertion that Jack wasn’t news is laughable: everything’s news. Selectively ignoring an official person in the way Doug suggested is far worse than reporting on him. You’re big enough to make your own judgements, and you should be allowed to make them for yourself.

    I know a few people that spoke to him on the phone, and he was fine, apparently. No one was ever suggesting he was mad: just that he was wrong.

    As regards his principles: most reasonable people don’t want young children to be subjected to violent media in any form. Any responsible parent would decide for themselves that an 18-rated videogame is not appropriate for a child. The answer to the fact that some children do get to play or watch violent games is not to just ban or “enforce,” but rather to promote responsibility in the home. This is just my opinion, of course, but Jack was preaching a very dangerous line. I don’t know why anyone’s surprised the games media reacted in the way it did.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. pjmaybe

    Didn’t really help his cause much that just about every single photo of him made him look like a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic :)

    #8 6 years ago
  9. patlike

    Actually, a fair few people did suggest that he was mad, I think :)

    #9 6 years ago
  10. patlike

    PJ – :D

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Syrok

    Also if you import German words at least write them correctly. It’s kaputt. :P

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Alex P

    [Doesn’t this mean he can just go and practice in Ohio, or something? - Ed]

    Negative. He would need to retake and pass the bar exam in Ohio, and even then, it’s nearly impossible to get your law license if you’ve been disbarred in another state.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Quiiick

    @ Syrok
    Gemäss neuer Rechtschreibung schon, früher hingegen wurde der Begriff nur mit einem ‘t’ geschrieben. Kaputt ist zudem fast so idiotisch wie ‘stopp’ oder ‘tipp’! ;)

    #13 6 years ago
  14. ruckus

    Babel Fish said:
    In accordance with new orthography in former times however the term was already, written only with one `t’. Broken is besides nearly as idiotisch as ‘stopp’ or `tipp’!

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Syrok

    @Quiick: I didn’t know that. I thought it was always written with two t. :)

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Quiiick

    No, it’s only a few years since you are obliged to write “kaput” with double-t.

    And AFAIK using this word in english is derived from the occupation-time after WW2:
    English speaking folks tend to be attracted by some german words like “Achtung, Kaputt, Kraut, Schadenfreude” etc … :D

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Syrok

    Maybe it’s time Germany gets occupied again so they can pick up the new versions.^^

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Quiiick

    Great idea! ;)

    #18 6 years ago

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