Jack Thompson quits Grand Theft Auto case

“Jack Thompson, the colorful Miami attorney who has become synonymous with lawsuits against video game companies, withdrew as the attorney for the plaintiffs in Fayette’s video game trial.”

…Thompson’s withdrawal comes after a hearing on a motion from the defense attorneys, who represent video game manufacturers and distributors, to revoke Thompson’s privilege to practice law in Alabama during the case. Judge James Moore granted Thompson, pro hac vice, the legal term for the temporary privilege, when the suit was filed.

Defense Attorney Jim Smith claimed that Thompson bombarded him, his co-counsel Rebecca Ward and his law firm, Blank Rome, with threatening and harassing e-mails and letters. He also accused Thompson of violating legal ethics, misrepresenting an alleged past history of disciplinary problems and attempting to poison the jury pool with frequent press releases and appearances in the news media….

Since defense attorneys filed the motion, Thompson has claimed they were “coming after” him. He said Blank Rome’s strategy has always been to attack its opponents.

(“Robert DeWitt, “Attorney in Fayette case bows out”, Tuscaloosa News, Nov. 8). More coverage: IGN, GamePolitics.com, GameSpot News, The Inquirer. For more on Thompson’s antics, see Feb. 19, Oct. 21, etc.


  • The revised Model Rules require a connection to the local client. One cannot travel around the country peddling expertise in a type of case, as if the license were federal. A relatioship with the local matter must exist. Government lawyers and corporate counsels qualify for pro hac vice more easily because of the widespread involvement of their employer. Class action lawyers get a longer leash for obvious reasons.

    Otherwise, the taking of a local case may be the unauthorized practice of law. Defendants facing out of state lawyers should carefully review this report from the ABA and the specific state rules listed.


  • History of videogame lawsuits

    …at gaming site 1UP.com (Nadia Oxford, “Trials and Tribulations”, Dec. 14). More on computer and videogame suits: Nov. 27, Nov. 9, etc….

  • Jack Thompson update: Florida bar latest target

    Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson has followed through his threat to sue the Florida Bar for daring to investigate him for ethical violations. He also complained to the interim U.S. Attorney, who punted to the FBI,…