Posts Tagged ‘Jack Thompson’

Grand Theft Auto roundup

Grand Theft Auto IV debuts at midnight tonight to spectacular reviews, and the litigation is sure to follow…

  • Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson (Mar. 21; Feb. 22; Sep. 27, etc., etc.), whose antics could fill an entire sub-blog, has sent an obnoxious letter to the mother of Rockstar’s boss, Strauss Zelnick, accusing it of being pornography and training for murder. A new book, Grand Theft Childhood, as documented by WaPo’s Mike Musgrave, suggests that the fears of corrupted childhood are overblown, though Lord knows I wouldn’t let any teenage kids I was responsible for play this game.
  • As someone who purchased Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas the first day it was out for the Xbox 360 original Xbox, I am a member of a plaintiff class in a class action settlement over the Hot Coffee mod where players can access the Internet and voluntarily modify the game to make it slightly more offensive to the easily offended. (To imagine that one can find p0rnography on the Internet!) In the settlement, I get, well, nothing, and the attorneys will ask for about a million dollars; worse, individual “representative” class members who suffered no injury will get $5000 that could have been used to buy more music rights for Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re frequently asked what we can do if we’re unhappy with a class action settlement where we’re a member, but this settlement was sufficiently appalling that I actually retained an attorney and he served an objection on my behalf on Friday. Further updates to come.

Update: I incorrectly said I bought San Andreas for the Xbox 360. Of course, San Andreas was never available for the 360. I bought the June 2005 release for the original Xbox.

Update: More.

Florida high court sanctions Jack Thompson

It “won’t accept any more filings” from the embattled anti-videogame attorney “without the signature of another Florida Bar member.” (DBR). Relatedly, Above the Law is retiring Thompson to a Hall of Fame in which he will be ineligible for further naming as ATL’s Lawyer of the Day, because it just isn’t fair to other lawyers who do outlandish things to let Thompson win so often.

“The Weirdest Legal Pleading Ever”

You guessed it: it’s the Jack Thompson Florida folly discussed here a couple of weeks ago (Bonnie Goldstein, Slate, Mar. 7). Bonus: the court includes a reference to the precedents set by Montgomery Blair Sibley in his struggles with the Florida bar (earlier). P.S. More from Dennis McCauley at GamePolitics who exchanges emails with Thompson regarding his use of a photo of burned-out Hiroshima to presage what may “figuratively” happen to the Florida bar if he gets sanctioned.

“Swastikas, kangaroos, cartoon squirrels”

Perennial Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson may find that his doodles, or supplementary art, or whatever, on court filings are an expensive matter, as the Florida Supreme Court continues to consider disciplinary action against him. Aside from the extraneous picture matter, which includes images of “swastikas, kangaroos in court, a reproduced dollar bill, cartoon squirrels, Paul Simon, Paul Newman, Ray Charles, a handprint with the word ‘slap’ written under it, Bar Governor Benedict P. Kuehne, a baby, Ed Bradley, Jack Nicholson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Julius Caesar, monkeys, a house of cards,” and so forth, Thompson, known for his crusades against violence and sex in videogames, is accused of engaging in constant filings that are “repetitive, frivolous and insult the integrity of the court,” and faces a possible order that would bar him from filing actions unless signed by another Florida bar member. Thompson rejects the charges, saying, “I have a right to file anything I want with the court.” (Alana Roberts, “Anti-Porn Crusader May Face Sanctions for ‘Meritless Filings'”, Daily Business Review, Feb. 22).

December 10 roundup

October 3 roundup

  • Yet another Apple suit, this time on behalf of user who wishes iPod and iTunes were more compatible with other song vendors and devices [Miami Herald/ILR]

  • Fairview Heights, Ill. alderman says town was “deceived” into serving as lead plaintiff in class action against Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia and other online travel firms [Madison County Record]; More: here and here.

  • “Evasive”, “bad faith”: federal judge slams health insurance lawyers for stalling suit by docs [Phila. Inquirer; Plus: their side @]

  • Plastic water guns draw ire of politicos in Albany, N.Y. [Times-Union via Nobody’s Business]

  • High lawyers’ fees said to be pricing middle class Canadians out of the justice system, but it must be said the numbers cited sound pretty low by U.S. standards [Maclean’s]

  • Flickr makes it easy to grab and reuse strangers’ photos, and legal sorrows ensue [NY Times]

  • Jack Thompson tries to get federal judge Jordan removed from hearing one of his lawsuits against the Florida Bar [; & yet more]

  • New at Point of Law: trial lawyers deem “slanderous” ads featuring fictional law firm of Sooem, Settle & Kashin; Business Week cover story on wage/hour suits; John Edwards comes out again for “certificate of merit” med-mal reform; replace your old kitchen cabinets and get lead paint companies to pay; and much more;

  • Some New York lawmakers think secondhand smoke is just as bad for you as actually being a smoker [Siegel via Sullum; more on recent smoking bans, complete with culturally-sensitive hookah exception]

  • “Disability Math” video explores paradox of how employment fell among handicapped after enactment of the ADA [Dubner, Freakonomics; more (now with more direct Freakonomics link)]

  • Class-action lawyers sue over kids’ Pokémon card trading craze, claiming it’s illegal gambling [Eight years ago on Overlawyered; Milberg Weiss angle here]

Latest Jack Thompson follies

Longtime Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson (Sep. 20, etc.), suing the Florida Bar in federal court to avoid misconduct charges, was apparently outraged that one of the attorneys working with the Bar was affiliated with a website that in turn had advertising to pornographic websites—and to prove his (wildly off-topic) point filed several graphically pornographic photos with the court. The district judge was not amused, threatened to hold Thompson in contempt, and an unapologetic Thompson is encouraging the judge to throw him in jail. [GamePolitics via Above the Law]

Jack Thompson: I’m being imaginarily assassinated

Anti-videogame Miami attorney and longtime Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson claims that players in the forthcoming Grand Theft Auto IV are given instructions to kill a certain lawyer in his office and that the lawyer utters the line “Guns don’t kill people. Video games do,” which means it must be a parody of Thompson himself. He’s fired off a demand that the release be halted. (, Sept. 18; Geoffrey Rapp, PrawfsBlawg, Sept. 20). For Thompson’s legal threats last year against the publisher of Mortal Kombat because users can employ the game’s build-a-fighter mode to create characters that might resemble him, see Oct. 30, 2006. Plus: Thompson responds in comments.

September 13 roundup

Video games used to cost a quarter

Jack Thompson makes a lot of headlines around here for his quixotic anti-video game legal jihad. This crusade wastes court time and imposes legal expenses on video game makers. But if there’s one mitigating factor — admittedly, a small one — in the whole mess, it’s that at least his own legal expenses are coming out of his own pocket. The same can’t be said for Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who is not only forcing video game makers to spend large sums of money, but his conducting his crusade against violent video games with other people’s money:

The governor has spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to appeal a 2005 federal court ruling that a state law banning the sale of violent or sexual-explicit video games to minors was unconstitutional.

You may be wondering where he got the money for this crusade. Well, so was the Illinois state legislature, since they never authorized these expenditures:

A House committee discovered the amount spent to pay lawyers this week.


The governor raided funds throughout state government to pay for the litigation. Some of the areas money was taken from included the public health department, the state’s welfare agency and even the economic development department.

“We had a strong suspicion that the governor was using funds appropriated by the General Assembly as his own personal piggy bank,” Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, chairman of the State Government committee, said.

Those suspicions were confirmed when the governor’s staff, testifying before the committee, admitted they just stuck state agencies that had available funds with the bills, he added.

But it’s For The Children™, don’t you know? (And the lawyers.)