Legal Ethics

‘Bar-Certified Sane Lawyer’ in New Judge Dispute

  • Print.

Anti-porn crusader Jack Thompson has had his share of disputes with judges. The South Florida lawyer is vocal in his criticism—so vocal that The Florida Bar is considering two complaints that contend his statements about two judges violated ethics rules.

Now Thompson’s lawsuit (PDF) attempting to put a stop to Florida Bar action against him has led to a new squabble, this time with the judge assigned to the case. The underlying suit contends the bar is violating Thompson’s First Amendment right to point out judicial misconduct and corruption.

Yesterday Judge Adalberto Jordan of Miami referred Thompson to the court’s ad hoc grievance committee (PDF), saying the lawyer had failed to accept responsibility for the effects of an X-rated court filing.

Thompson’s response: a motion seeking to file an amended complaint (PDF) that names Jordan as a defendant in his lawsuit against the bar. The petition claims Jordan has made “misrepresentations” in the referral order and taken “cheap shots at Thompson that embarrass the federal bench.”

The dispute began last week when Jordan criticized Thompson for attaching electronic photos of gay sex to a motion filed with the court. Thompson filed the photos to make a point that the bar has a double standard.

Thompson maintains the bar has not taken action against a lawyer whose Web site has links to the gay porn he showed the court, yet at the same time the bar is targeting him for his crusade against porn and violent video games.

On Sept. 24, Jordan issued an order (PDF posted by asking Thompson to show cause why he should not be referred to the court’s ad hoc grievance committee for the “indecent, obscene and offensive” filing.

Thompson told that the judge was flat-out wrong when he concluded last week that putting the sex photos in the public record could harm children. “He seized upon the notion that I had put children at risk by putting this evidence in the Pacer [document] system,” he said. “That is absurd, because no child is going into a paid-for government court file in the hopes of stumbling on one case” including gay porn.

Thompson made the same point in a flurry of 14 filings and motions in response. The judge noted that number when he referred the case to the ad hoc committee.

“Each of Mr. Thompson’s 14 responses misses the point—by filing the irrelevant materials on the court’s Web site, he placed the offensive images in a different location, easily accessible by members of the public, and where they can be viewed inadvertently by members of the public who find them offensive,” he wrote.

Thompson doesn’t mince words in his numerous filings or in the underlying lawsuit against the bar. The suit says the bar has demanded that he undergo a new round of psychological testing even though court-ordered tests secured by the bar 15 years ago found him perfectly sane. The earlier order required an evaluation into whether “Thompson’s obsession against pornography is so severe that he is mentally disabled by it and thus unfit to practice law.”

“The result of that bar attempt to pathologize Thompson’s activism generated an official finding by the bar’s own handpicked health care practitioners that Thompson is a person acting upon his religious faith and perfectly sane in doing so,” Thompson’s complaint says. “The bar’s insurance carrier paid Thompson damages for this outrage, and now Thompson is the only officially bar-certified sane lawyer in Florida.”

The request for a new round of tests “is additional and more recent proof that the only ones who need their heads examined are the folks running The Florida Bar,” the complaint says.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.