Legal Ethics

Referee: Anti-Porn Lawyer Should Be Disbarred for Acting ‘With Vengeance'

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A Miami judge is recommending that anti-porn lawyer Jack Thompson be permanently disbarred for acting “with vengeance” in an attempt to intimidate, harass or disparage lawyers and judges who opposed him or ruled against him.

Judge Dava Tunis said Thompson attempted to harm his opponents’ reputations “with utter disregard to the administration of justice and complete indifference to the consequences his conduct would have on their lives, law firms, judicial careers, clients, families and reputations.”

Tunis made the conclusions in a 169-page document (PDF posted by the Escapist) that recommends he also be required to pay more than $43,000 in legal costs for the disciplinary case against him, the Escapist reports. Thompson has called the disciplinary hearing a “star chamber” and “kangaroo court.”

Tunis described Thompson’s actions in one case involving a civil suit against the makers of violent video games. Alabama Judge James Moore found that Thompson had failed to disclose material facts concerning his disciplinary record in his application to appear pro hac vice and revoked an order letting him appear in the case. The judge testified he did so in part because Thompson was sending documents to his office “three, four, five times a day, easy.” After his decision, Moore testified in the disciplinary hearing, Thompson later sent him letters falsely accusing him of discussing a bribe in the case and sought a criminal investigation. Moore maintained that many of Thompson’s serious accusations were also circulated to the media.

One letter faxed to Moore and also addressed to Alabama State Bar officials read in part, “I am tired of being treated like pig slop by the Alabama State Bar and by an out-of-control tyrant who sits, for now, on the bench in Fayette County.” He attached a photo of the judge in the movie My Cousin Vinny. Later he sent a letter renewing the bribery allegations to the Judicial Inquiry Commission in Alabama and to actor Joe Pesci, who played a lawyer in My Cousin Vinny.

Tunis said Thompson’s over-the-top criticism of his opponents is part of a “pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes.”

A footnote in the report said Thompson had faxed her photos of men portraying full-frontal nudity and oral sex that were “wholly unrelated to any issue germane to the disciplinary proceedings.”

Thompson was threatened with sanctions by another judge when he attached electronic photos of gay sex to a motion filed with the court. Thompson said then that he attached the photos to make the point that the bar has not taken action against a lawyer whose website has links to the gay porn, yet at the same time the bar is targeting him for his crusade against porn and violent video games.

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