GamePolitics has confirmed a report that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson has withdrawn from the Fayette County Alabama lawsuit Strickland vs. Sony.
GP spoke with Thompson this evening. The self-described "anti-game" crusader said that he had taken himself off the Strickland case today.
"The other side wants to make me the issue," he told GP. "The important thing is that the clients be served."
Thompson denied that he received pressure from Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Moore to withdraw.
"It was my idea," Thompson said, expressing confidence that the case would continue without him.
"There are three other lawyers working on it," he told GP. In addition to Alabama attorney Patrick Gray, Thompson's longtime colleague Ray Reiser of Florida will carry the plaintiffs' side forward.
"I got him (Reiser) to the edge of the Promised Land," Thompson joked. "We'll see if he goes in."
Thompson's flamboyant profile, take-no-prisoners style of communication, and frequent press releases and media appearances were the subject of a defense motion on behalf of video game industry clients to revoke his Pro Hac Vice (visiting) admission to the Alabama bar. The motion to remove Thompson from the case occupied much of last Thursday's hearing before Judge Moore in Fayette County. By day's end the judge asked both sides to submit opinions on the Pro Hac Vice revocation motion as well as another defense motion to dismiss the case on a summary judgment for lack of merit.
"If we won one motion or the other, we wanted to win (the summary judgment) by a factor of a million to one, Thompson said. Although Judge Moore has not yet ruled on the summary judgment motion, a decision for the video game industry would end the case before it begins. Thompson further indicated that his withdrawal was probably inevitable since he would likely need to take the stand as a witness in the case at some point.
UPDATE / Tuesday, 6:18 A.M. The Tuscaloosa News has more on Thompson's withdrawal in their Tuesday morning edition.