So sue me.
Collectively, that's what the Florida Bar Association said to our old pal Jack Thompson, who was only too glad to oblige. As reported by the Daily Business Review, the controversial Miami attorney has filed a $1,000,000 federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar, alleging that the organization is harassing him by investigating what Thompson contends are baseless complaints filed by a pair of rival law firms.
"I enjoy doing what I do and I think I've got a First Amendment right to annoy people and participate in the public square in the cultural war," Thompson told the newspaper.
GP: We're glad someone enjoys what Jack does, but we've re-read the First Amendment umpteen times and still can't find the "right to annoy people."
As previously reported by GamePolitics, Thompson faces bar complaints stemming from his dealings with Philadelphia law firm Blank Rome in the Alabama GTA cop killer case, Strickland vs. Sony; from allegations about his professional conduct in his campaign against shock jock Howard Stern; and from the Alabama judiciary, which revoked his pro hac vice (visiting) bar admission last November.
While the Florida Bar is apparently still digesting Thompson's complaint, the organization's president Alan Bookman said, "We're very comfortable with everything that the Bar has done. Everything the Bar has done has been appropriate and proper."
The specifics of Thompson's complaint involve allegations made by attorney Lawrence Kellogg of Tew Cardenas, outside counsel to a Naples, Florida-based broadcast group which previously aired the Stern program. GP and other media outlets have been cc'd on frequent, highly volatile e-mails from Thompson in which he questions the integrity of Tew Cardenas attorneys.
Kellogg declined to discuss his bar complaints against Thompson, saying only, "I was justified in filing my Bar complaint against Mr. Thompson and The Florida Bar Grievance Committee has found probable cause that he violated Bar rules. I'm now leaving it in the hands of The Florida Bar."
Nor did Blank Rome have much to say.
"Because proceedings are ongoing, we are not able to comment," spokesman Topper Ray told the Daily Business Review. According to the paper, Thompson asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Bar's actions in regard to complaints filed against him.
"The Florida Bar and its agents have engaged in a documented pattern of this illegal activity, which may sink to the level of criminal racketeering activity, in a knowing and illegal effort to chill my federal First Amendment rights," Thompson wrote at the time to Alex Acosta, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Acosta's office forwarded the letter to the FBI in Miami for review.
GP: We note Thompson's strategic use of the word "may," as in "...may sink to the level of criminal racketeering activity..." Yes, and GP's long-awaited night on the town with Jennifer Anniston may happen this weekend.
The bombastic, anti-game attorney told the paper he has a good feeling about his lawsuit.
"I'm 100 percent certain that it will effect change, otherwise I would not have filed it," he said. Thompson also owns and operates www.theflabar.org, a rudimentary, rarely updated website which bills itself as "...the site to get the REAL Florida Bar to protect the public rather than its narrow agenda."
We should note that Thompson's 2005 book describes an early 90's episode in which he sued the Florida Bar and collected a $20,000 settlement after the Bar forced him to undergo psychiatric testing. He passed, by the way.
Hey, you can't make this stuff up.
UPDATE: The The North Country Gazette has a lengthy article on this. Also, Jabrwock informs us that the original article can be had sans subscription here.