July 19th, 2006

Jack Thompson Shouldn't Be Friend of Court, Say Game Industry Lawyers

Should controversial attorney Jack Thompson be permitted to file a "friend of the court" brief in ESA vs. Foti, the First Amendment battle over Louisiana's recently-enacted video game law?

Lawyers for the video game industry say no. The matter is currently before a Federal District Court judge in Baton Rouge. Legislation upon which the contested law is based was drafted by Thompson earlier this year on behalf of Louisiana Rep. Roy Burrell (D).

As revealed last week on GamePolitics, the anti-game attorney requested permission from Judge James Brady to file an Amicus Curiae, or "friend of the court" brief in the case.

Lawyers representing the game industry, however, have filed a motion to block Thompson's request, citing technical grounds. Among the objections claimed by industry lawyers:

-Thompson has no license to practice before Judge Brady's court, either on a permanent or temporary basis

-Thompson's amicus motion claims that he is filing "on behalf of law enforcement personnel and also on behalf of education groups." However, no such individuals or groups are specified nor is there any indication that any such entities have retained Thompson as counsel in ESA vs. Foti.

-Thompson signs his brief as "Attorney, Defendant & co-counsel." Video game industry lawyers argue that he is not a named defendant in the case. Nor has he been retained by any of the actual defendants as counsel. Actual defendants named in the suit are Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti and East Baton Rouge District Attorney Doug Moreau.

It is unknown when Judge Brady might rule on the Amicus issue. The parties are also awaiting the Judge's ruling on the industry's request for a temporary injunction.

For all of GP's coverage of Louisiana's video game legislation, click here.

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...