Jack Thompson Struggles Against Sanctions Hearing

| 29 May 2008 12:55

Jack Thompson is pulling out all the stops in at attempt to avoid the upcoming sanctions hearing that will determine his future as a lawyer.

The hearing, set for June 4, is expected to recommend actions against Thompson following an earlier determination by Judge Dava Tunis that he is guilty of 27 counts of professional misconduct. According to GamePolitics, Thompson is making numerous attempts to derail the hearing, including a claim that Tunis' Oath of Loyalty was improperly signed, thus rendering her legal standing invalid. Thompson has filed a suit against the state of Florida on that matter in an attempt to halt the Bar's action against him.

The Oath of Loyalty issue, however, is a non-starter, as a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Courts said that while the signature on the original documents was in fact forged, it was done so by a former Administrative Office of the Courts employee without Tunis' knowledge, and that when she became aware of the problem she immediately signed and filed the oath. "The Oath of Loyalty has no effect whatsoever on any judge's authority or jurisdiction to act and therefore has no legal consequence as to the decisions made by any judge while serving on the bench," the spokeswoman said. "The Eleventh Judicial Court takes any prohibited act by a court employee very seriously. Accordingly, a request has been made that the State Attorney and Inspector General investigate the forgery and the actions of the for AOC employee, which have unfortunately victimized Judge Tunis and other judges."

An attempt to subpoena 33 people including Strauss Zelnick and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for the hearing was also denied by Tunis due to procedural errors made by Thompson, while a motion seeking a stay of the proceedings while he undergoes a mental health exam is not expected to be heard as Thompson is barred from filing such motions without going through another attorney. Thompson has said he will refuse to attend the hearing unless that order is overturned.

While Judge Tunis found Thompson guilty on 27 of the 31 charges facing him, she cannot issue sanctions against him; penalties based on her recommendations, up to and including disbarment, will be imposed by the Florida Supreme Court in September.

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