A referee has recommended outspoken Coral Gables, Fla., lawyer Jack Thompson should be found guilty of numerous Florida Bar rule violations. A sanctions hearing is scheduled for June 4.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dava Tunis concluded Thompson made false statements to tribunals, disparaged and humiliated litigants and other lawyers, and improperly practiced law outside the state of Florida. In two instances where the judge found no guilt, she concluded he did not intend to disrupt tribunals.
The five-page report was dated Thursday and issued Monday. Tunis listed guilty verdicts on 27 rule violations and four not-guilty recommendations without articulating how she reached her findings or any details about the violations. Tunis said she reviewed 2,400 pages of transcripts and 1,700 pages of exhibits to reach her conclusions and promised a more comprehensive report later.
Thompson filed a motion Tuesday with the Florida Supreme Court to strike Tunis' recommendations as vague for lack of detail.
"I'm going into this blind," said Thompson, a crusader against pornography and violent video games. "She should have issued her report at least to her findings and then have a sanction hearing."
Tunis reviewed complaints based on Thompson's appearance in an Alabama case and allegations filed with the Bar by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ronald Friedman, Circuit Judge James Moore of Fayette County, Ala., and attorneys from the law firms of Tew Cardenas and Blank Rome. The Bar filed formal complaints against Thompson after finding probable cause that he violated Bar rules.
The Bar alleged Thompson made false statements about Moore; represented clients in Alabama without a license or visiting status; and defied the Alabama judge's order not to send documents or make public statements about a case he was litigating. Thompson was representing a family in a civil case against the makers of "Grand Theft Auto" alleging their video games played a role in the slayings of two police officers and a police dispatcher.
Blank Rome lawyers defending the game makers claimed Thompson disparaged, embarrassed and humiliated them through e-mails, letters and court pleadings in the Alabama case.
Tew Cardenas lawyers Alberto Cardenas and Lawrence Kellogg complained that Thompson targeted clients, public officials and the news media with thousands of critical e-mails, faxes and letters accusing them of promoting child pornography, racketeering and perjury in the firm's representation of radio station owner Beasley Broadcast Group.
Tew Cardenas name partner Cardenas referred to Thompson's actions as "emotional stalking."
Friedman claimed Thompson made disparaging comments about him in another lawsuit against video game makers.
Thompson claims the Bar is conspiring with others to have him disbarred in violation of his First Amendment rights. With the disciplinary case pending, the Florida Supreme Court issued an order in March preventing him from filing papers in the state's high court without the signature of another Florida Bar member. Thompson countered that the action violates his Sixth Amendment right to choose his own legal representation, because he can't represent himself without another lawyer's help. Thompson has tried unsuccessfully to get Tunis thrown off his case and filed a complaint against her with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is responsible for investigating judges.
Thompson sued the Bar in 2006 over its disciplinary proceedings against him and voluntarily dismissed the case five weeks later. He sued the Bar again in March, and the case was stayed Monday at Thompson's request.
He sued the Federal Communications Commission last year and also voluntarily dismissed that case.