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Bar Suggests Psychiatric Testing For Thompson

UPDATE: We retract the previous headline, "Bar Orders Psychiatric Testing For Thompson." Jack Thompson has e-mailed us to clarify this story. He has not been "ordered" to undergo psychiatric testing, but it was part of a proposal offered in mediation talks between Thompson and the Florida Bar. The statement in the document forwarded to us reads:

"At this “mediation,” Bar’s counsel added a new condition for settlement—an intractable demand that Thompson submit to a psychiatric/psychological testing by the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program as a mandatory condition for continuing to be licensed to practice law."

Thompson continued to put the word "mediation" in quotes throughout, as if he didn't think much of the process. Anyway, we've changed "ordered" in our original title to "suggested," as it's a condition in a proposal and not a foregone conclusion. Of course, the very first sentence of the original story says, "According to GamePolitics, the Florida Bar proposed...", but you know, whatever.

Original story:

According to GamePolitics, the Florida Bar proposed late last week that anti-game activist and attorney, Jack Thompson, submit to psychological testing and accept a 91-day suspension of his law license. The interesting part? This isn't the first time.

Thompson is currently locked in a pair of federal lawsuits against the Bar, and the latter decided to hold a disciplinary hearing against Thompson based on several complaints. These complaints center on the attorney's professional - or lack thereof - conduct when involved in recent court battles with the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Bully. Thus far, the June 25 hearing has been postponed, and mediation talks between Thompson and the Bar have commenced.

GamePolitics posted an e-mail sent by Thompson; it seems to be a filing with the Florida Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the Bar.

Mediation failed today because there was no mediation whatsoever… [Florida Bar official] Ms. Tuma not only did not move off her [suspension] demand one iota, not one smidgeon, but she instead upped her demand by requiring that Thompson undergo a battery of psychological tests as part of the fabulous deal The Bar offered him…

Ms. Tuma [sic] last demand going into the mediation was a 91-day suspension, and she opened and ended with that and a shrink’s couch. This is bad faith…

This “mediation” was a charade… Finally, [Thompson] requests a status conference herein as soon as possible so that we can… shut this Star Chamber down. Thompson is not the one who needs a psych evaluation.

As we said earlier, this isn't the first time the Bar has asked that Thompson undergo psychiatric testing. In his 2005 book, "Out of Harm's Way," he says the Bar forced similar testing on him in the early '90s. Of course, Thompson promptly sued the Bar after passing the test, landing $20,000 in monetary damages. Well, it remains to be seen if he passes this time, and it must be yet another blow to his reputation...but then again, he probably doesn't care.

7/3/2007 Ben Dutka

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