Jack Thompson has withdrawn from the Alabama court case against against Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Wal-Mart, and GameStop amidst wranglings from the defendants' lawyers claiming that the anti-videogames crusader be removed from the case on the grounds of legal ethics violations.
The case of Strickland vs. Sony saw Thompson representing the families of two murdered police officers and a dispatcher by eighteen year old Devin Moore who claimed that the Grand Theft Auto games had trained him to kill, reportedly telling police after the arrest: "Life is like a video game. Everybody's got to die sometime."
Alongside an attempt to convince Judge James Moore to grant a defence motion to dismiss the case based on a lack of merit, the defence also presented evidence in the form of open letters and press releases in which Thompson accused defence firm Blank Rome of numerous dubious activities in order to have the Miami attorney dismissed from the case for violating legal ethics.
Jim Smith, attorney for the defence stated: "He can't proceed with the civility the rules require. All lawyers have to conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and civility. This isn't a street fight. He's going to turn the courtroom into a circus and we can't have it."
However, Thompson's decision to remove himself from the proceedings comes before Judge Moore was able to rule on either motion. "The other side wants to make me the issue," Thompson reportedly told GamePolitics.com, "The important thing is that the clients be served."
The Miami attorney was quick to refute suggestions that his actions were the result of pressure from Judge Moore, who reportedly appeared to be swayed by the defence's claims when viewing the evidence against Thompson. "Why did you do this?" Judge Moore apparently asked. "You said after the criminal trial to 'have at it,'" was Thompson's response. "Your 'have at it' and my 'have at it' are not the same," Moore concluded.
"It was my idea [to withdraw]," Thompson told GP.com, "There are three other lawyers working on it."