Former attorney Jack Thompson has been ordered to explain why his disbarment in Florida shouldn’t also apply to the federal courts.
Thompson was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court in September 2008, the result of his antics and bad behavior in and out of the courtroom which Judge Dava Tunis described as “cumulative misconduct” for which he not only showed no remorse but refused to even acknowledge as inappropriate. Since then, Thompson has apparently taken the position that the disbarment only applies to Florida’s state court system and has been describing himself in emails as a “once and future attorney” who is still admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court system.
But the “I’m still a lawyer” loophole may be closing soon. Judge Federico Moreno, chief justice of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has issued an order directing Thompson to submit a filing explaining why he shouldn’t be subject to the “identical discipline” in federal court.
Thompson and Moreno have encountered one another previously: Moreno sent two U.S. Marshals to interview Thompson after he wrote a letter to the judge comparing himself to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, saying, “I guess my ‘mistake’ was not killing 3000 people to make my point.” For his part, Thompson claimed Moreno improperly placed him on a “terrorist watch list” after Thompson sent him a letter alleging judicial misconduct by U.S. District Court judges.
Is it possible that Thompson could be given a lifetime disbarment by the Florida Supreme Court and yet somehow avoid a similar fate with the federal courts? The order requires him to include all documents related to his state disbarment, so the U.S. District Court will have a clear look at what exactly drove the Florida court to take such strong action against him. Thompson has 30 days to comply with the order.