Jack Thompson, the attorney from Florida who was representing the families of murdered police officers in a Fayetteville, Alabama civil suit against video game manufacturers and distributors including Sony, Take-Two, and Wal-Mart, has removed himself from the case.
However, the hearing , which centers around the allegation that killer Devin Moore's playing of Grand Theft Auto III and sequels contributed to the murders, will proceed, with Thompson's colleague Ray Reiser substituting for him, and local attorney Patrick Gray of Nelson, Dorroh, Gray & Newsome continuing as co-counsel for the plaintiffs.
The defendant team of attorneys had introduced a motion to remove Thompson, on the grounds that his multiple press releases attacking the defense attorneys was against court decorum and in violation of legal ethics. Judge James Moore took the motion under advisement, and even took a light dig at Thompson, noting that "Your 'have at it' and my 'have at it' are not the same," in reference to the pile of Thompson's press releases submitted as evidence.
Thompson removed himself the following day, saying to the Tuscaloosa News that: "The main thing was, I didn't want him to have my personality and my presence in the case in any way effect the survivability and the merits of the case. My job is to serve my clients and not for them, in some way, to serve me." Thompson also indicated that now that he was off the plaintiff's team, he expected to serve as a witness in the case.
Though Thompson's self-removal has ended the matter of the defendants' motion to take him off the suit, the defense team also submitted a motion to dismiss the case on lack of merit. Judge Moore has also taken that motion under advisement, but has not yet ruled on it.