GOP candidate’s son Jason Thompson reported to legal ethics board for ‘back to Kenya’ remark


Vince Megna, often called the Lemon Law King, has filed a formal complaint against Jason Thompson – son of U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson – for that “back to Kenya” remark he made about Obama [I wrote about that here]. There seem to be a few things that attorneys like Jason are not supposed to do by virtue of an oath that they take in Wisconsin. Who knew?

From MJS:

“This comment is both disturbing and disgusting. It takes us back in time to the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond when any issue involving an African American elicited the almost universal cry of white America to ‘send them all back to Africa,'” Megna wrote in a complaint to the Office of Lawyer Regulation.

Megna contends Jason Thompson’s remarks violate his lawyer’s oath to support the state and federal constitutions, and that he should be sanctioned by the OLR….”

Dean R. Dietrich wrote at the Wisconsin Bar’s blog that, “The charge of a rule violation based upon the attorney’s oath often is reserved for very serious conduct or behavior, although the oath’s ambiguous language allows for a great deal of subjective interpretation.”

What is the oath?

Wisconsin lawyers must pledge to
*support the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions;

*maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

*not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding that would be unjust, or any defense that is not honestly debatable;

*maintain the confidence and preserve the secrets of each client;

*abstain from all offensive personality;

*advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause;

*never reject, for any consideration personal to the lawyer, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or to delay any person’s cause out of malice.

Footnote: Jason Thompson works for the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich

See “Conduct Outside the Law Office
Ethics Rules Apply 24-7”
for more.

Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation web site.


  4 comments for “GOP candidate’s son Jason Thompson reported to legal ethics board for ‘back to Kenya’ remark

  1. GeoffT
    October 18, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Can we get Glenn Grothman (licensed lawyer and professional windbag) reported too? On Sly in the Morning a month ago ( he described Judge Juan Colás in the following terms:

    Grothman: “We have judges who are reaching goofy decisions because they are not concerned about enforcing the law” (01:25)

    Grothman: “Maybe the judge was just a cowardly judge and afraid to enforce the law” (02:40)

    Grothman: “So the judge, because he wanted to keep his $120,000, $140,000 a year job, or whatever it is, decided to reach a bad decision” (09:35)

    Sly: “It’s not like Juan Colás did something crazy here on Friday, did he?”
    Grothman: “I think pretty crazy” (11:47)

    At the very least these are statements made with a reckless disregard for the truth, which is a violation of Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 20:8.2 (

  2. October 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Jason Thompson’s remark was a really disgusting racist dog whistle. Still, it’s hard to see how it would be in violation of his attorney’s oath. Maybe, perhaps if President Obama were a party to a legal proceeding that JT was involved in, but probably not even then. Seems to go against spirit of free speech to try sanctioning him.

    Better to hold both Thompsons responsible by concluding the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and considering this one more reason to elect a Senator Wisconsin can be proud of — Tammy Baldwin.

  3. Karen
    October 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Well, if “abstain from all offensive personality” were enforced, 90% of all lawyers would be reprimanded or sanctioned!

    • October 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      🙂 I’m no expert in this area. I’d love to call Vince and discuss it. He’s a wonderful guy. I met him when he came to Madison to talk about his lemon law case against Mercedes.

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