Your standard defamation case against a morning disc jockey case recently took a turn for the very weird. Todd “MJ” Schnitt a Tampa area D.J., had accused Bubba the Love Sponge Clem of defamation, a case which ended last week in a defense verdict for Bubba after a three week trial.
However, the judge still has to decide the motion of MJ’s attorneys for a mistrial. The motion for a mistrial arose because, in the middle of trial, MJ’s counsel, Charles Phillip Campbell, Jr., was arrested for DUI. The plot thickened when it was learned that Mr. Campbell was arrested while driving a vehicle belonging to Melissa Personius, a paralegal for the law firm of Adams & Diaco, the firm representing Bubba. The Tampa police were apparently tipped off by someone at Adams & Diaco that someone who was “known to drink and drive” would be leaving, Malio’s, the restaurant where Mr. Campbell and Ms. Personius were drinking. When Mr. Campbell was arrested, his trial bag remained in Ms. Personius’s car, and was then taken by an attorney from Adams & Diaco for several hours. Ms. Personius refused to answer a number of question about whether she was instructed to set Mr. Campbell up on fifth amendment grounds.
Obviously, if Mr. Campbell was set up by Adams & Diaco, there are a number of serious ethical questions. Among other Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 8.4, integrity of the profession, is certainly implicated. The Florida Bar has opened an investigation into the attorneys’ conduct.