ABA Journal


Trials & Litigation

Was mid-trial DUI a set-up by lawyer’s opposing counsel in DJ defamation case?

Jan 28, 2013, 06:04 pm CST


According to ABC News's website:

"Clem's attorney says there is no need for a mistrial in the case that centers around allegedly offensive and defamatory comments Clem made about Schnitt and his wife.
"I ask for a retraction of that, because he [Schnitt's attorney] knows he has no evidence to suggest that my law firm or I have any involvement in this," he said.

And some lawyers wonder why the public holds the profession is such low regard.

By TMJ on 2013 01 28, 6:13 pm CST

Obviously, she is a Personius of interest here. Still, this Campbell is materially and primarily responsible for his own predicament. Even making allowances for typical Campbell diminished capacity (plus the effects of the liquor), he wasn't relieved of his responsibilities to comport himself as an officer of the court. That does not include drinking with the opposing firm's femme fatales until Schnitt-faced and then trying to operate a motor vehicle.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 28, 11:38 pm CST

McLeod, when did you retire from practicing law and start frequenting blogs and websites? Just wondering.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 01 28, 11:59 pm CST

You don't actually have to retire to use the Internet. That's just a pernicious rumor. But, I suppose that bit of news comes too late to be very helpful to you at this juncture.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 29, 12:31 am CST

Yeah, I get that, I just wonder how you have the time to make one of the first five comments on every single ABA story. Perhaps you "work" for the ABA and that affords you the time and opportunity?

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 01 29, 12:38 am CST

In a sense, I work for all perchildkind, and my activities here are but a small part of my service to the bar.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 29, 12:54 am CST

McLeod - Read more carefully if you want to be of "service to the bar" (though this advice might come too late in life for you). The Tampa Bay Times stories, and the accompanying video clips from the trial, make the story more complicated than "paralegal seduces old guy and he falls for it." My guess is that you were a journalist before you retired. Did you leave voluntarily, or did the paper fold under you?

By Pushkin on 2013 01 29, 2:49 am CST

Always finding fault, eh, Pushki?

I guess it's like they say:

"Guard dogs prowling in your yards,
Grammar tips on index cards,
Winna save what's been missaid,

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 29, 6:13 am CST

Did McLeod, Magyar and Pushkin ever hear of the Code of Civility or do they prefer to show off their word cleverness ?

By ibloom on 2013 02 01, 12:34 pm CST

This is why we are ranked slightly below used car salesmen in the public esteem

By ibloom on 2013 02 01, 12:38 pm CST

My dad seemed to have a saying for everything, though sometimes extrapolation was necessary. Anyway, "You can't win a spitting contest with a snake"
(No, I am not sure that snakes spit, but if you go there, then I know you.)

By DeadHead on 2013 02 01, 1:20 pm CST

Speak for yourself, ibloom. Obviously the code has not stunted your classist prejudice against used car salesmen. Shame on you.

By B. McLeod on 2013 02 01, 1:26 pm CST

B. McLeon,

Verbal masturbation, like all masturbation, is impressive only to the actor, whose fantasy of their own prowess is a self-delusion.

By Jake Satr on 2013 02 01, 1:34 pm CST

After all the above repartee, I forgot the theme of the essay....


By BhamJim on 2013 02 01, 1:46 pm CST

I have nothing against used car salesmen and was only commenting on their ranking in the public esteem. More comments from you McLeod and we will win over them in the race to the bottom.

By ibloom on 2013 02 01, 1:58 pm CST

This is just another case of Tampa being Tampa.

By DirkJohanson on 2013 02 01, 2:33 pm CST

The 5th amendment denials do carry more than a little weight. How easy and natural would it have been for Bubba the Love Sponge's attorney to deny accusations about setting up her opponent as ridiculous. But she didn't...

By rosslaw on 2013 02 01, 3:11 pm CST

Only in Tampa...

By Person Who Learns Things on 2013 02 01, 3:49 pm CST

Personally, I like the comments to the stories a bit more than the stories themselves.

By Cmentman on 2013 02 01, 4:36 pm CST

I heard the term 'guerrilla lawyer tactics' in school but wow.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 02 01, 5:42 pm CST

I agree with the comments from Clem's attorney that there is no need for a mistrial. [As relayed by TMJ #1 above. ]

Since there appears to be "evidence to suggest" that his firm had involvement, hold a brief hearing on the evidence. If Clem's people decide not to testify, and the evidence is sufficient to suggest that his firm was involved, issue terminating sanctions (e.g., finding that " Bubba the Love Sponge Clem" did defame "MJ" and, if damages are awarded, Bubba can sue his attorneys.

By Charles Victor Szasz on 2013 02 01, 7:42 pm CST

Was reading another blog on fresh law grad going on food stamps. SOme commenter suggested he might rise to the top if he worked in retail cause he was so much brighter than everybody in retail.

I come to this post, read the top comments, and it's just like craigslist R&R.

You guys are just like idiot children.

Take it to the lowest common denominator of the innerwebs, CL's R&R's. Will ya please?

And you think you're better and brighter than everybody. I'm laughing at you.

By Ken on 2013 02 01, 8:15 pm CST

I am laughing, really. Thanks for the weekend entertainment!

By Texas Family Lawyer on 2013 02 01, 11:31 pm CST


Oh, and Jake @ 13, I will defer to your obvious expertise on the masturbation thing.

By B. McLeod on 2013 02 02, 12:33 am CST

I'm curious as to the basis for her invoking the Fifth:

"Did your boss at Adams & Diaco tell you to get Campbell drunk?"

"Did your boss tell you to ask Campbell to drive your car that night?"

How could either of these possibly be the same as giving evidence against herself (expose her to risk of litigation/prosecution)? Ostensibly there could be a contempt charge, one supposes... but only if it were proved that the goal was to separate Campbell from his bag so that the contents therein might be accessed.

By The Artist Formerly Known As Bakes on 2013 02 02, 4:14 am CST


By Angelo Dickens JD on 2013 02 02, 7:19 am CST

Here's what I think about this Schnitt - he probably asked for too much. Of course, the legal team would need to be paid as well, so they were probably greedier than Schnitt. At the bottom line, the jurors had to make a call between Bubba the Love Sponge and some extra-exhorbitant Tampans, and they simply came to the logical result.

By B. McLeod on 2013 02 02, 2:47 pm CST

Attorney Campbell had a predisposition to drive after consuming alcohol. Whether or not he had delusions of getting laid, or set up is not the issue. The issue is whether or not his BAC WAS ABOVE THE LEGAL LIMIT AT THE TIME IN QUESTION. A refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test is an automatic driver license suspension. The testimony of the Officer, as to what he/she observed on the day in question is another factor and the dash cam is one more factor. SET UP, PLEEZ.

By Angelo Dickens JD on 2013 02 02, 6:31 pm CST

The only defense Attorney Campbell has is to plead not guilty and argue he was not over the BAC legal limit. To say he was "SET UP" IS AN ADMISSION OF GUILT, HE ADMITS TO DRINKING ALCOHOL AND REFUSED A BAC BREATHALYZER.


By Angelo Dickens JD on 2013 02 02, 6:42 pm CST

Mr.Campbell need never have been separated from the briefcase in the first place. Why did he not tell the arresting officer that they needed to bring his briefcase with him? Was there something in there that he didn't want the cops to find?

By Earl Hamsher on 2013 02 03, 3:11 am CST

I marvel sometimes at the quality of analysis put forth in the comments, presumably by lawyers at that.

@Angelo Dickens JD... the "set up" comments were made in the context of the mistrial hearing in the defamation case, they were not offered as a "defense" to the DUI charges.

@Earl Hamsher... chances are that the briefcase was the last thing that was on Campbell's mind as he was being arrested. Even so, why would he hesitate (as your question implies) to tell the police to bring along his briefcase? Hopefully you're aware that the cops would have had no basis other than consent to search the briefcase, therefore no discovery of which its owner would be in fear.

By The Artist Formerly Known As Bakes on 2013 02 03, 4:48 am CST

In another thread, "Angelo" admits to being out of school 18 years without professional employment, laughed at, and told to eat dog food. This is not difficult to believe after reading several of "Angelo's" posts. I urge all my colleagues to please not pick on "Angelo," who reports that he still believes in the American Dream. God Bless England.

By B. McLeod on 2013 02 03, 7:02 am CST

I want to see the movie!

Won't be quite as funny as Tropic Thunder, perhaps, but it should be entertaining.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 03, 9:29 pm CST

This story sounds less like lawyers and more like politicians. It would fit quite well as a story line for the show "House of Cards". Just replace the lawyers with politicians and there you have it.

By legaltruth on 2013 02 06, 2:32 am CST

B. McLeod is a bit of a celebrity on here you know. Paid or not his role is that of a "market maker" to get the convo going. Nothing wrong with that, and his acerbic wit and ribaldry are often amusing! See this Article.

Anyway, the following doesn't apply to any of the parties in this article, but I'll "tell you what"--it's a good thing that there aren't a lot of women that are serial killers in the U.S. because--in a country that largely makes prostitution illegal--an attractive woman could lead many a guy off to his death if she promised him fast sex.... Watch out! ha ha

By Advantage: Top School on 2013 02 11, 9:38 am CST

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