We lawyers do some crazy things. But, when i see escapades like the one in Tampa Bay in movies or on TV, my first reaction is "no way." Well, yes, way. Three lawyers in Tampa Bay are facing ethics charges by the Florida Bar Association because they colluded to get an opposing counsel arrested for DUI. The firm of Adams & Diaco sent an attractive young, paralegal to flirt with an opposing counsel in a major trial.
In January, 2013, Phillip Campbell was in a defamation trial against lawyers from Adams & Diaco. Mr. Campbell was the lead trial lawyer for the plaintiff. The trial concerned radio shock jocks Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. See the Tampa Bay Times report to see that I am not making this up.
After trial one day, the paralegal, who lied about her employment, sat next to Mr. Campbell at a bar. She flirted and drank with him. Mr. Campbell was later arrested while driving her in her car. At the time, Stephen Diaco was quoted expressing shame at the arrest. He said he was "ashamed" to be an attorney to see the opposing lawyer in his trial be arrested.
Later, investigators learned that Adam Filthaut, of the Adams & Diaco firm, tipped off a close family friend at the Tampa Bat Police Department. That Police Sergeant has since been fired for his role in the scheme. The revelation came when numerous cell phone calls and texts between the paralegal, her supervisor at Adams & Diaco and the police sergeant were discovered during that night.
Mr. Filthaut, Mr. Diaco and Robert Adams all face ethics charges.The bar recently found probable cause to believe they violated the Florida ethical rules.
And the original defamation trial? The plaintiff, Todd Schnitt, lost the trial and owes his lawyers $1 million in legal fees. He refused to pay and his lawyer firm sued "MJ" for its fees. See ABA Bar Journal report.
And, perhaps, now I will look at those outrageous TV shows with a bit more credence……