Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Shock jocks Bubba and MJ reach mediation agreement

TAMPA — The five year-long case pitting two Tampa radio rivals against each other is over.

After a 12-hour marathon mediation, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem and Todd "MJ" Schnitt came to an agreement at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

And if Clem won the first round with a favorable verdict in January, it seemed Schnitt and his wife took the second round.

According to the agreement, Clem cannot talk on-air or publicly about Michelle Schnitt. If he does, he will have to pay $5,000 plus attorneys' fees.

Clem also agreed to no longer pursue $800,000 in legal fees from the Schnitts.

"There comes a price with the freedoms that I think that I have," Clem said Friday morning on his radio show. "It's the cost of doing business."

The shock jock also cannot slander or defame Todd Schnitt. It's a "non-disparagement agreement," though how much that will limit Clem is debatable. The bar for defamation is high, as the jury showed in its verdict.

On his show Friday, Clem called Todd Schnitt "a narcissistic little (expletive)."

So what's in the agreement for Clem?

Perhaps a lot of money and time saved in the long-run.

The mediation agreement guarantees the Schnitts will not appeal the decision of the jurors, who in January denied all the couple's claims and awarded them nothing. All outstanding motions will be dissolved and the civil case will close.

Both the Schnitts and Clem are pleased with the decision, attorneys said Friday.

So is the Tampa law firm of Adams & Diaco.

During the trial, the Schnitts, who had been represented by the law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, saw their primary attorney — C. Philip Campbell Jr. — get arrested on a DUI charge Jan. 23.

Campbell and his colleagues claimed that Clem's attorneys set Campbell up for the arrest. Campbell had been drinking at Malio's Prime Steakhouse that night with a woman who did not disclose that she was a paralegal for Adams & Diaco, which was representing Clem.

Campbell drove the paralegal's car and was pulled over a couple blocks from Malio's by Tampa police, who had been waiting nearby thanks to a tip from an attorney at Adams & Diaco.

Campbell's firm had been seeking answers to Adams & Diaco's role in Campbell's arrest, filing several motions before and after the verdict in the defamation case regarding that night. But in February, the Schnitts fired the firm and hired a new lawyer, Wil Florin.

If more information about the alleged DUI setup surfaces, it won't be in the civil case, Florin said.

However, it could still come up in Campbell's criminal case or the ongoing Florida Bar investigation into several attorneys at Adams & Diaco.

The Florida Bar said Friday its grievance committee is considering complaints filed against Adams & Diaco attorneys Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut.

It's unclear if the Malio's night came up during Thursday's mediation, during which the attorneys had sandwiches brought in for lunch and pizza for dinner. The discussions inside are confidential.

Thursday was the first time all parties sat down for mediation, even though the case has been dragging through court for five years. The Schnitts filed their lawsuit against Clem in 2008, claiming the shock jock was saying false and defamatory things about them on his radio show.

"We're really happy with the result," Florin said. "It was really time that the two parties sat down in a professional manner, explored their differences and reached a resolution. This should have happened years ago."

As for the Schnitts, their main concern was getting the non-comment agreement for Michelle Schnitt, Florin said.

"After the long road that they've been through, it was time," he said.

On his radio show Friday afternoon, Schnitt expressed the same sentiment.

"My family and I have endured a lot in the last five years," he said.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

VERO BEACH — It was only natural to think of Admiral Farragut’s state title chances more in terms of the future. After all, the roster consists of zero seniors and just two juniors. The rest are sophomores, freshmen and middle-schoolers. Because of t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

As the Lightning and Capitals prepare for their series finale Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, here's a by-the-numbers look at each team's Game 7 history.5-2The Lightning's record in Game 7s. It has never lost at home (3-0).+5The Lightning's...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

A storm system in the Caribbean Sea could grow into a tropical cyclone within five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.Forecasters give the system a 50 percent chance to develop.The storm’s low-pressure center on Tuesday was nestled betw...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

VERO BEACH —Academy at the Lakes waited two weeks to play in the Class 2A state softball tournament in hopes of winning what has been an elusive title.The Wildcats completed the first task Monday, cruising to a mercy-rule win over Fort Pierce John Ca...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

TAMPA — By now there are no more secrets. After six games over 11 days, the Lightning knows all the Capitals' habits , and the Caps know all the Lightning's.To Lightning coach Jon Cooper the outcome of tonight's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

The young couple whose story traveled around the world after their dream voyage ended early at the bottom of John’s Pass is ready to try again.Three months after the Lagniappe sank, Nikki Walsh, 24, and Tanner Broadwell, 26, said they set sail Tuesda...
Updated: 7 hours ago
USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

Updated: 8 hours ago
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

TAMPA — After Allison Huffman slammed her car into a tow truck driver who had stopped to help a pair of stranded motorists on the Howard Frankland Bridge, she drove to a hotel and got out to look at the damage.She saw shattered glass, a bare tire rim...
Updated: 8 hours ago