The second week in the defamation lawsuit that has pitted two Tampa bay radio rivals against each another resumes Tuesday.
Radio shock jock Todd "MJ" Schnitt is suing Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem for verbal attacks against him and his wife Michelle.
In a trial that has seen trash talking, radio stunts, and even state attorney Mark Ober taking the stand, there is now a legal twist.
Bubba says attorney Phil Campbell, who is currently representing MJ in the defamation suit, was once Bubba's attorney during an animal cruelty charge, and other prior cases. Bubba says Campbell has privileged information about him he could now use. He recently went on the radio crying foul.
"I could have a mistrial in 1.5 seconds, can I not?" Clem said. "I would tell the jury, ‘I'm uncomfortable answering your questions Mr. Campbell, because you used to be my attorney.'"
Phil Campbell, the attorney at the center of all this, dismisses those concerns.
"There is nothing in this case that involves any privileged information going back 12 years ago. Totally unrelated matters on behalf of Clear Channel, there is no conflict," Campbell said.
Tampa attorney Anthony Rickman, who has no connection to this case, agrees there is no conflict, but says it is ripe for appeal down the road.
"While it's not prohibited by the Florida bar, it's risky," Rickman said.
Rickman explained the question of privileged information.
"In cross examination of your former client did you ask him something that only you can know? In questioning another witness, did you question that witness based on the privileged information that was told to you previously by your client? " Rickman said.
Rickman says the concerns over the conflict of interest are far from settled.
"Can something happen throughout this trial that could create that conflict of interest? …That remains to be seen, " Rickman said.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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