Judge in MJ-Bubba case: Time running out - FOX 13 News

Judge in MJ-Bubba case: Time running out

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Attorneys for Todd 'MJ' Schnitt and Bubba 'The Love Sponge' Clem will sit down in the next few days and see if they can work out an agreement in the five-year-old defamation lawsuit. If they don't, they'll be back in front of a judge soon.

A frustrated Judge James Arnold agreed to the idea of a mediation session but he made it clear that the efforts should not interfere with his attempts to find out what happened the night that MJ's former attorney was arrested for DUI.

"I have no problem with parties mediating their issues...I think it's a wonderful idea. Should have been done five years ago," Arnold said at a hearing Friday.

Years ago, Schnitt filed a defamation lawsuit against Clem, a fellow radio DJ, over comments Clem made about Schnitt and his wife. Jurors ruled in favor of Clem earlier this year, but the trial was interrupted when attorney Phil Campbell was arrested for DUI after a night at Malio's in Tampa.

Schnitt's attorneys immediate alleged a conspiracy because Campbell was -- allegedly unknowingly -- driving with an employee of Clem's law firm that night and ended up leaving his trial documents in her possession.

The judge set aside their request for a mistrial at the time, but he ordered an investigation into the allegations. He did not seem happy Friday with the slow pace of that investigation.

"I want to know what happened," Arnold said, tapping his finger on his bench before threatening to subpoena everyone involved. "We'll find out what happened."

Judge Arnold said he wants to be ready to rule on the mistrial by mid-April, and ordered Clem's attorneys, along with Scnhitt's old and new legal teams to be ready to work towards that goal.

"I'm not inclined to wait a long time," he added. "This case has been pending for five years. We need to resolve the rest of the issues and move on. We all have other work to do."

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