The courtroom theatrics involving two Tampa radio personalities took yet another strange twist. The two radio jocks are embroiled in a defamation case that is now resolved, but the judge hearing the Tampa case recessed the case shortly before the verdict to hear a motion from the plaintiff’s legal team. They wanted a mistrial in the defamation case on the grounds that one of the members of their own legal team was set up by the defense’s attorneys for a DUI arrest.
The lawyer was having a few drinks with a woman at a local steakhouse. As it turns out, the woman was a paralegal for the defense’s law firm. At some point in the evening, the woman allegedly asked the later-arrested attorney to move her car. The Tampa Police Department was notified that the attorney was at the restaurant drinking, and later would be driving. The man who notified the police was an attorney for the defense council’s law firm.
The attorney has been arrested before for drinking and driving and according to his attorney, he often frequents this steakhouse because it is within walking distance of his home. He was pulled over while driving the paralegal’s car. He left his briefcase in the car after he was arrested. When he realized that his briefcase was missing, he told the rest of the plaintiff’s legal team, who in turn notified the defense’s legal team. The briefcase was not returned until Thursday evening, but the defense team was adamant no one had looked inside.
The paralegal and the attorney that called the Tampa Police Department refused to answer most questions in court on Friday and invoked the Fifth Amendment about what happened on Wednesday night. Neither person brought their cell phones to court, even though both had been subpoenaed to do so.
The judge refused to rule, saying that he needed more time to review the information presented.
Source: Tampa Bay Online, “Lawyer asks for mistrial, says attorney’s DUI a set-up,” Elaine Silvestrini, Rick Mayer, Jan. 25, 2013