Todd "M.J." Schnitt takes the stand during a defamation lawsuit against Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
TAMPA, Florida - Some are calling this another wild chapter in the soap opera saga known as MJ vs. Bubba. The trial has made headlines all over the world, and now there's a new development.
Just days after nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge was cleared in the defamation lawsuit filed against him by rival national host Todd MJ Schnitt, it's on once again.
MJ's team has filed a motion for a new trial.
READ: Motion for retrial (PDF)
10 News has obtained an exclusive copy of the motion, which outlines various reasons that the Schnitts are looking for a new trial. A great deal of their reasoning for requesting a new trial stems from that fateful night at Malio's. That night has been the subject of frequent discussion through social media venues, in additions to newscasts all over the country.
MJ attorney Phil Campbell was arrested for DUI after drinking at Malio's with a legal assistant, Melissa Personius, who works for the firm representing Bubba. Campbell was driving her car that night as the two left the restaurant, sources say. MJ's team alleges that someone from Bubba's team even alerted Tampa Police that the two were leaving Malio's.
Was it a setup? Was it a "honey-pot" scheme?
The controversy didn't end there.
Then, it was discovered that Phil Campbell's legal briefcase was missing. It was left, sources say, in Personius' car. Some call it being "in the hands of the enemy." So, did someone tamper with it?
When Judge Arnold found out, he was furious, claiming that in his 40 years of practicing law and 29 years being on the bench, he had never seen such allegations of misconduct.
The judge then ordered an investigation into what exactly happened that night at Malio's and what happened to the missing briefcase. The Florida Bar is currently investigating Bubba attorneys Phil Campbell, Steve Diaco, and Adam Filthaut.
In the motion for a new trial filed just before 5 p.m. Monday, MJ's attorneys claim that Bubba's team at local law firm Adams & Diaco had
access and possession of Phil Campbell's briefcase for 24 hours.
In fact, MJ's attorneys state that Bubba's team used "tactics" to conceal the fact that they had Campbell's briefcase. It was also stated in the paperwork that "three attorneys knew" they had the trial bag.
"They want another bite of the apple," said Bubba attorney Greg Hearing. "The jury has spoken. It is not time to waste more taxpayer money. They need to let it go."
MJ's attorneys also state in the document that "Ms.
Personius insisted Mr. Campbell drive her vehicle" that night to get her home. Then, it is alleged in the motion that someone from
Adams & Diaco called TPD to alert cops that the two left.
Also in the motion for new trial,
MJ's attorneys say Melissa Personius "lied" about where she worked when she
met Phil Campbell at Malio's.
In the paperwork, MJ's lawyers claim that Steve Diaco told Melissa Personius to deliver the briefcase to security to "conceal their possession" of it. The contents of the briefcase included witness information, personal notes about Bubba and MJ, plus MJ audio from the show.
MJ's team said that Bubba's parody called "Chloe's Dad" and jokes about Michelle Schnitt's faux "tramp stamp" were improper and distracted the jury. In fact, MJ's attorneys go on to say that the jury was misled.
In requesting a new trial, according to the paperwork, MJ's team cited juror comments about the tramp stamp audio and the parody, "Chloe's Dad," as reasons that MJ lost the lawsuit. MJ's lawyers say the juror felt as though that audio, "sealed the deal" and "two were playing that game."
On Tuesday, Bubba's legal team filed paperwork that basically outlines their version of events as to what happened the night Campbell was arrested outside of Malio's.
READ: Documents filed by Bubba's lawyers (PDF)
Bubba's attorneys still have 14 days to file paperwork in response to this current motion from MJ's team requesting a new trial.
Follow 10 News Reporter Melanie Michael on twitter @WTSPMelanie