Jury: Radio star must pay legal fees

- Jurors have handed radio star Todd "MJ" Schnitt and his wife another big loss.

It all started with name calling and insults on the radio three years ago. Schnitt sued his radio rival, Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem for defamation and lost. Then, Schnitt refused to pay his attorneys.

The law firm sued for nearly a million dollars in unpaid legal fees. The Schnitts counter-sued, claiming the case was unwinnable, blaming their former attorney, Phil Campbell for bad advice.

Michelle Schnitt told the jury, "I never would have engaged in this. I would have never had a complaint filed."

Attorney Joe Varner, who represents the law firm suing the Schnitts,  Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick told the jury the Schnitts were just looking for excuses not to pay.

"The Schnitts lost their trial to Bubba Clem and, ever since, have been desperately coming up with excuses to not pay their bill," Varner said.

The Schnitts also placed blame for their loss on attorney Phil Campbell for getting arrested for DUI during the defamation trial.

Jon Ellis with Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick said MJ was livid when he learned about Campbell's arrest, but they discovered Campbell's arrest was actually a setup by three attorneys at the law firm representing Bubba.

One of Bubba's attorneys, Stephen Diaco pleaded the Fifth during the bar association's trial against him.

Yet, the Schnitts' legal team told the jury during the civil trial, Stephen Diaco had once accused Phil Campbell of assault.

"They are desperate... They tried to rely on testimony from Stephen Diaco," Varner reminded the jury. "Stephen Diaco the disgraced and permanently disbarred lawyer who was the architect behind the despicable setup arrest."

The legal fees were already near a million dollars, but the Schnitts asked for more work to expose the setup.

Jaime Austrich was in charge of the law firm's investigation.

"They were determined to bring down their arch nemesis, Bubba the Love Sponge," Austrich explained.

Three years later, the Schnitts arch nemesis was called as a witness to help their  case. Even Bubba found it ironic. 

"I find it kind of comical that I'm the guy possibly in the middle of these two when they both hated me," testified Bubba.

In the end, the jury sided with the law firm, awarding them over $669,000. Jurors also ruled attorney Campbell did not mislead the Schnitts.

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