Judge Recommends Disbarment for Tampa Three
Three Tampa lawyers have been in the news lately for their part in a DUI setup scandal. On Thursday, the judge presiding over the case recommended that each be permanently disbarred from ever practicing law again. The judgment comes after a lengthy and much-publicized trial.
The lawyers’ defense argued that the three were merely attempting to aid police in getting a drunk driver off of the streets. That defense was soundly rejected by Pinellas Senior Judge W. Douglas Baird. The judge called the attorneys’ actions “inexplicably egregious, spiteful, and malicious.”
While Judge Baird made his recommendation, it will now be left in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court for final approval. In a 72-page report, the judge clearly outlined how Adam Filthaut, Robert Adams, and Stephen Diaco, all conspired to have C. Philip Campbell arrested for DUI. The three orchestrated the arrest to gain an advantage in a trial involving shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. At the time of his arrest, Campbell was the attorney of record for the opposition, Todd Schnitt.
The three were found guilty of using a paralegal in their firm to flirt with Philip at a bar, and eventually convince him to take control of her vehicle. The attorneys made certain that a Tampa police officer was waiting to arrest Campbell. This tampering with the life and career of another attorney was deemed “unprofessional” and “inexcusable” by Judge Baird.
The judge’s recommendation of permanent disbarment is in-line with a current trend among lawyers who have been found guilty of misconduct. Supreme Courts are dealing more harshly with such attorneys than ever before. Those in the profession believe that the highest court in the state will approve the recommendation, prohibiting the three conspiring attorneys of ever seeing the inside of a courtroom again.