The trial over a DUI setup involving three Tampa lawyers has gotten under way. One attorney has determined that it is in his best interest to testify, and another has offered to surrender his law license.

Attorny Stephen Diaco’s decision to surrender his license to practice law took many by surprise in what has already been a case filled with drama.

Attorneys Robert Adams, Adam Filhaut, and Diaco have all denied any role in the January 2013 DUI arrest of attorney C. Philip Campbell. The three have maintained their stance that Campbell’s arrest was of his own doing.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, claim that the three orchestrated the arrest in order to remove Campbell from a defamation lawsuit involving a client of theirs, shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. When he was arrested, Campbell was the attorney of record for Todd Schnitt, Clem’s rival.

Although Diaco is maintaining his innocence, his decision to surrender his license could set up a defense for the remaining two, allowing them to place the blame for the alleged incident on Diaco and paralegal Melissa Personius. When called to the witness stand, Personius invoked her Fifth Amendment right repeatedly.

Diaco was brought to the stand after Personius and invoked the same right.

The actions of both professionals was expected. It has been two years since the incident and all involved have refused to discuss their stories. The only defense that has, until now, been presented was that Campbell made the choice to drink, and he made the choice to drive Personius’ car.

Attorney Robert Adams broke the silence on Monday, citing his potential loss of his law license as a reason for speaking. Adams gave testimony for several hours, describing himself as a man so busy that he gave little attention to the actions of his co-workers.

Adams admitted to know that Personius had gone to spy on Campbell, but denied instructing her complete that action. He also denied ordering Filthaut to phone Sgt. Ray Fernandez and ask that he monitor Campbell.

According to an investigation, the three and Personius called and texted each other throughout the incident and during several hours afterwards.

An internal investigation saw Fernandez fired by the Tampa Police Deparment. Campbell’s DUI charge was dropped.

Testimony will continue in this case that has seemingly taken on a life of its own.

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