By JENNIFER CABRERA/ JUNE 26, 2019
A judge in Martin County has issued a Renewed Writ of Bodily Attachment, ordering that Attorney Christopher Chestnut be arrested if he enters Florida.
The case goes back to a $23 billion verdict against the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company in 2014. The case was reversed, but before the reversal, Marwan Porter, of The Porter Law Firm, sued Chestnut and his firm, claiming that Porter had an agreement with Chestnut to work on various tobacco cases in return for compensation. In April 2017, a Martin County court ruled that Chestnut owed Porter over $700k.
When Chestnut refused to pay, Porter requested documentation from Chestnut. In January 2018, a court found Chestnut in contempt for not providing the documentation. The same court ordered Chestnut’s arrest in March 2018, after Chestnut failed to provide the documentation. Chestnut’s bankruptcy filing put a hold on that order.
On May 3, 2019, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Chestnut would be disbarred in 30 days, and on June 20, Judge William Roby of Martin County issued the Renewed Writ of Bodily Attachment because Chestnut still has not produced the documents related to Porter’s case. The court ordered that “the Sheriff take the Defendant Christopher Chestnut into custody, if found in the State of Florida.”
Chestnut’s listed address is in Atlanta, where his law firm is located, although he is not licensed to practice law in Georgia. His family, including parents Charles and Cynthia Chestnut, lives in Gainesville.