Business of Law

Lawyer Files Defamation Suit Against Opposing Counsel in Teen Runaway Case


A lawyer who represented the Muslim parents of a teenage runaway last year in a high-profile case that captured the attention of Christian fundamentalists is now suing his opposing counsel for defamation.

Attorney Omar Tarazi contends in a federal lawsuit filed Friday in Columbus, Ohio, that attorney John Stemberger, who represented runaway Rifqa Bary in Florida, falsely said he was unqualified and claimed in a television interview last year that that he has terrorist ties, reports the Associated Press.

He is seeking $10 million in damages and contending that Internet publicity has exacerbated the damage to his reputation.

Tarazi also named a blogger who allegedly made similar false statements as a defendant. She said she hasn’t yet seen the suit.

Stemberger called the suit a frivolous publicity stunt, the news agency reports.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Runaway Christian Teen Who Says She Fears ‘Honor’ Killing Sparks Court Protest”

ABAJournal.com: “Probe Finds No Evidence of Threats Against High-Profile Teen Runaway”

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