Business of Law
Lawyer Files Defamation Suit Against Opposing Counsel in Teen Runaway Case
Posted Sep 7, 2010 4:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
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.
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"