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Special Editorial to the Orlando Sentinel from Attorney John Stemberger, Former Attorney for Rifqa Bary

orlando car accident attorney The Orlando Sentinel's news coverage and editorials on Rifqa Bary's case have been consistently biased and disingenuous. The Sentinel's religious-like commitment to protect Islam from any and all examination or criticism has compromised its ability to objectively understand and report the news in this case.

The Sentinel largely ignored the key motivating force behind this case — the Noor Islamic Center mosque in Columbus, Ohio, which Rifqa's parents attend. The Sentinel gave paltry coverage to the 35-page memorandum I filed with the court documenting this mosque's ties to terrorist groups. Rifqa successfully hid her faith from her parents for over three years until the local Islamic community learned of Rifqa's conversion on Facebook. Rifqa said they pressured her father through e-mails and calls to "deal with this matter immediately." Without the mosque's influence on Mr. Bary, he would have never exploded in anger, threatened Rifqa's life and then said he was sending her back to Sri Lanka...(To read Full Editorial Piece: CLICK HERE )

Investigation and Intelligence Memorandum in Support of Petition for Dependency

Affidavit of Fathima Rifqa Bary


Stemberger Named As One of 50 Most Powerful Impact Players

orlando car accident lawyer The Orlando Magazine called upon community leaders to compile their list of the regions most powerful people.  In its July 2009 edition, the magazine named Orlando Personal Injury Attorney John Stemberger.  Calling him “The Hammer”, Stemberger was recognized for his leadership in amending the Florida Constitution in 2008 by adding Article I, Section 27 to the state charter.

Firm Wins Victory in Florida Supreme Court After 10 Year Battle in Complex Auto Negligence Case

orlando motorcycle accident attorney

Attorney John Stemberger recently took one of his clients cases all the way to the Florida Supreme Court and won a victory after a ten year battle in the case of Marsh vs. Valyou , 977 So. 2d 543 (2007).

Local Orlando resident, Jill Marsh, hired the Law Offices of John Stemberger in 1997 to help her with an unfortunate and difficult set of circumstances involving multiple car collisions causing the development debilitating and permanent injuries.  Our client developed into Myofascial Pain Syndrome and then the rheumatoid disorder known as Fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome which results from a disruption of the central nervous system. On the first day of trial right before the jury was picked, the opposing counsel argued that Jill’s treating doctors, an Orthopedist, a Rheumatologist and a Physiatrist (all of whom were board certified medical doctors and experts in their respective specialties) were not able to render their professional opinions that the multiple and repeated, trauma Jill sustained from the auto collisions were the cause of her myo-fascia pain syndrome and Fibromyalgia.  Attorney John Stemberger strenuously objected and argued that the testimony of the doctors was not subject to the special “Frye” standards for the admissibility of evidence.  A second trial produced the same ruling.  

orlando motorcycle accident lawyer After two attempts to try the case before a jury, both times our client’s case was blocked by the trial judge from proceeding forward.  The Firm appealed the matter to the Fifth District Court of Appeal but after briefing and oral argument, the insurance industry defendants won in that lower appellate court.  “But I knew we were correct on the law and I believed strongly in my client’s case.” stated Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer John Stemberger, “so we were prepared to go as far as necessary to get justice for our client.”  Persistent in the knowledge that a correct a legal ruling should have allowed the doctors to give testimony at trial, The Firm then appealed the case to the Florida Supreme Court.  Aided by co counsel Attorney Shannon Akins who is now “Of Counsel” to The Firm, the case was thoroughly briefed, and argued before the highest legal authority in Florida.     After ten long years of litigation, two trial attempts and two full appeals our client won the appeal and prevailed in the highest court of the state because of the Firms persistent advocacy.  This case was one of first impression for the high court in Florida and so new legal precedent was created which will help others who suffer from this condition also. 

The oral argument of the case entitled Marsh vs. Valyou dated February 15, 2007 can be viewed online HERE.

After Five Years of Litigation in Federal Court, Firm Wins Right for Jewish Family to Worship in Home

orlando auto accident attorney In March of 2002, The Firm filed a lawsuit in the Federal court of the Middle District of Florida challenging a decision by the Orange County Code Enforcement Board which ordered an observant Jewish family to stop holding prayer meetings in their home. Joseph Konikov and his family have gathered weekly with other Jewish believers in his south Orlando home for prayer, scripture reading and to share meals as required by his faith.

Orange County Code Enforcement Inspectors have twice ordered the Konikov family to "cease all operations at once."  The Orange County Zoning laws have been interpreted to forbid " any function related to Synagogues or church services" in residential zones.
Orlando Injury attorney John Stemberger stated, "Zoning is not some magic wand the government can just waive to trample core fundamental rights.  If the county thinks they have traffic and parking issues, then the county needs to draft a content neutral law that addresses that secondary impact -- and not one which regulates speech and the reason for citizens assembling inside private homes.  Oddly enough, the same people could meet in the same home for Monday night football or Tupperware meetings and that would be entirely permissible under the code with the exact same number of cars parked outside."


Million Dollar Settlement in Irish Wrongful Death Rental Car Case

orlando accident lawyer  After years of aggressive litigation, international media attention, three trips to Ireland, over 25 depositions, and dozens of complex and highly contested hearings, Dollar Rent-A-Car finally settled with the surviving children of a young Irish mother who was killed in Orlando in 1998 as a passenger in a rental car.
orlando accident attorney

The two small children who survived their late Mother will have many of their physical needs taken care of as a result of the settlement.  Our law firm secured a good result for these children in a very tough case and we were also very proud to go to bat for the safety of our Irish and British friends by helping to raise the standard of care used in rental car industry.  Orlando Personal Injury Attorney John Stemberger stated  "The bottom line is that unless you are prepared to try cases in front of a juries, insurance companies will never pay the full value of a claim."

Firm Sued Disney in Historical - Landmark Case for
Theft of Epcot Idea

orlando wrongful death attorney On Tuesday November 19, 2002 a landmark lawsuit against the Disney World Corporation was filed in federal court for using the image and design of the Miniature Worlds theme park to create Disney's EPCOT.  The Miniature Worlds theme park idea was originally conceived by U.S. Air Force Officer, Lt. Col. Robert M. Jaffray and expressed in a painting created by architectural artist Mark E. Waters of Hawaii.  The copyright lawsuit against Disney was filed in Federal Court of the Middle District of Florida and is being brought by Orrin Monroe Corwin on behalf of the Estate of Mark Waters, the late artist.

The Miniature Worlds painting was shown to Disney executives in their New York City licensing and merchandising offices, as part of a presentation Jaffray made in the early 1960's.  Nearly two decades later, what was supposed to be Walt Disney's vision of a future city-- the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT)-- opened in Orlando.  However, the concept and design of EPCOT was not what Walt originally envisioned, but instead it bears a remarkable resemblance to the Miniature Worlds theme park concept designed by Jaffray and painted by Waters.

Read the original breaking investigative report by the Mike Sallah of theToledo Blade newspaper in Ohio and compare the theme park designs:


Attorney Stemberger Completes Eights Years of Service on Judicial Nominating Commission Selecting Judge Candidates for Appointment By Florida's Governor

Orlando personal injury attorney John Stemberger was appointed by Florida's Governor in the fall of 2004 to serve a second four year term on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.  The JNC has the task of screening, interviewing, and selecting judge candidates for the governor to appoint.  In 2003-04, Stemberger served as the Chairman of the commission.  Stemberger stated, "Judges have a huge role in determining whether a just result will be had for the parties in a case and it is therefore critical to the legitimacy of the judicial branch of our government, that men and women of strong character be chosen to steward the great power that a judge possesses." 

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