Atty Defeats $26M Suit Over Outing Gay Co-Counsel, For Now

Law360 (September 12, 2019, 7:59 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday tossed a $26 million suit brought by a gay attorney alleging his government-contracted and military co-counsel outed him to their al-Qaida client, ruling that the plaintiff's claims are barred by Illinois' absolute litigation privilege because his co-counsel made the alleged statements during pending litigation.

Tim Jon Semmerling was a mitigation specialist on the defense team for an accused 9/11 terrorist in Guantanamo Bay from 2011 until he was fired in 2015. According to his complaint, Illinois attorney Cheryl T. Bormann, the team's lead counsel, repeatedly told him to hide his sexuality from their homophobic client....

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