By Joe Beck -- email@example.com
Tareq Salahi and his attorney are readying an effort to revive a lawsuit against guitarist Neal Schon and his band Journey after a ruling by Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp effectively ended the suit in July.
Salahi and his attorney Charles B. Roberts of Occoquan, said after their defeat that they intended to appeal Hupp's decision to the Virginia Supreme Court. Roberts announced Friday that he filed a motion in Circuit Court that begins the appeals process. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20.
Salahi's suit sought $50 million from Schon, Journey and two affiliated entertainment companies in a case that originally included his estranged wife, Michaele, as a defendant.
She was dropped from the suit in an amended complaint filed earlier in the year, but Tareq Salahi continued to press his case against Schon and the other defendants.
Roberts has argued that Schon, and the two California-based entertainment companies, DD Entertainment LLC and Nomata, Inc., worked to break up the Salahi marriage as a way of gaining new notoriety for Journey and promoting other business interests.
The Salahis were a husband-wife business partnership, according to court documents and statements by the opposing attorneys. They became celebrities and earned money through escapades such as crashing a White House dinner in Nov. 2009. Since then, they have appeared on Bravo cable channel's defunct program, "The Real Housewives of D.C." and operated the Oasis Winery until the business went into bankruptcy.
Tareq Salahi has accused Schon of luring his wife away from him in September and taking her with him on a tour with Journey in the days after she left the Salahi home at 4410 Scenic Overlook Drive. Tareq and Michaele Salahi are suing each other for divorce. She is also suing him for $850,000 in a defamation suit.
In ruling against Tareq Salahi, Hupp said marriage was at the core of the Salahis' relationship, and therefore any disputes about related business matters should be resolved during divorce proceedings.
"It is clear that married persons who are in business together have fewer, if any, rights to protect their businesses from predatory practices under Judge Hupp's ruling," Roberts said in a written statement. This clearly contravenes the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. and Virginia constitutions.
Roberts said he hopes the Virginia Supreme Court will give Tareq Salahi a chance to make his legal arguments before a "jury of his fellow Virginians from the local community."