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Sharia Islamic Law Expert Witness

Abed Awad, Esq.

Abed Awad, Esq.

777 Terrace Avenue, Suite 303
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey 07604

Phone(201) 462-9500
Fax (201) 462-9501

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Expert WitnessSpeaker
Abed Awad is a NY/NJ practicing attorney & adjunct law professor; he provides expert witness opinions and testimony explaining Islamic law, laws of Muslim countries, and Muslim culture to clients, attorneys and courts. He is fluent in Arabic.


Abed Awad can provide expert testimony regarding Islamic and Middle Eastern law involving the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Mali, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Singapore.

Relating to many subjects, including but not limited to the following areas:
-family laws
-Commercial laws
-Tort laws
-Inheritance law
-Validity of foreign judgments
-Elements of damages in negligence
-Personal injury liability issues
-Islamic and Arab public policy issues
-Enforceability of agreements
-Service of process issues
-Procedural rules and jurisdictional disputes
-Discovery in foreign countries
-Child abductions
-Validity of foreign divorce and custody decrees
-Validity of foreign marriages
-Enforcement of foreign money judgment in American courts
-Vital Status law

Litigation Support Services

Abed Awad provides litigation support services such as briefs and reports explaining Islamic law, Arab Law, and Muslim Culture to attorneys, their clients and courts throughout the United States. If you need an expert in Sharia, Islamic law, Middle Eastern Law or the laws of Arab Countries, Mr. Awad can assist you in these areas and help prepare you for litigation involving these issues.

Areas of Expertise


Abed Awad is an attorney with offices in NY and NJ. He is a general business and civil litigation attorney focusing on complex matrimonial law, commercial law, entertainment law and foreign law. Awad has been qualified and recognized as an expert witness in Islamic law and the law of Muslim majority countries by courts throughout the United States. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds an M.A. in Near and Middle East Studies and a Certificate in Comparative Law from the University of London. Mr. Awad was a Managing Editor on Pace International Law Review and has published extensively on different areas of the law in various publications including the New Jersey Law Journal, Matrimonial Strategist, the Journal of the Legal Profession, Middle East Executive Reports, among others.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Awad was the Law Clerk for the Honorable George E. Sabbath of the New Jersey Superior Court. Mr. Awad is an Adjunct Law Professor at Rutgers Law School, New Jersey and has taught at Pace Law School, New York and Seton Hall Law School. He has taught: (1) Islamic Jurisprudence; (2) Islamic Banking and Finance; and (3) Matrimonial Litigation. Mr. Awad was selected as one of ten Lawyers of the Year 2002 by the LAWYERS WEEKLY (USA) for his ground-breaking decision enforcing the mahr provision contained in a Muslim marriage contract.

Mr. Awad is a frequent public speaker at bar associations, universities, conventions, and political events. He lectures throughout the United States on subjects ranging from law, politics, gender, religion to culture. Mr. Awad is a regular media commentator and analyst appearing on numerous television channels including Al-Jazeera, CNN, ABC, BBC Arabic Television, BBC World Service Arabic Radio, NPR, Channel 4 (United Kingdom), Future TV, CNN, CNNfn, Al-Qataria and Al-Arabia among others.

Consulting Practice

All States

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Professional Experience

Partner, Awad & Khoury, LLP
Practice Areas: complex civil litigation, matrimonial, laws of the Middle East, Islamic law and international law.
Qualified and recognized by American courts as an expert in Islamic law, Islamic family law, Muslim culture, Jordanian law, Egyptian law, Syrian law, Dubai law & Moroccan law, to name a few.

Rutgers Law School, Newark, NJ
Adjunct Professor, Jan. 2003 - present
Courses taught:(1) Islamic Jurisprudence; (2) Matrimonial Litigation

Pace Law School, White Plains, NY
Adjunct Professor, Jan. 2009 – 2012
Courses taught: Islamic Jurisprudence

Seton Hall Law School, Newark, NJ
Adjunct Professor, July 2011
Course taught: Islamic Banking & Finance

Media Commentator - Political and Legal Issues
Frequent political and legal commentator for numerous television and radio networks, including but not limited to Aljazeera, ABC, CNNfn, BBC World Service Radio, BBC World Service Arabic Television, CNN, NPR, Al-Rafidain TV, Al-Qataria, Al-Saah TV, Al-Arabia, Channel 4 (England), Shams Radio, Vatican-Arabic Radio, & The Voice of Arabs Radio (Cairo).

Honorable George E. Sabbath
NJ Superior Court, Law Clerk – Sept. 1998 – Sept. 1999
Drafted opinions; Wrote legal memoranda; Prepared cases for trials and hearings.


New York and New Jersey

Awards & Honors

Lawyer of the Year (2002). Selected as one of ten Lawyers of the Year for 2002 by the National Lawyers Weekly (USA) for my ground breaking enforcement of a Muslim marriage contract under New Jersey law.

Community Activism Award (2007). Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (Philadelphia).

Vision and Achievement Award (2009). Mental Health Association in Passaic County (New Jersey).

Seminars & Training

Panelist, Islamic Law of Bankruptcy, World Bank (Washington DC) November 2015
Panelist, Family Law and Immigration, New Jersey Foundation of Justice, CLE, November 2015
Panelist, Islamic Family Law in American Court, ABA CLE, November 2015
Religion, Culture & Divorce, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Ohio), October 2011
Panelist, Women and Islam, Gender Equity Conference, US Military Academy, West Point, April 2011
Panelist, Oklahoma Ban on Sharia, New York City Bar Association, December 2010.
Lecturer, Recognition & Enforcement of Foreign Money Judgment by American Courts, U.S. Department of State Training of Iraqi Judges, Washington, D.C., September 2010
Lecturer, Islamic Family Law in American Courts, ACCESS (conducted workshop for Michigan State Court Judges), February 2010.
Panelist, Islamic Capital Markets, New York City Bar Association (CLE), February 2010.
Panelist, Islamic Law of Bankruptcy, Journal of Law & Religion, October 2009.


Articles Cited in Published Decisions:
The Florida Bar v. Bryant, 813 So.2d 38 (2002). Concurring opinion extensively quotes from my Attorney-Client Sexual Relations law review article as authority supporting the suspension of an attorney for his sexual relationship with an existing client.

Articles Published:
Abed Awad & Robert S. Popescu, Abu Zahar v. Abu Zahar: Appellate Court Declines to adopt a bright-line rule prohibiting out-of-country visitation, New Jersey Law Journal, September 22, 2003.

Abed Awad, Court Enforces Mahr Provision in Muslim Marriage Contract, New Jersey Law Journal, September 9, 2002.

Abed Awad, Beware of International Service of Process, New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2002.

Abed Awad & Robert S. Popescu, When Custody Disputes Go Global, New Jersey Law Journal, August 7, 2000.

Abed Awad, Attorney Client Sex Should Always Be Off Limits, New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2000.

Abed Awad, Attorney-Client Sexual Relations, 22 The Journal of the Legal Profession (University of Alabama School of Law) 131 (1998).

Abed Awad, The Concept of Defect in American and English Products Liability Discourse: Despite Strict Liability Linguistics, Negligence is Back With a Vengeance!, 10(1) Pace International Law Review (1998).

Abed Awad, U.S. Claims Against Iraq Outside UNCC Jurisdiction: Focus on Letters of Credit, 22(2) Middle East Executive Reports 9 (Feb. 1999)

Enforcement & Setting Aside of Arbitral Awards in Egypt, Forthcoming.

Iflas & Chapter 11 - Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy Law, Forthcoming.


Pace University School of Law, White Plains, NY
J.D., May 1998

School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, England.
M.A., Near and Middle East Studies, June 1995

School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, England.
Certificate, Comparative Law, June 1994

Columbia University, New York, 1992-1993
Completed the following graduate classes: Islamic Revivalist Movement, Islamic Legal Texts, Arabic Composition, and Modern Arabic Poetry.

Saint Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ
B.A. Political Science, May 1991

Articles Published by Abed Awad, Esq.

 Declaring Muslim Marriage Void Will Have Ruinous Effect on Wives

New Jersey Law Journal, November 20, 2006 Dear Editor: The Appellate Division's ruling, in Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi, 384 N.J.Super. 339 (App. Div. 2006), declaring a Muslim marriage "absolutely void" when entered into without a state marriage license, will cause inequity to women in New Jersey.

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 Oklahoma Amendment is Unconstitutional

The National Law Journal, November 15, 2010 On Election Day, the Oklahoma voters passed an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that provides that the "Courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the Court shall not consider International law or Sharia law," dictates the amendment.

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 When Custody Disputes Go Global

New Jersey Law Journal, August 7, 2000 The rapid globalization of the world economy has facilitated massive migration among nations. This flux has produced an ever-increasing number of marriages among people from different countries. One of the resulting corollaries is the transformation of otherwise simple custody disputes into jurisdictionally complex international quagmires.

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 Religion-Based Claim in Abuse Case Wisely Pierced by Appeals Court

New Jersey Law Journal, September 20, 2010 On its face, a case working through New Jersey's courts would seem to pit a defendant's religious beliefs against the state's law against domestic violence. Fortunately, the Appellate Division has seen through that argument and reversed the denial of a restraining order.

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 Attorney-Client Sexual Relations - The Journal of the Legal Profession

Copyright (c) 1997 The Journal of the Legal Profession The Journal of the Legal Profession; 22 J. Legal Prof. 131 1997/1998 Attorney-Client Sexual Relations

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 Attorney-Client Sex Should Always Be Off Limits

New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2000 The issue of attorney-client sex has come under heightened scrutiny by courts and state bar associations in the past several years.

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 Beware of International Service of Process

If an attorney representing an American litigant seeking to institute an action against a foreign defendant is not very cautious in the method of service used to serve the foreign defendant, the result could be vacation and dismissal years after judgment.

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 Abu Zahar: Appellate Division Declines to Adopt a Bright-Line Rule Prohibiting Out-of-Country Visitation

Often fueled by intense parental sentiments, custody disputes rank high among the fiercest of legal battles known to jurisprudence. Corollary issues concerning parenting time and post-divorce travel abroad with a child have gained increasing judicial scrutiny in an ever-changing complex and divisive world.

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 Court Enforces Mahr Provision in Muslim Marriage Contract

Muslim marriage contracts include a provision called mahr, which American courts have mis-construed to be prenuptial agreements. Recently, the New Jersey Superior Court, in Odatalla v. Odatalla, Docket No. FM-16-366-01 (Ch. Div. June 24, 2002), properly used a simple contract approach to resolve a dispute over a mahr. This approach is the most consistent with the charac-ter of mahr under Islamic law and with American notions of equity and justice.

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