A model for elastic-plastic nominally flat contacting rough surfaces under combined normal and tangential loading with full stick contact condition is presented. The model incorporates an accurate finite element analysis for contact and sliding inception of a single elastic-plastic asperity in a statistical representation of surface roughness. It includes the effect of junction growth and treats the sliding inception as a failure mechanism, which is characterized by loss of tangential stiffness. A comparison between the present model and a previously published friction model shows that the latter severely underestimates the maximum friction force by up to three orders of magnitude. Strong effects of the normal load, nominal contact area, mechanical properties, and surface roughness on the static friction coefficient are found, in breach of the classical laws of friction. Empirical equations for the maximum friction force, static friction coefficient, real contact area due to the normal load alone and at sliding inception as functions of the normal load, material properties, and surface roughness are presented and compared with some limited available experimental results.