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Facebook claimant Paul Ceglia hires new lawyers

March 05, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • Inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The company is preparing for a public stock offering that could value it at $100 billion or more while disputing Paul Ceglia's claim to a major share of the firm.
Inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The company is preparing… (Associated Press )

A New York man is not giving up his fight for half of Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar stake in Facebook.

Paul Ceglia has added new lawyers to his legal team, including Sanford Dumain, chairman of the executive committee of the Milberg firm.

The new lawyers will appear in federal court in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 4. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.

Ceglia made the move in filings in federal court in Buffalo on Monday. He has had a revolving door of lawyers in the long-running dispute with Facebook. Milberg is a New York firm that built its reputation representing consumers and investors in class-action litigation. It was previously known as Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach before an investigation sent four former partners to prison.

Ceglia claims he signed a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard, that entitles him to a large stake in the Menlo Park, Calif., firm, which is on the verge of an initial public offering that could value the company at $100 billion or more. Facebook says the partnership agreement was doctored.

Ceglia's new lawyers say they will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio next month with a proposed schedule for discovery in the case.

Ceglia attorney Dean Boland said in a statement: "We look forward to litigating Mr. Ceglia’s claims with one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms as our co-counsel."

He added in a text message: "The defendants' long threatened motion to dismiss filing came to nothing. Milberg's evaluation of the case was broad and deep .... We look forward to our opportunity for discovery and a trial. Those interested in the future of Facebook ought to keep a close eye on this case now."


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