DLA Piper Withdraws from Paul Ceglia’s Suit Against Facebook
Posted Jun 29, 2011 9:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A man who claims he made a $1,000 investment in 2003 entitling him to half of Facebook is changing lawyers for a third time.
DLA Piper is withdrawing from its representation of the plaintiff, Paul Ceglia, report CNET News, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), Reuters and PaidContent.org. The reason is unknown. Ceglia claims he hired Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to work on a venture called StreetFax.com and invested $1,000 for a half stake in Facebook at the same time.
The change in lawyers comes at a critical time. Facebook has filed a motion for expedited discovery claiming that contracts and emails submitted by Ceglia to support his claim are forgeries. "The contract is a cut-and-paste job, the emails are complete fabrications, and this entire lawsuit is a fraud," Facebook has alleged. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Thursday, Cnet reports.
Ceglia will now be represented by San Diego lawyer Jeffrey Lake. Before hiring DLA Piper, Ceglia was represented by Buffalo lawyer Terrence Connors. Another lawyer, Paul Argentieri of Hornell, N.Y., has represented Ceglia since his initial claim and is still on the case, PaidContent.org says.
Argentieri told the Wall Street Journal the change isn’t a setback. "The case is going to get more critically interesting in a hurry for reasons that will be described later," he said.