Legal Ethics

Would-Be Facebook Owner Sanctioned After His Ex-Lawyers Disclose Foot-Dragging

The plaintiff who claims he owns 50 percent of Facebook has been ordered to pay $5,000 and partial attorney fees after his former lawyers told of his refusal to comply with a discovery order.

Plaintiff Paul Ceglia was sanctioned Tuesday for attempting to evade a judge’s order to provide information about his personal email accounts, the Buffalo News reports. U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio said Ceglia’s actions show “a plain lack of respect for the court’s order, which cannot be countenanced.”

According to the story, Ceglia’s former lawyers filed an affidavit documenting their one-time client’s refusal to comply. “For whatever reasons, [Ceglia], fully advised by his attorneys not to do so, chose to knowingly ignore the unambiguous orders of the court,” Foschio said.

Facebook plans to file a motion to dismiss Ceglia’s suit, according to its lawyer, Orin Snyder.

Former coverage: “Redaction Flub Reveals Facebook Claim It Unearthed ‘Authentic Contract’ in Ceglia Suit”

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