What a surprising turn of events for the most entertaining plaintiff Facebook has contended with so far: Prestigious law firm Milberg LLP has joined the attorneys representing Paul Ceglia’s ongoing battle for half-ownership of the social network.
This juicy morsel was tucked into a press release announcing that Ceglia’s attorneys will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio April 4 with a proposed schedule for producing evidence — this has been rescheduled more than once.
Ceglia’s legal representation has resembled a revolving door, as five previous attorneys have dropped his case — doing so just before a deadline for the submission of requested filings or evidence.
Today’s press release says Milberg joins Dean Boland and Paul Argentieri in representing Ceglia; his fifth counsel, Jeffrey A. Lake, A.P.C., has quietly left the team representing the plaintiff, and a public relations firm called Strategy XXI Partners has begun to spin his story.
Certainly, the addition of the prestigious Milberg has the potential to make his case look better, potentially restoring some of the cred lost when the most reputable of Ceglia’s ex-attorneys dropped the case — DLA Piper became the third law firm to dump the case in June.
DLA Piper was preceded by former New York attorney Dennis Vaco, and, before that, Terrence Connors. Edelson McGuire was the fourth law firm to withdraw from the case.
Facebook’s impending initial public offering has probably made Ceglia’s case seem more palatable to Milberg, as the attorney from the firm who took on the case is a partner whose first specialization listed on the company’s website is securities fraud.
Milberg Partner Sanford P. Dumain said in the press release about the case:
We took a good hard look at all of the information available, including evidence in Mr. Ceglia’s favor, and we believe he deserves to have his day in court. We look forward to examining records from computers that Mr. (Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark) Zuckerberg used when he was a freshman at Harvard. and other records that will help answer questions about the ownership of Facebook. We hope that the court will rule that the time has come for that process to begin.
Defense counsel previously told the court and media that Facebook would move to dismiss this case, so we are pleased that the judge has scheduled a conference to address the deadlines for the commencement and completion of discovery. It should be up to a jury to weigh the contradictory claims, including evidence that supports Mr. Ceglia’s case, such as his email correspondence with Mr. Zuckerberg and experts’ testimony about the authenticity of the contract.
Readers, what do you think of the way Ceglia’s case is moving now?