A hearing is scheduled for today in the case of Paul Ceglia vs. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc., in which the deck seemed stacked against the hapless schemer who claims to own half the company based on an old contract. Mr. Ceglia’s profesh new legal team, which came on in the eleventh hour of a year-long case after several legal teams had departed, has asked the judge to let Mr. Ceglia continue with discovery while the court decides on Facebook’s motion to dismiss.
Mr. Ceglia’s legal team is particularly fond of the word “jury.”
“We have made a preliminary review of Facebook’s Motion, which attempts to have this matter ended before Facebook has to provide any discovery and before going to a jury,” Mr. Ceglia’s lawyers said in a statement. “Mr. Ceglia deserves his day in court, where the jury will resolve this dispute over the ownership of Facebook.”
Facebook was allowed to do a ton of discovery, including snatching Mr. Ceglia’s old computer from his parents’ house. It wasn’t until last week that Facebook released 200 emails from Mr. Zuckerberg’s Harvard days. The social network also hired “corporate spies” at Kroll Associates to investigate Mr. Ceglia.
“Defendants have filed two dispositive motions that present a myriad of disputed fact issues regarding elements that go to the core of this case,” Mr. Ceglia’s lawyers argue. “They have conducted broad, one-sided discovery over the course of months, consulted numerous experts, and have offered the Court an extensive record of facts and expert reports that go far beyond the scope of the pleadings. Defendants now hope to require that Plaintiff respond to their dispositive Motions – which cite an undoubtedly biased record as support – without obtaining any discovery at all.”
Mr. Ceglia’s side asks the court to deny Facebook’s motion for a “stay of discovery,” meaning that the plaintiff could continue to dig up dirt on the company and its founder in advance of Facebook’s highly anticipated IPO. “Ceglia’s lawsuit was nothing more than an attempted shakedown,” Facebook lawyer Orin Snyder said in court.