Because $40 billion dollars just isn’t as cool as a national media circus. Paul Ceglia, the upstate New Yorker who is suing Facebook claiming a 50 percent ownership based on a 2003 contract with Mark Zuckerberg for programming work, is holed up in Ireland and, for the most part, keeping his mouth shut. But one of his lawyers, San Diego attorney Jeffrey Lake, is giving statements–and he says despite his client isn’t just looking for a payday. Despite the fact that Mr. Ceglia’s side motioned to move the case to arbitration, which would be the first step toward settling out of court, Mr. Lake says his client wants his day in court. “He wants his case heard on the merits,” Mr. Lake told San Diego’s KGTV.
“$40 billion?” asked 10News reporter Mitch Blacher.
“–Is nothing,” said Lake.
“Drop in the bucket?” asked Blacher.
“Right,” Lake replied.
The case is at an impasse right now as the court has ordered Mr. Ceglia to produce remote storage devices (on top of the order, already executed, to allow Facebook to examine his personal computers and webmail accounts) before it will order Mr. Zuckerberg to turn over his emails from the relevant period.
Facebook is not commenting on the case and may move for a dismissal soon as Mr. Ceglia does not seem likely to produce the devices as ordered and has not been showing up to court. Facebook has said in documents filed with the court that Mr. Ceglia’s case is so weak that it constitutes a fraud on the court. If the judge agrees, Mr. Ceglia could be on the hook for Facebook’s legal fees as well as a penalty for wasting the court’s time, which would be a huge burden for the working class entrepreneur, whose most recent business, Allegany Pellets, is prevented from doing business by a restraining order issued by the Attorney General, which has initiated a case against the company for defrauding customers to the tune of $200,000.
Of course, we media acrobats are hoping the dispute goes to trial.