Most attorneys know that to prevail in any lawsuit, big or small, some evidence is required. Maybe someone should have told that to Paul Ceglia, the man who launched a lawsuit claiming that he owns 50% of Facebook.
A wood pellet salesman by trade, Ceglia says he inked a deal with Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 for half of Facebook, contingent upon Ceglia hiring Zuckerberg to work for StreetFax, a now-defunct startup.
Now that Facebook's valuation is upwards of $100 billion by some analysts, according to CNet, if Ceglia's claims were true he'd be raking in the dough.
That is, if he had any proof to begin with. Facebook says that the contract, embedded on Ceglia's computer, only refers to StreetFax and makes no mention of Facebook.
So, Ceglia's "contract" may be nonexistent, which would likely make his case very difficult to prove. In a contracts case, possessing a contract that actually mentions the clause you are trying to prove would be helpful.
This might spell the demise of Ceglia's lawsuit, as Facebook will likely try to move for dismissal.
Or, maybe not. Apparently, a writer at ZDNet was contacted by Ceglia himself claiming that Facebook is duping everyone. Ceglia says that the "contract" that was found was actually a forged contract that was planted onto his computer by the social networking site.
Now it seems up for a court to decide who's story is more plausible, and if the contract is indeed a forgery.
One thing is for sure: Paul Ceglia probably isn't going to go down without a fight. Though Ceglia has already dropped four law firms after they failed to represent him the way that he wanted, he is now trying to open-source his lawsuit by way of wiki. Bizarre? Yes. Will it work? Only time will tell.
- Facebook Claims to Have Found Genuine Ceglia Contract (FindLaw's Courtside)
- Facebook appears poised to seek dismissal of upstate NY man's lawsuit claiming part ownership (AP)
- Could Paul Ceglia's Email Prove He Owns Half of Facebook? (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Paul Ceglia's Facebook Suit: DLA Piper Withdraws (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)