By: Michael Seinberg
Most regular readers of this blog are now familiar with Paul Ceglia, the Buffalo, NY man who has been attempting to sue Facebook for billions, claiming part ownership of the company. Ceglia based the lawsuit on a contract that he claims he had with Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg as well as some e-mails the two exchanged back in 2003 when Ceglia tried to get Zuckerberg to work on a project called Streetfax.
As the case has wound up and down and moved through the courts, Ceglia has hired and lost more lawyers than Justin Beiber has swooning fans. In the latest round of greed and stupidity, Ceglia was charged with fraud and accused of forging the documents that are at the center of the case. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said, “By marching into federal court for a quick payday based on a blatant forgery, Paul Ceglia has bought himself another day in federal court for attempting a multi-billion dollar fraud against Facebook and its C.E.O.”
Good. Time this guy was called a crook and charged as one. But wait, what about the string of lawyers who took this guy on as a client hoping for a payday, or at least, a nice please-go-away settlement. Shouldn’t they take a hit too?
Facebook and its lawyers, never particularly warm and fuzzy when it comes to spurious legal claims have come out swinging in the wake of Ceglia’s indictment. “Now that Ceglia is being brought to justice for his crimes, Facebook intends to hold accountable all of those who assisted Ceglia in this outrageous fraud,” said Orin Snyder, a lawyer for Facebook and Zuck. “Facebook will send a strong message that it does not tolerate legal shakedowns and will take aggressive action against all those who file abusive lawsuits against the company,” he added.
Oh, and the current lawyer still running Ceglia’s case, Dean Boland of Lakewood, Ohio, doesn’t exactly have a history of the brightest trail tactics. Boland is now eager to get off this case and wipe his hands clean before anyone realizes he was just in it for the money and he knew that the case was a crock the whole time. It’s ok Dean, I am sure no one has figured it out yet.
This is the sort of case that truly shows greed, cowardice, abuse, and stupidity at its very finest. It should probably end up in a textbook somewhere to show young would-be lawyers what not to do. But until New York enacts meaningful reforms, hungry lawyers will continue to chase big money with meritless cases, clogging our courts and dumping countless taxpayer dollars down the drain.