Facebook, Ceglia suit advances

Facebook’s attorneys squared off Wednesday with the legal team of Paul Ceglia, a New York man who says that a 2003 contract proves he should own at least half of Facebook.

Ceglia, for whom Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg did some work while at Harvard University, says he has a contract granting him at least half the ownership of Facebook. Facebook has denied the claim, saying that the contract and several other documents Ceglia provided are faked. The company subsequently filed to dismiss the suit last month.

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Judge Leslie Foschio ruled Wednesday that Ceglia’s attorneys cannot search Zuckerberg’s personal computers or question him about the suit, though they will be able to challenge Facebook’s claims of forgery.

“We are very pleased with today’s ruling,” Facebook lawyer Orin Snyder said Tuesday. “The court denied Ceglia’s request for broad discovery and continues to focus these proceedings solely on the question of Ceglia’s criminal fraud. We welcome the opportunity to develop additional evidence of Ceglia’s misconduct and look forward to having him held accountable.”

In a statement to the Associated Press, Ceglia’s attorneys said, “We are hopeful that once we have obtained and presented this information, the court will deny the defendants’ motions to dismiss and allow the case to proceed to full discovery and an eventual trial.”

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