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Ceglia Decision and Order (6/28/12)

Ceglia Decision and Order (6/28/12)

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Published by: steven_musil on Jun 29, 2012
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06/29/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK PAUL D. CEGLIA,
DECISION
Plaintiff,
and
v.
ORDER
MARK ELLIOT ZUCKERBERG, and
10-CV-00569A(F)
FACEBOOK, INC.,Defendants.  APPEARANCES:PAUL A. ARGENTIERI, ESQ. Attorney for Plaintiff 188 Main StreetHornell, New York 14843BOLAND LEGAL, LLC Attorneys for Plaintiff DEAN M. BOLAND, of Counsel18123 Sloane AvenueLakewood, Ohio 44107GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP Attorneys for DefendantsORIN S. SNYDER, and ALEXANDER H. SOUTHWELL, of Counsel200 Park Avenue47 Floo
th
New York, New York 10166-0193andTHOMAS H. DUPREE, JR., of Counsel1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.Washington, District of Columbia 20036HARRIS BEACH LLP Attorneys for DefendantsTERRANCE P. FLYNN, of CounselLarkin at Exchange726 Exchange StreetSuite 1000Buffalo, New York 14210
Case 1:10-cv-00569-RJA -LGF Document 457 Filed 06/28/12 Page 1 of 43
 
JURISDICTION
This case was referred to the undersigned be Honorable Richard J. Arcara onMay 27, 2011, for all pretrial matters. The matter is presently before the court onDefendants’ Sixth Motion to Compel (Doc. No. 381), filed May 24, 2012, Plaintiff’sMotion to Strike Declaration/Report of Gerald LaPorte for Fraud (Doc. No. 385), filedMay 24, 2012, Plaintiff’s First Motion to Compel Defendants (Doc. No. 389), filed May27, 2012, Plaintiff’s Motion for Discovery Regarding Harvard Emails (Doc. No. 396),filed May 30, 2012, Plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate Doc. No. 348 (Doc. No. 426), filed June8, 2012, and Plaintiff’s Motion to Disqualify Defendants’ Dual Representing Counsel(Doc. No. 437), filed June 16, 2012.
BACKGROUND and FACTS
1
The central issue in this action is the authenticity of a Work for Hire contract (“theContract”), allegedly executed on April 28, 2003, between Plaintiff Paul D. Ceglia
2
(“Plaintiff” or “Ceglia”), and Defendant Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (“Zuckerberg”), that grantsPlaintiff 50% ownership of Defendant Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) (together,“Defendants”), the social networking website created by Zuckerberg while a student atHarvard University (“Harvard”). The putative Contract provides that Plaintiff would hireZuckerberg to perform programming for StreetFax.com (“StreetFax”), an on-linedatabase developed by Plaintiff, and Plaintiff would help fund the development of 
The Facts are taken from the pleadings and motion papers filed in this action.
1
 
 A copy of the contract is attached as Exhibit A to the Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 39).
2
2
Case 1:10-cv-00569-RJA -LGF Document 457 Filed 06/28/12 Page 2 of 43
 
Facebook in exchange for a one-half interest in Facebook. To describe the ensuinglegal proceedings as contentious would be more than diplomatic with numerousmotions regarding discovery, and objections to court orders having been filed, severalof which pertain to the instant motions and, as such, are discussed.On July 1, 2011, the undersigned granted expedited discovery (Doc. No. 83),limited to determine whether the Contract and emails attached as exhibits to the Amended Complaint to demonstrate that Zuckerberg breached the Contract (“thesupporting emails”), are authentic, as Plaintiff claims, or forgeries, as Defendantsmaintain. While engaged in the limited discovery, Defendants filed multiple motions tocompel and for sanctions, and Plaintiff filed multiple motions to stay discovery pendingresolution of other motions and objections Plaintiff routinely filed to the undersigned’sorders. As relevant here, on February 21, 2012, Defendants filed their Fifth Motion toCompel (Doc. No. 294) (“Defendants’ Fifth Motion to Compel”), seeking,
inter alia
,Plaintiff’s delivery for 
in camera
review eleven documents withheld from production onthe basis of various asserted privileges.Despite the various discovery disputes, Defendants managed to completesufficient discovery to file on March 26, 2012, two dispositive motions including amotion to dismiss the instant action (Doc. No. 318) (“Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss”),asserting the contract is a forgery such that Plaintiff, by relying on the contract inpursuing his claims, is perpetrating a fraud on the courts, and a motion for judgment onthe pleadings (Doc. No. 320) (“Defendants’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings”),arguing the factual allegations of the Amended Complaint establish Plaintiff’s claims aretime-barred or, alternatively, are barred by the doctrine of laches. Defendants’ Motion
3
Case 1:10-cv-00569-RJA -LGF Document 457 Filed 06/28/12 Page 3 of 43

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