Judge Leslie Foschio of the US District Court in New York City today ordered Paul Ceglia to hand over documents Facebook says proves he forged the 2003 contract. This is the same contract Ceglia alleges shows he owns half of the company. Foschio is demanding complete copies of all documents where Ceglia is claiming attorney client privilege be provided to her by tomorrow at 4:00PM, according to Wired.
Ceglia himself won't be able to make the submission since he is now reportedly in Galway, Ireland. A Ceglia family friend told his former hometown newspaper the Wellsville Daily Reporter: "He does not feel comfortable in Wellsville." The family friend also said Ceglia's mother is Irish and that he has lived in Ireland before.
Paul Argentieri, Ceglia's lawyer, would not confirm the news: "I don't want to confirm or deny where he is." In regards to the lawsuit, he said: "We have a hiccup in the case for sure, but both sides are under a protective order not to discuss the case."
The order doesn't specify what's in the documents in question, but previous reports hint at what could be inside. Last week, Facebook said it found the proof that shows Ceglia is a fraud, calling it "smoking-gun evidence that the purported contract at the heart of this case is a fabrication."
The company didn't state specifically what the evidence it found was, but Facebook's lawyers asked for a resubmittal of a document to the court due to improper redaction. The blacked out text referred to an "authentic contract" and "storage devices" that Facebook says Ceglia is intentionally hiding from the company, in violation of a court order.
Ceglia's lawyers said the "authentic contract" is shielded from use in the suit because it is designated as "confidential" under the rules of an agreement between the two parties. Facebook asked Foschio to overrule that designation and now it looks like the social network has got its wish, at least partially. Only the judge will be able to examine the documents, meaning Facebook will not be allowed to see them.
Facebook acknowledges that Ceglia hired Zuckerberg to work for his StreetFax company in April 2003 while Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. Ceglia first legally attacked Facebook in July 2010, saying the contract also included $1,000 initial funding for Facebook, and that he's entitled to more than half of the social networking giant.
Facebook insists Ceglia is a known con artist. Since he first filed suit, Ceglia has been dropped by at least four law firms.
- Facebook: we have proof Ceglia’s contract is a forgery
- Paul Ceglia vs. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Here's the complaint and it's a good read
- Facebook: Ceglia claims 'brazen and outrageous fraud'; Read the response
- Facebook, Zuckerberg open fire on Ceglia: Emails forged by 'professional con artist'