Bloomberg News

Facebook Awarded $75,777 in Legal Fees From Claimant Ceglia

February 15, 2012

(Updates with ruling in second paragraph.)

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. was awarded $75,777 in legal fees after a judge ruled that Paul Ceglia ignored a pretrial discovery order to turn over e-mail accounts in his ownership claim against the social network.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio today gave Facebook most of the $84,196 it claimed as reimbursement for the 177 hours spent by its lawyers in filing motions to force Ceglia to comply with the order. Ceglia has already paid a $5,000 fine imposed by Foschio in Buffalo, New York federal court.

Ceglia claims he has a 2003 contract signed by Facebook co- founder Mark Zuckerberg that gave him half-ownership of the company, now worth an estimated $82.3 billion, according to Sharespost.com, which tracks nonpublic companies. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, operates the most popular social-networking site in the world.

Foschio rejected arguments by Ceglia that the fees claimed by Facebook were “stratospheric” and not justified by the “garden-variety” issues presented by the case.

Ceglia’s lawyer, Dean Boland of Lakewood, Ohio, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Ceglia v. Zuckerberg, 1:10-cv-00569, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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