Facebook CEO fighting lawsuit
NEW YORK – Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says a lawsuit by a man who claims to own a huge chunk of the popular social networking website is seeking to uncover needless details about his private life.
Zuckerberg is fighting a civil lawsuit filed by Paul Ceglia, an upstate New York resident who claims an 84 per cent stake in the privately held company, believed to be worth several billion dollars.
Ceglia, an owner of a wood-pellet fuel company who lives in Wellsville, New York, is trying to return the case to a New York state court after Zuckerberg moved it to federal court.
“They filed this remand motion to harass defendants under the pretext of obtaining jurisdictional discovery into Zuckerberg’s private life,” lawyers for Zuckerberg said in a Monday filing in the federal court in Buffalo, New York.
Ceglia alleged in a June 30 lawsuit that a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg entitles him to control of Facebook. Forbes magazine in March estimated Zuckerberg is worth US$4 billion.
Federal courts can hear cases from parties in different states. Zuckerberg, 26, considers himself a California citizen, while Ceglia said both men were New Yorkers.
“The higher the stakes, the more likely you want to take advantage of procedural moves to improve your chances of winning or settling on the most favourable terms,” said Adam Steinman, a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.
Steinman said “conventional wisdom” is often that defendants prefer federal court to state court, because cases might be dismissed faster or less likely to reach juries. (Reuters)