We’ve devoted a lot of coverage to Paul Ceglia’s lawsuit claiming an ownership stake in Facebook because it’s kind of funny. Come on, we have a so-called “inveterate scam artist,” whose only profession besides apparent hucksterism involves something with wood claiming 50% to 84% ownership in the signature website of our times.
And we keep covering Ceglia because it just keeps getting funnier. Ceglia just replaced his counsel, again. Next up to take on Facebook on Ceglia’s behalf is Jeffrey Lake, a small firm lawyer out in San Diego. A Google cache of his website reveals that Lake has represented “nearly 200 Medical Cannabis Collectives,” so I’m sure he’s up for the challenge of taking on Facebook.
Really, a guy like Lake seems like the kind of guy that should have been repping Ceglia all along. Which brings us to the firm Lake replaced: DLA Piper. I don’t know guys, maybe the strategy of having so many offices that you need to take any available case isn’t the best?
DLA Piper withdrew from the Ceglia case. The circumstances are as yet unclear: we don’t know if Ceglia booted DLA or if DLA ran screaming from the case. But why represent Ceglia in the first place? Remember, by taking up this case, DLA Piper threw its reputation in with Ceglia’s.
Here’s what Henry Blodget said when DLA Piper first showed up on the scene:
DLA Piper took on Ceglia’s case very recently, after performing “weeks” of due diligence to persuade itself that Ceglia’s claims were valid.
As part of its due diligence process, DLA Piper says, it performed an electronic analysis of the contract Ceglia provided. The firm says this analysis made it confident the contract has not been doctored…
We think that, if the emails and contract Ceglia produced are indeed fake, the fraud should be easy to expose (so easy, in fact, that we imagine DLA Piper’s investigators would already have exposed it — which leads us to question whether the emails and contract really are fake).
Here’s what I said:
Is the evidence credible? It depends: do you trust DLA Piper?
We might never really know why DLA Piper took this case, or why they are no longer on the case. But it certainly doesn’t help your reputation as an elite law firm when you’re going to war with the wood guy and end up chucked.