Reuters reported that the New York State Appellate Division in Manhattan dismissed Facebook’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against DLA Piper, Milberg and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, all of which represented Ceglia in his ill-fated and fraudulent lawsuit against the social network and its co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook said in the October 2014 lawsuit, Facebook Inc. et al vs. DLA Piper LLP et al, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, No. 16162:
The lawyers representing Ceglia knew or should have known that the lawsuit was a fraud—it was brought by a convicted felon with a history of fraudulent scams, and it was based on an implausible story and obviously forged documents. In fact, defendants’ own co-counsel discovered the fraud, informed the other lawyers and withdrew. Despite all this, defendants vigorously pursued the case in state and federal courts and in the media.
This discovery confirmed beyond any doubt that the lawsuit was based on a forgery. Yet even after receiving a warning letter from Kasowitz, DLA Piper and Ceglia’s other lawyers continued to pursue the fraudulent lawsuit.
The refusal of DLA Piper and Ceglia’s other lawyers to come clean even when withdrawing forced Facebook and Zuckerberg to continue defending a case the lawyers knew was a fraud.
But the appellate court voted 4-0 to dismiss the suit, saying that the law firms found experts to deny Facebook’s forgery claim, that Ceglia passed a lie-detector test and that Facebook’s allegation that the law firms lacked probably cause to pursue the case was “entirely conclusory.”
Facebook said it would decide whether to file an appeal, with a spokeswoman telling Reuters:
We are disappointed. DLA Piper and the other named law firms possessed evidence proving the case was based on forged documents and that Paul Ceglia’s claim was a fraud, but chose to pursue it anyway. We believe they should be held accountable.
And Matthew Dontzin, a lawyer representing DLA Piper, told Reuters:
(Facebook filed its lawsuit) to deter lawyers from taking them on. These types of bullying tactics have no place in the courthouse, and today justice was done.
Readers: Will the Paul Ceglia case ever go away?