ConnectU Founders Still Trying to Collect that Facebook Settlement Money (from Their Former Attorneys)

winklevoss-connectu-facebookLast February, Facebook settled a long-running set of lawsuits with erstwhile rival ConnectU, in a cash-and-stock payment for what was basically a purchase of ConnectU. But the year before, ConnectU founders Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra had dismissed the law firm representing them, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges. The settlement money, reportedly $65 million in cash and stock, was put in escrow for the ConnectU founders and the firm to divvy up. Quinn Emanual immediately put a lien on the money, meaning the founders have not been able to receive any of it yet.

In the two cases, the ConnectU founders first sued Facebook, alleging that founder Mark Zuckerberg had used code and knowledge gained while working with ConnectU in order to create Facebook; then, Facebook countersued.

So now, even though Facebook itself is basically out of the picture, the court cases continue — sort of. The ConnectU founders are trying to get their money, but in order to do so, they apparently need access to documents used in the settled cases to use against Quinn Emanuel. The problem is that those documents have been sealed.

On September 30th, Douglas P. Woodlock, the judge hearing one of the cases, in Massachusetts, entered a memorandum and order asking the court clerk to stay the case and terminate all outstanding motions, although the order left the possibility open of further motions.

On October 8th, the Winklevoss brothers (who are also Olympic rowers) and Narendra went back to court, apparently trying to use some sealed documents in their case against Quinn Emaneul. It is not clear how that effort will go. In the meantime, we wonder if the US government is going to be looking for taxes on the settlement money they were going to receive.

[image via Zimbio]