Winklevosses Versus Facebook Court Date Set For January

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss' appeal of the $65 million settlement with Facebook has gotten scheduled for a court date of January 11, 2011.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ appeal of the settlement with Facebook was scheduled for a court date of January 11, 2011.

That’s when oral arguments will be heard in the case going before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to Facebook Manager of Public Policy Communications Andrew Noyes.

We learned of this after counting 130 different news articles today concerning the appeal that has been pending for two years. Up until now, nothing new had happened in the case, other than what appeared to be a deliberate leak of a document to the press this week.

Media outlets that previously weren’t aware of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ dissatisfaction with the $65 million settlement now know all the gory details, and the twins don’t look any better for it. Perhaps they need to keep shopping for another attorney, preferrably one who might advise them not to say anything to the media ahead of a trial.

The media coverage following this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” segment on Facebook unanimously painted the Winklevoss twins’ cameo appearance as unsavory, although the specific choice of negatives varied from one news outlet to the next.

This week’s leak to the media was a partially redacted document dated August 10, a legal brief Facebook’s lawyers filed in response to the claims that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg supposedly stole code from ConnectU.

The best line from Facebook’s brief that surfaced this week is an apt summary of the Winklevosses’ complaint:
They insist that their sworn enemy had some special duty to open its books and volunteer any information that bears on the value of this closely held company.

The Winklevosses’ unhappiness with their $65 million settlement in 2008 has been public knowledge for going on three years. The more they draw attention to their dissatisfaction the worse their image seems to get.

Public opinion isn’t supposed to decide the outcome of a case, but excess amounts of it makes it hard to find unbiased juries — and judges for that matter.

All of this hangs in the balance while a court date has yet to be set for the latest lawsuit, claiming Facebook engaged in a form of securities fraud by accepting the twins’ estimate of the company’s value at $3.7 billion when negotiating a settlement.

And in a bit of irony first noted by Business Insider, apparently the Winklevosses are getting a taste of their own medicine. Someone named Wayne Chang claims to have been their business partner is suing the twins for excluding him from the settlement with Facebook.

What do you think about this week’s flurry of stories about the Winklevoss versus Facebook case?