Ceglia fights to keep lawyer trying to quit lawsuit against Facebook

The man who claims Mark Zuckerberg agreed to give him half of Facebook opposes his lawyer's motion to withdraw from the case. His lawyer says he's received threats in representing Ceglia.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Paul Ceglia Facebook profile photo Facebook

Paul Ceglia has chased away his lawyers before and now another one is begging to get off the case. But, Ceglia doesn't want to let him go.

Ceglia, who is suing Facebook with the claim that he owns half of the social network, is up to his neck in legal woes. But, his lawyer Dean Boland, has said he can no longer represent Ceglia because of threats he's received, according to the Associated Press.

Boland has filed a motion to withdraw from the lawsuit but Ceglia has opposed the motion.

"I appreciate the fear for his own safety that he has and the threats that have been made against him," Ceglia said during a telephone conference, according to the Associated Press. "Worse has happened to me."

Ceglia first filed his lawsuit against Facebook in 2010 saying that he hired the social network's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg through a Craigslist ad in 2003 to write code for a project called StreetFax and paid Zuckerberg $1,000 for coding work; he also allegedly invested $1,000 in Zuckerberg's The Face Book project, which he claims gives him a 50 percent interest in the company.

However, things started to go south for Ceglia's case this past year. In February, a judge ordered Ceglia to reimburse Facebook more than $75,000 in attorneys' fees related to the case for delays in making e-mails available. Then, news spread that Ceglia allegedly fabricated e-mails and his purported contract with Zuckerberg. Most recently, he was arrested and put in jail on fraud charges for allegedly tampering with evidence in the case. Although he has been released on bail, he faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of these charges.

Ceglia has gone through a series of law firms and several lawyers have already withdrawn from his case. According to the Associated Press, the judge plans to decide whether to grant Boland's motion to withdraw after next week.

"I can no longer professionally and ethically represent Mr. Ceglia's interests over my own interests," Boland said, according to the Associated Press. "I have to deal with my own life, my own career, my own existence."