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Milberg Seeking to Quit N.Y. Facebook Case, Lawyer Says

Milberg LLP is seeking to withdraw from Paul Ceglia’s lawsuit claiming half the Facebook Inc. holdings of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, according to Dean Boland, another of Ceglia’s lawyers.

The move, which needs approval by the judge overseeing the case, comes less than three months after Milberg took up Ceglia’s cause. At least four other law firms have already departed Ceglia’s team. In June 2011, DLA Piper LLP and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP withdrew from representing him after less than three months on the job.

Boland, a Lakewood, Ohio, attorney, said Milberg’s proposed departure stems from differences over strategy among Ceglia’s lawyers.

Sanford Dumain, the chairman of Milberg’s executive committee and the lead lawyer on the team representing Ceglia, didn’t immediately respond to e-mails and a phone message seeking comment.

In his lawsuit, pending in federal court in Buffalo, New York, Ceglia claims that a 2003 contract he signed with Zuckerberg made them partners in the start of Facebook, now the world’s biggest social network. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook has called Ceglia’s claim a fraud.

Orin Snyder, who represents Facebook in the suit, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment on Milberg’s decision to withdraw.

The case is Ceglia v. Zuckerberg, 10-cv-00569, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo).

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