Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to ask U.S. Supreme Court to review Facebook settlement
Just hours after a federal appeals court declined to review a legal challenge from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin brothers said they would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.
This is the final legal avenue open to the Winklevosses, who allege that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the social networking site.
The Winkevosses' attorney Jerome Falk said in a written statement that he plans to pursue two legal issues: the court's decision that a party who is defrauded into entering a settlement agreement cannot challenge the contract for fraud, and the court's decision that statements made in a confidential mediation cannot be used as proof that a party committed securities fraud.
"Settlements should be based on honest dealing, and courts have wisely refused to enforce a settlement obtained by fraudulent means," Falk said.
Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment. In a written statement after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the company said: "We're pleased with the court's decision."
The Winklevosses failed to persuade the 9th Circuit to have the full 11-judge panel revisit last month's ruling that upheld the $65-million settlement the Winklevosses reached with Facebook in 2008. Legal experts had said the appeal was a long shot.
A three-judge panel decided in April that the Winklevoss twins could not unwind the $65-million settlement agreement that gave them $20 million in cash and stock now valued at about $200 million. The Winklevosses say they were misled about the value of the stock.
The Winklevosses, who were students at Harvard with Zuckerberg, are planning another legal challenge in Boston, where they plan to ask the court to investigate their claims that Facebook and its lawyers concealed instant messages from them during the litigation. Their story was dramatized in the Oscar-winning movie "The Social Network."
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: Cameron Winklevoss, left, and Tyler Winklevoss. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times