An e-mail on Tuesday from ABCNews.com to Allegany Pellets prompted an automatic message from the company's e-mail account. The message said, "We are in the process of reaching an agreement with the New York State Attorney General's office and will let everyone know once an agreement is reached."
Facebook, a privately-held multi-billion dollar company, is no stranger to legal claims over the company's origins. In 2008, Facebook settled a lawsuit with the founders of the website ConnectU, who claimed that Zuckerberg stole their ideas for a Harvard social networking site. Facebook also settled a lawsuit with early Facebook investor Eduardo Saverin.
By transferring the Ceglia case from state to federal court, Facebook has undertaken a legal tactic common to companies that are headquartered outside the states in which they're sued, said Paul Mark Sandler, a Maryland trial lawyer and a former secretary of the litigation section of the American Bar Association.
Moving the case away from a local court, he said, helps a company avoid getting "homered" or getting unfavorable treatment from jurors who might have sympathy for a local resident "striking out against a big business in a climate where the business is not necessarily a favored player."
"If you were walking down the street and two people were in trouble and one of them was your next door neigbhor and you could only help one, you'd probably pick your next door neighbor," Sandler said. "It's just human nature."