Winklevoss Twins to File with Supreme Court

    May 17, 2011
    Josh Wolford

It looks like Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss plan to take their case to the highest power in the land. In a press release, the Winklevii announced that they plan to file a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

It might be worth it to take a brief look at how the famous twins got to this point – submitting a writ to the top court in the country.

Zombie litigators Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss decided in January of this year that their agreed-upon settlement of $65 million dollars with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook was inadequate. The settlement, consisting of $20 million in cash and $45 in stock, was awarded to the twins based on their claim that Zuckerberg stole the idea of Facebook from them while they were all students at Harvard University. I know, I know – you’ve seen the movie.

So the Winklevii say that the $65 million settlement was based on fraudulent valuations of Facebook’s value, and that the settlement should be much more. They asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Fransisco to release them from the settlement so that they could attempt to extract more from Zuckerberg.

In April, that appeals court reached the decision that the Winklevii must honor the agreement and cannot pursue the matter further. The judge in the case said in his statement that “at some point, litigation must come to an end.” Upon hearing this news, the Winklevii decided to take their $65 million and be happy pursue further litigation.

Just a week later, the Winklevii asked the same Federal Appeals Court to rehear their claim. Apparently, the first decision was made by a panel of only 3 judges. The Winklevii requested that their case be heard by the entire 11 judge panel.

After that request, Tyler Winklevoss created some interesting hashtags on Twitter and a Taiwanese animation company blew the twins out of their canoe with canon fire from Zuckerberg’s warship.

Yesterday afternoon, the court of appeals rejected their request to rehear the case with a full panel.

Well, today it seems as though the Winklevii are going to attempt to take their case to the last appeals court they have left – the Supreme Court. They say they will file a Petition of Certiorari, which is basically a request for the Supreme Court to review a lower court’s judgment.

From the statement:

The first is the Court’s holding that a party who is defrauded into entering into a settlement agreement cannot challenge the contract on the ground of fraud. Federal and state courts have long held that a settlement founded on fraud must be set aside. The Court’s decision conflicts with that body of precedent.

The second issue is the Court’s holding that a routine agreement to hold statements made in a mediation confidential bars proof that Facebook committed securities fraud in the mediation. Numerous federal precedents, and the text of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act, hold that an agreement to directly or indirectly waive rights under federal antifraud provisions of the securities laws is void. The Panel’s decision conflicts with that body of precedent.”

Of course the Supreme Court doesn’t have to reopen the case as they have autonomy regarding what cases they choose to hear. But I have a feeling that this Winklevoss thing isn’t quite over. And like a member of the undead that still retains part of its melon, the Winklevii are not at the end of the road. They’ve got one more try. And I know we are all hoping that they can finally get their (430th) day in court.

[Image: Shaun of the Dead]