RESULTS: Winklevosses Losing Facebook Challenge

Our informal reader poll resulted in a majority voting that they think Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss will lose their appeal of the $65 million settement with Facebook. Legal experts are starting to say the same thing, and we’ll probably hear more of it over the next few weeks, now that we’ve got at least a one-month wait for the written decision on the case.

The oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco only took an hour on Tuesday, and even that seemed like a waste of the judges’ time. Clearly that’s what Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg thought of the proceedings because he didn’t even show up at all.

You can read the most interesting portion of the hearing in a New York Times article written by Miguel Helft, a former colleague of mine. The upshot: the appellate judges’ questions to the Winklevosses’ attorney, Jerome Falk, of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, sounded like they already had a negative opinion of the twins’ complaint.

And Falk’s reponses to these important questions sounded like excuses. Sure, he didn’t do the previous legal work for the Winklevosses, who’d won a malpractice case against their prior attorney. Changes in legal counsel aside, the twins had already agreed to the settlement for an amount of money most of us will probably never earn in our entire lifetimes.

Indeed, many people have called the Winklevosses greedy, including commenters on our blog. We wholeheartedly agree. And even the point that Facebook’s public relations department keeps making — prepared statements say that this whole case seems like a misguided effort to rewrite history, but could we please move on — has been getting more votes than the small minority opinion that the twins ought to get every extra penny they seek.

And that brings us back to the poll we posted earlier this week; it enables you to see the tally in real time while disallowing repeat voting. So we’re reposting it here so those who haven’t had a chance to vote can do so now. Click on “view results” below to see the lastest total.

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