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Judge: Lawyer can't withdraw from NY Facebook suit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A lawyer who wanted off the case of a New York man suing for an interest in Facebook has been denied his request to withdraw.

Ohio attorney Dean Boland asked to be removed as Paul Ceglia's (SEHG-lee-uh's) attorney in the fall. He said his reasons were private, but it was revealed during a court hearing that he had received threats and was concerned for his safety.

Ceglia, of Wellsville, at first objected to losing his lead attorney but later agreed to it.

Nevertheless, a federal judge in Buffalo said no, writing Wednesday that Boland's reasons for withdrawing were insufficient and his departure could delay the case.

Ceglia's 2010 lawsuit seeks half-ownership of Facebook based on a 2003 contract he signed with founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook says the contract was doctored.