Facebook Inc. has fallen short in its bid to hold DLA Piper and two other firms accountable for their brief stints representing accused fraudster Paul Ceglia, who pursued an ill-fated breach of contract suit against the social networking giant.

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, four judges at the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, threw out malicious prosecution and attorney deceit claims that Facebook brought against DLA Piper; Milberg; Buffalo, New York-based Lippes Matthias Wexler Friedman; and eight individual lawyers. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook accused the firms and lawyers of perpetuating an alleged fraud by Ceglia, a businessman from western New York now considered a fugitive.

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