Science Insider reports that Michael Mann is likely to struggle to win his libel case against the National Review.
"Libel lawsuits are not about whether journalism or commentary is misleading or irresponsible," says Peter Canfield, a partner at the Atlanta office of national law firm Dow Lohnes, who has counseled newspapers and other media outlets. "What the lawsuit is about is whether it contains false statements of facts that the authors knew to be false or seriously doubted to be true. That is a very high burden for a plaintiff to bear, particularly with respect to an issue such as this one that is such a hot topic of public debate."
It's unclear whether Mann's case will go to trial. Robert Drechsel, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who focuses on media law, notes that most libel suits never make it to trial, either because the courts dismiss them or the parties settle. If these parties don't settle, then the court must decide whether to hear all or parts of the case.