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Tuesday
Oct302012

Mann sinking

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.

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Reader Comments (28)

Mann will avoid any discovery process has hard has he can .
Sadly I seen this being quietly dropped followed by Mann claiming 'victory ' no matter what the reality with his followers swallowing ever word no matter how silly or illogical has they done many times before.

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Just let's hope that Mann is arrogant (and stupid) enough to push this all the way to trial.

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Mann is being pushed by the emissions' traders and reinsurers eager to keep the scam going.

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Can Steyn and National Review countersue Mann for making false "Nobel" representations in his original legal complaint?

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterArgof...MichaelMann

Very odd that this report fails to mention the "Nobel" kerfuffle at all.

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Can Steyn and National Review countersue Mann for making false "Nobel" representations in his original legal complaint?

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Argof...MichaelMan

Mann lawyers should be asking for this to be changed now and the defence will be asked to agree.

If this goes to court instead of making too much fuss about it the defence would be better showing that Mann had previously been told he did not have the right to claim a Nobel prize and had ignored the advice. Currently all they have is Mann made an error and put it right once made aware.

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I feel quite certain Mann will drop the case, claiming as a mere man of science he was helpless in the face of a precisely orchestrated, lavishly funded denialist conspiracy.

Oct 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Nobel cause dissembling.......

Oct 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Argof...MichaelMan -- Can the countersue for making false Nobel claims.
No. That would be a defense in line with Mann's verasity. And they would likely have no standing to sue on the Nobel claim -- one of the Universities, maybe even the VA AG, might if they paid him money based on his claim and can prove damages. Good luck on that one.

Imho, the Biffra, et al, revisions can be used by Mann since he can claim his work is only as good as the data, then point to others to provide the data. This ploy would attempt to divert the courts away from what he actually used. Fat chance of that working as well.

Oct 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

@Agouts "I feel quite certain Mann will drop the case, claiming as a mere man of science he was helpless in the face of a precisely orchestrated, lavishly funded denialist conspiracy."

If it ever comes to that, I'd be tempted to contribute to his legal fund (as well as to NRO's). When a man like Mann is in a hole, it would be a tragedy if he had to stop digging for want of a shovel.

Oct 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterHK

Mann will pursue this to court. His high-powered DC lawyer has arranged to have one of the worst-rated judges on the DC Circuit Court hear the case.

Oct 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeeyore

Re: Oct 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Geeyore

"Mann will pursue this to court. His high-powered DC lawyer has arranged to have one of the worst-rated judges on the DC Circuit Court hear the case."

Yep - Judge Natalia Coombs-Greene doesn't exactly get rave reviews as being a just and fair arbiter of the law. Commenter Bobby B. had some very interesting links over at WUWT to show the sort of performance we can expect!!!

http://www.therobingroom.com/dc/JudgeDetail.aspx?ID=3789

http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/sterling-reviews-of-judge-natalia-combs-green/

Oct 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

AlecM. You may be an expert on "deep physics" but I doubt you know much about reinsurance, which happens to be my home ground. It is quite simply delusionally paranoid to think that there is a conspiracy among reinsurers to use climate change as an excuse to keep prices up. What has happened is twofold:
1) Touchy-feely marketing types have persuaded their boards to adopt a raft of specious green/climate cliches in the belief that it makes stodgy old insurers look modern and sexy;
2) They have hired climate scientistsTM either on payroll as risk managers, where they infect the company with their hysteria, or by contracting with the likes of RMS (former employer of Bob Ward) who appear to use climate change as a cover for the poor track record of their damageability models.
If you look at insurers' behaviour over the last 20 years, it is completely at odds with the idea that they are conspiring to keep rates up under cover of climate alarmism. Instead they act like so many sheep, chasing down prices on what they think is profitable business until they lose their shirts, and then panicking and blaming everybody and everything but their own poor management decisions. Look at the overall profitability of US non-life insurers and reinsurers since Katrina and adjust for the low catastrophe loss incidence in that time, and you can see that even without any kind of crisis the industry makes no profit. Some conspiracy. And emissions trading is dead.
Back on topic, I don't think Mann has a chance of winning this case, and he has probably been told as much by his lawyers. The important thing is for Steyn to have enough resources to prevent Mann being able to force a compromise that he can spin as a victory. Only total defeat for Mann is acceptable.

Oct 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

I don't really go along with the somewhat wishful thinking that Mann will lose this and be humiliated/defeated in some way. As part of the climate establishment he has a decent shot and whether he wins or loses/withdraws I don't see it mattering a whole lot (unless he loses in a few specific ways).

It's more theatre than substance, I'm not really a fan of the focus on personalities but I guess all this speculation is inevitable.

Oct 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterredc

"I feel quite certain Mann will drop the case, claiming as a mere man of science he was helpless in the face of a precisely orchestrated, lavishly funded denialist conspiracy."

Agouts - you missed out 'fossil-fuels' before funded. Nice Mannian use of 'orchestrated' though.

Oct 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

Orchestrated...for shame guys...try co-ordinated

Oct 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

"If this goes to court instead of making too much fuss about it the defence would be better showing that Mann had previously been told he did not have the right to claim a Nobel prize and had ignored the advice. Currently all they have is Mann made an error and put it right once made aware."

Oct 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Breath of Fresh Air

BoFA, while I can appreciate there's not too much mileage in the (fake) Nobel claim, don't you think the strategy should be that Mann would have to show that he had NOT been made aware of the FNL before. I do recall, in the murky grey stuff that passes for memory in my bonce, that Mann has been told many times that he is a FNL.

Whatever, a man of such hubris really needs to be brought to earth.

Oct 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Peterwash:

No, no. The preferred warmist term these days is 'orchestrated'. Sounds more sinister.

Oct 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

DavidS: read this Der Spiegel expose of Munich Re: http://notrickszone.com/2012/10/19/the-local-munich-re-profiteering-from-climate-change-scare-stories-based-on-quasi-scientific-reports/

They have published false reports of increased extreme weather events when the reality is that the Global Cyclone Energy Index has fallen since the late 1990s to the level of the 1970s as the World cools: http://notrickszone.com/2012/10/30/german-meteorological-expert-says-no-evidence-showing-link-between-storms-and-global-warming/

California Re is also suspected of the same trick.

Oct 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"Currently all they have is Mann made an error and put it right once made aware."

An error? Repeated several times in the legal complaint.

How can anyone *not* know whether he or she has won the Nobel prize or not??

Perhaps Mann's lawyers can do a 'Phil Jones exoneration makerover' on Mann - he's a bit untidy (mentally and professionally) and can't recollect all these trivial things, like where the data went or whether he's won a Nobel prize or not...

Oct 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered Commentercui bono

Expect the worst and you won't be disappointed:

http://johnosullivan.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/michael-mann-gets-most-biased-judge-for-key-us-global-warming-trial/

Oct 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEl Sabio

Alec
I have spent a lot of time with the Munich Re guys and they genuinely believe this stuff. Their "research" is no more fake than Michael Mann's work, ie totally fake but noble cause corruption rather than cynical market manipulation. Hoppe really believes the crap he is putting out, just like the people where I work who choose to believe Rahmstorf's hysteria about sea level rises even after having been shown the facts. As you can see with Russell in the comments on the next post up, or Zebedee any day you choose, these people's belief system is so powerful that it is resistant to any amount of battering with facts. Ironic that people like Lewandowsky have tried to construct a myth of cognitive dissonance around those on our side of the debate.

Oct 30, 2012 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

El Sabio,

I wonder how she came to be appointed to take the case? Do some lawyers have input in to who gets to hear what cases?

Mailman

Oct 30, 2012 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Will Mann call Peter Gleick as a character witness?

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterChuck Kraisinger

David S
I get your point. But, on a related note, can cynical market manipulation masquerade as noble cause corruption?

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:38 AM | Registered Commentershub

What happened to Mann's suit against Tim Ball?

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

I think it's gone Mann Overboard...

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

Reposting my comment on a similar thread at WUWT:

“What a piece of work is Mann, how nobel in reason” with apologies to Rado, Ragni and MacDermott of Hair and the Bard of Avon.

Nov 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayG

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