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« Christmas cheer | Main | Happy Christmas to all - Josh 253 »

Into reverse

Anthony reports that Michael Mann's libel suit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review has suffered something of a setback. Last summer a judge blocked an attempt to have the case thrown out, but appeared to blunder by confusing the actions of the two defendant corporations and their writers. This decision has now been reversed by the appeal court.


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Reader Comments (10)

Mann actual going to court ? no chance without peer pal review and 'picked ' audience when faced with some good legal questioning he is going down .
Still we can but hope that one day his massive ego will get in the way of his limited common sense and his day in court will come .
By the way how are the other cases he has started getting on ,as they seem to have gone quiet ?

Dec 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

It's worth reading some of the better informed comments that follow at WUWT as it's quite a technical point, although promising.

Dec 24, 2013 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Sounds like Mann got lucky the first time by getting one of the country's most incompetent judges. She has retired now so he is unlikely to have such luck again.

Dec 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith L

I love the comment at WUWT:

The only way I know of libelling Mann is by describing him as a scientist.

Dec 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Yes, what ever happened with the one against that Ball chap?

Did it die at the "balls in your court Dr Mann" stage?



Dec 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

The appeal court ruling was particularly harsh by American standards.The ACLU made one of its very rare appearances in supporting a non-'progressive' cause. But it does appear that Mann's team had cherry picked in a theater that is less predictable than climate science and got its hand slapped.

Dec 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Court's ruling, in plain English:

That ruling in the original legalese:

Dec 25, 2013 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterpouncer

Replying to Hunter re: the ACLU,

The particular legal issue parties have spent the past year and a half disputing is not about defamation, it is whether or not the suit falls under the definition of a "SLAPP" lawsuit -- _S_trategic _L_awsuit _A_gainst _P_ublic _P_articipation. The ACLU sees itself as the "public" and everybody else as "authorities" who may sue them for their activities. The ACLU, therefore, sought and won a legislative shield law known as "ANTI-SLAPP" behind which the "public" may defend against lawsuits. Mann claims his suit is all about and only about defamation. Steyn and Simberg claim they are being punished via the courts for the free expression of opinion. The trial court held that a defense motion to deploy the ANTI-SLAPP shield was inappropriate. That law made no provision for appeal. The defense appealed anyway.

The ACLU now intervenes to clarify that they INTENDED the shield to allow appeals. The appeals court agrees.

So far the actual claims and merits of either sides' cases are not being discussed.

Dec 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterpouncer

Lady in Red laments, as do I, that if this is dismissed it won't proceed to discovery of the fraudulence of the Piltdown Mann's Crook't Stick. This is a First Amendment, free speech, issue primarily for Mark Steyn, and only secondarily a climate war case. Besides, it's probably legal malpractice not to move for dismissal at every possible stage.

I was not surprised by the incompetence of the first, now retired judge. I am a little surprised that the highly competent and highly connected law firm advocating for Mann fell for the 'fraudulence' of Mann's Nobel claim, and am more than a little intrigued at the attempt to impugn that as tortious.

Well, don't have too punchdrunk a Boxing Day.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Briefly put, the Court of Appeals pointed out that the appeal against the original complaint was moot because there was an amended complaint, sent the whole thing back to the District Court, and told the District Court to allow a marginally allowed friend of the court brief from the ACLU to be considered. There are a couple of good summaries, including this from Justin VC. Simply put Steyn and Watts got it wrong. Simberg committed sepiku on Volokh

Dec 30, 2013 at 4:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

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