Well it has all kicked off overnight, hasn't it? Mark Steyn has decided that attack is the best form of defence and has decided to countersue Michael Mann for $10 million.
130. Plaintiff [Mann] has engaged in a pattern of abusive litigation designed to chill freedom of speech and to stifle legitimate criticism of Plaintiff’s work. He is currently suing Dr Tim Ball in British Columbia over a hoary bit of word play (“should be in the state pen, not Penn State”) applied to innumerable Pennsylvanians over the years. Having initiated the suit, Dr Mann then stalled the discovery process, so that the BC suit is now entering its third year – Mann’s object being to use the process as a punishment, rather than any eventual trial and conviction. See Mann vs Ball et al, British Columbia VLC-S-S-111913 (2011) (exhibit attached).
131.At the other end of the spectrum, Plaintiff and his Counsel have issued demands that have no basis in law, as they well know – including the preposterous assertion, in response to a parody video by “Minnesotans for Global Warming”, that “Professor Mann’s likeness” is protected from parody and satire...There is a smell to the hockey stick that, in Lady Macbeth's words, “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten” - nor all the investigations. And so Dr Mann has determined to sue it into respectability.
132. At the same time, Plaintiff continues to evade the one action that might definitively establish its respectability - by objecting, in the courts of Virginia, British Columbia and elsewhere, to the release of his research in this field. See Cuccinelli vs Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia...
133. As with his previous legal threats and actions, Plaintiff has brought this lawsuit for the purpose of wrongfully interfering with critics’ statutorily protected right of advocacy on an issue of great public interest and constitutionally protected free-speech rights.
134.Plaintiff’s lawsuit was designed to have and has had the effect of inhibiting legitimate debate on the issues and public policy surrounding the theories expounded by Plaintiff and others and of restricting the free flow of ideas concerning the merits of those theories...
135. It is already having the desired effect. This very week, on February 19th, enraged by a Pennsylvania weatherman’s Tweet, Plaintiff instructed his acolytes through his Facebook and Twitter pages to call the CBS affiliate and demand to know whether this was “acceptable behavior”. Several went further and made threats to “add him to the lawsuit”, and similar. In the event that Mann succeeds in delaying discovery as he has in British Columbia, there will be three years for him and his enforcers to bully weathermen, parodists, fellow scientists and many others by threatening to “add them to the lawsuit”.
136. More particularly, Plaintiff’s lawsuit, with the intent to silence Plaintiff’s critics, has targeted Defendant Steyn, who has written articles critical of Plaintiff and his theories.
137. Such improper chilling of free, robust and uninhibited public debate over climate change taints and skews the democratic process and distorts the resulting governmental public policy response to alleged global warming.
138. Plaintiff’s lawsuit has damaged Defendant Steyn by interfering with his right to express opinions on controversial matters and causing him to expend time, money and effort in having to respond to this lawsuit.
139.The claims in Plaintiff’s lawsuit arise from an act in furtherance of the right of advocacy on an issue of publicinterest and Plaintiff’s lawsuit therefore violates the Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation Act (Anti-SLAPP Act) ...
140. As a result of Plaintiff’s campaign to silence those who disagree with him on a highly controversial issue of great public importance, wrongful action and violation of the Anti-SLAPP Act, Steyn has been damaged and is entitled to damages, including but not limited to his costs and the attorneys’ fees he has incurred and will incur in the future in defending this action, all in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million, plus punitive damages in the amount of $5 million.
142. Plaintiff’s wrongful interference with Defendant Steyn’s constitutionally protected rights of free speech and public expression and his engagement and use of the courts as an instrument of the government to carry out that wrongful interference violates the First Amendment and constitutes a constitutional tort for which Defendant Steyn is entitled to be compensated.
143. As a consequence of Plaintiff’s wrongful act, Defendant Steyn has been damaged and is entitled to damages, including but not limited to his costs and the attorneys’ fees he has incurred and will incur in the future in defending this action, all in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million, plus punitive damages in the amount of $5 million.
WHEREFORE, Defendant Mark Steyn demands judgment as follows:
a. Dismissing Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint in its entirety;
b. On his First Counterclaim, awarding him compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million and punitive damages in the amount of $5 million, plus his costs and expenses including reasonable attorneys’ fees;
c. On his Second Counterclaim, awarding him compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million and punitive damages in the amount of $5 million, plus his costs and expenses including reasonable attorneys’ fees; and
d. Granting such other and further relief as to the Court seems just.