Mann-Steyn lawsuit judge inverts the defendants actions, botches ruling

Last week there was lots of jubilation in the Mann-world PR headquarters because a judge had ruled that his defamation lawsuit could proceed. Except, there’s this inconvenient glitch. It seems that the judge got the actions of the two defendants mixed up in the ruling, kinda like that upside down Tiljander proxy thing.

From Andrew Lawtons “Landmark Report“:

Dazed and Confused: Steyn files motion for reconsideration on Mann lawsuit based on Clinton judge’s error in fact

Below are the public court documents submitted by Mark Steyn’s attorney moving for reconsideration by Clinton-appointed D.C. Judge Natalia M. Combs Greene as a result of her decision to allow the lawsuit by climate scientist Michael Mann against Mark Steyn and National Review to proceed.

Interestingly, it appears that Judge Combs Greene has mixed-up the defendants in the court’s ruling, attributing actions taken by the Consumer Enterprise Institution [sic] to Mark Steyn and National Review.

Mann v. National Review – Reconsideration Motion (fr0m Scribd)

Defendants National Review, Inc. (“National Review”) and Mark Steyn respectfully request that the Court reconsider its July 19, 2013 Order denying their prior motions to dismiss(the “Order”). A proposed order is attached.First, and as set forth in the accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities, theOrder appears to be based in part on material mistakes of fact. Specifically, the Order conflates the conduct of co-defendant Competitive Enterprise Institute (“CEI”) with that of National Review and Steyn, who never  petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate Plaintiff or otherwise pressured the agency concerning Plaintiff’s research. Similarly, National Review and Steyndid not criticize Plaintiff’s scientific research for years, as CEI did. Nevertheless, the Order relies on these points to bolster its conclusion that National Review’s brief criticism of Plaintiff’s research was defamatory speech, not protected rhetorical hyperbole. See Order, at 17. (“On the other hand, when one takes into account all of the statements and accusations made over the years, the constant requests for investigations of Plaintiff’s work, the alleged defamatory statements appear less akin to ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and more as factual assertions.”). In addition, the Order relies on these erroneous facts in concluding Plaintiff met his burden under the Anti-SLAPP Act of demonstrating that National Review published the statements at issue with actual malice. Indeed, the Order asserts that several investigations of Plaintiff’s work were prompted by allegations leveled by National Review and Steyn. See Order, at 21 (“It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the NR Defendants.”). Yet there are no facts –in the record or otherwise –that suggest National Review and Steyn ever called for or prompted any investigation of Plaintiff’s research. Consequently, the Order should be reconsidered in light of the apparent confusion of facts pertaining to each set of Defendants.

Given that sort of quality judicial work, I suppose it is no surprise that Judge Natalia M. Combs Greene is rated in the bottom ten judges of the Washington D.C. area by the Robing Report.

mann_judge_bottom

The comments left about her professionalism are quite something.

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244 Responses to Mann-Steyn lawsuit judge inverts the defendants actions, botches ruling

  1. LamontT says:

    It isn’t a surprise that she found a reason to uphold Mann. What is a surprise is that she botched it so badly.

  2. cloa5132013 says:

    Can we have that in English or at least structured in such that its easier to read and understand? I understand the original expression needs to be in legal gobbledygook for judges but some expression for humans would help.

  3. Other_Andy says:

    Judge Natalia M. Combs Greene……
    You should read the comments, 23 of them and not one positive one.

  4. Cynical Scientst says:

    A good rule of thumb is that the initial rulings in any case in the US will always have the effect of prolonging litigation, even if the facts and the law have to be bent completely out of shape in order to manage it (as seems to be the case here). If cases were able to be settled on the first motion then litigants might manage to escape from the clutches of the court system with money still in their pockets – money that could go into the pockets of a deserving lawyer.

  5. Skipio Australis says:

    I’m not sure how it is in the US, but in Australia, truth is a complete defence to defamation. If Mann plans to sue for defamation, then any plaintiff should be able to use discovery to prove their defence, something more powerful than FOI. Wouldn’t this be something Professor Mann would want to avoid or am I missing the point?

  6. Doug UK says:

    The comments on her at “The Robing Room” are nothing short of stunning. How can a Judge not be challenged with feedback like that?

    But perhaps she has been challenged – looks like she “retired” a month or so ago:-

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/vacancy-anouncement-for-greene.pdf

  7. Kim Swain says:

    Apparently the Honorable Judge is retiring in September – http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/vacancy-anouncement-for-greene.pdf

  8. A.D. Everard says:

    I read the comments – I’m shocked. There should be a way to get rid of incompetent judges. someone should sit in occasionally (unannounced) and judge them!

  9. Man Bearpig says:

    They need Judge Judy !

  10. Peter Ward says:

    Reading the comments about the judge was interesting. Clearly she’s openly pro-government. In UK the magistrates and judges are covertly pro-government. The results are the same either way.

  11. knr says:

    The bottom line is the day Mann is told show us the proof and expect to get challenged on it , is the day ‘the fossil fuel funding conspiracy’ means he has to pull out .
    But one day his ego is going to get the better of him , its far to massive no to , and he will find he rush to court without an escape route .

  12. If one didn’t know better, reading between the lines, one might be inclined to wonder if the Mann himself (never known to be one who is too concerned with facts) had written the rejection ruling for her!

    P.S. From the Andrew Lawton page linked to in the head post, you can actually download each of the scribd texts as a .pdf – .Paragraph breaks and double spacing make them somewhat easier on the eyes!

    Most of the “meat” is in the file named “155983644-Mann-v-National-Review-Supporting-Memo.pdf”.

    Be sure to take a look at the last page, Exhibit 1 (which had evidently been presented during oral arguments re Mann’s whines about Steyn/NR’s use of “fraudulent” and “bogus”) “THE CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE IN MANN’S OWN WORDS”, is a very handy compilation from Mann’s opus, self-aggrandizing opus, which should have been called Portrait of the Artist as an Aggrieved Mann

  13. AB says:

    We have a legal system, not a justice system. There is a real scandal brewing in New Zealand where a woman pretended to be a judge for 13 months after she had been compulsorily retired. She ruled on a wind farm giving it a binding consent. The government is in full lock down over this and is covering it up, but the corruption is now on public display. This appalling judge has her twin in NZ. Details here.
    http://turiteadocuments.wordpress.com/turitea-wind-farm-documents/

  14. charles nelson says:

    Q. Why is that lawyer buried up to his neck in sand?
    A. We ran out of sand.

  15. tlitb1 says:

    I agree with cloa5132013, I have no idea what is supposed to be shown here except some subjective opinion that the Judge is wrong. If the defendant’s lawyers couldn’t have already spotted this alleged error themselves then they are doomed.

  16. tlitb1 says:

    Though I read more carefully now and see that is what the lawyers are doing, claiming the Judge has made a mistake in a motion.

  17. TerryS says:

    > I have no idea what is supposed to be shown here except some subjective opinion that the Judge is wrong.

    When the Judge allowed the action against National Review and Steyn, she said that one of the reasons she allowed it was “On the other hand, when one takes into account all of the statements and accusations made over the years, the constant requests for investigations of Plaintiff’s work, the alleged defamatory statements appear less akin to ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and more as factual assertions.”. The problem is that Steyn and National Review haven’t engaged in this. It is the Consumer Enterprise Institution that has been doing this.

    This isn’t a subjective opinion. The Judge wrongly ascribed actions to Steyn and National Review

  18. wayne Job says:

    We also have political appointments of high court judges in Australia, it is the lefts way of putting them beyond the reach of answering questions when they know too much.

  19. tonyb says:

    I would consider I have a good grasp of English but the statement cited in the article was confusing. I dare say the legal arguments were confusing. I dare say the judges ruling was confusing.

    We shouldn’t need lawyers to convey a meaning that can then be misinterpreted. it should be in plain simple English.

    I read numerous science articles as research for my various articles. Exactly the same problem exists with a very large percentage of them. I read the science paper and quite often at the end I have no idea of what their conclusions are. Perhaps trying to confuse the plebs with obscure language is a deliberate tactic of the legal profession AND climate scientists?

    tonyb

  20. Mods,

    I seem to have said a “bad” word in my July 30, 2013 at 12:41 am comment-1374967 – as the view from here, so to speak, is that it’s stuck in moderation (or maybe even landed in your spam-trap?!) Perhaps if you have a moment, you could fish it out.

    Thanks.
    Hilary

  21. temp says:

    In basic this is how it breaks down.

    Real world: CEI says mann is a lying, cheating douchebag and should be investigated, tried, and thrown in a very small room with the key never to see the light of day.

    Legal brief as filed from the judges says:
    Mark steyn said that mann is a lying, cheating douchebag and should be investigated, tried, and thrown in a very small room with the key never to see the light of day.

    AKA she’s putting false words in his mouth. In all truth not sure why steyn lawyers are fighting this at this point. I would think a better option would be to run mann into the ground first and if it looked like things were going badly then break this out and restart the trial. It would have probably been better if they just ignored it for now.

  22. Simon says:

    Gotta say I am pleased this is going further. Will be interesting to follow.

  23. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

    “Gotta say I am pleased this is going further. Will be interesting to follow.”

    Same… the amount of data that will be release will make climategate seem like a floppy disk…

    However speaking of lawsuits and news… what about bob tisdale’s suit? I know he personally has to be semi-quiet about it but surprised we’ve heard nothing at all. Is mann still refusing to release the data requested? As well as any other updated info.

  24. Sam the First says:

    The comments on this judge are seriously scary to read. It’s shocking that litigants and defendants can be subjected to such arbitrary legal process. I was esp shocked by this:
    “… she controls every aspect of the case to ensure the outcome she wants, when confronted she states that the jury will be informed not to let her bias interfere with their duties”. Amazing.

  25. johanna says:

    Can any US readers tell us whether, given Greene’s impending retirement, that means the case proper (if it goes forward) will be heard by another judge?

    As for those who want Steyn et al to push for a trial (instead of a dismissal of this absurd travesty) in order to “prove” something or other, I suggest you put up a couple or three million for legal fees and possible damages and subsequent appeals if you believe so strongly. Defamation is a lottery, as Greene’s incoherent and factually incorrect preliminary findings demonstrate. No-one in their right mind encourages a lawsuit against them, especially in this area of the law.

  26. eric1skeptic says:

    Is there more than one group with the initials CEI? I have never head of the one starting with Consumer.

  27. Henry Galt says:

    Sam the First says:
    July 30, 2013 at 2:15 am

    She is not even in the bottom five judges of the Washington D.C. area by the Robing Report.

    And this-

    “… take me to the Court of Appeals, if your client can afford it…. ”

    Nice.

  28. FerdinandAkin says:

    I can see it now. The Church of Global Warming will be screaming to the roof tops:

    “Steyn walks on a technicality, justice denied for Mann!”

    There will be protests in the streets. Vigils with people carrying signs chanting:

    “Justice for Mann, Justice for Mann”

    There will be calls for the Federal Government to file a civil rights suit against Steyn.

  29. Nick Stokes says:

    TerryS says: July 30, 2013 at 1:13 am
    ‘When the Judge allowed the action against National Review and Steyn, she said that one of the reasons she allowed it was “On the other hand, when one takes into account all of the statements and accusations made over the years, the constant requests for investigations of Plaintiff’s work, the alleged defamatory statements appear less akin to ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and more as factual assertions.”. The problem is that Steyn and National Review haven’t engaged in this. It is the Consumer Enterprise Institution that has been doing this.’

    Did she say Steyn/NRO had been doing it? It seems to me she’s saying that in the light of those events (whoever did it) the language is likely to be interpreted as an allegation of fact.

  30. johanna says:

    Hi Nick! Here to try your luck at legal argument?

    Steyn’s lawyers filed for dismissal of the motion against Steyn because (among other things) the dopey judge attributed things to Steyn that had been done by someone else – in this case, CEI. Even in the sometimes weird world of defamation law, you can’t be sued for something someone else did.

    Comprende?

  31. johanna says:

    Sorry, should be filed for a review of her decision to allow the case to proceed. The motion for dismissal decision was the thing she screwed up.

  32. Bruce says:

    One of the commenters at Think Progress (sic) says, “This decision gives the CEI the right to ask for the emails currently being held back by the UVa under rules of discovery. It will also allow them to challenge the inquiries before a judge.
    It is a Phyrric victory.”

    Is that the case? Will CEI be able to get their hands on the emails?

  33. cedarhill says:

    Rule 60 may allow an appellate court to correct the order. Usually, such orders are just collected for appeal after a final order. My guess would be if the judge will find something since an error in material fact would avoid the interlocutory rule and they’d appeal immediately.

    As to whether she’ll continue after “retirement”? They usually call them “senior” judges and many continue. I.E., it’s politics. One would likely win a bet that barring physical infirmity or illness, she’ll continue.

    Obtw, Federal judges are, for the most part, as close to God on Earth as one will ever encounter.

  34. Geckko says:

    So presumably, by the Judge’s ruling, Mann now has a get out of (should that be get into?) jail free card that can be deployed against any satarist who employ “protected rhetorical hyperbole” because one entity, the CEI, has been badgering him.

  35. Glenn says:

    Why is CEI a co-defendant with Steyn?
    Is there a lawyer in the house?

  36. Nick Stokes says:

    johanna says: July 30, 2013 at 3:01 am
    “the dopey judge attributed things to Steyn that had been done by someone else – in this case, CEI”
    .
    Where?

    “Even in the sometimes weird world of defamation law, you can’t be sued for something someone else did.”

    They are’nt being sued for requesting investigations etc. They are being sued for words they published. And the judge is talking about how those words would be interpreted.

  37. Rob MW says:

    Johanna – @ July 30, 2013 at 3:01 am

    But in Nick’s world you can be sued for something you did not do, just look at poor ole’ CO2.

  38. Tucci78 says:

    At 11:58 PM on 29 July, Skipio Australis had written:

    I’m not sure how it is in the US, but in Australia, truth is a complete defence to defamation. If Mann plans to sue for defamation, then any plaintiff should be able to use discovery to prove their defence, something more powerful than FOI. Wouldn’t this be something Professor Mann would want to avoid or am I missing the point?

    Not being a lawyer myself (but rather a physician and therefore representative of an ATLA prey species), I’m not intimately familiar with the Kabuki theater proceduralism that makes of our legal system in these United States the friggin’ disgrace it has been throughout my lifetime, but even though in justice the kind of toxic waste dumped by Michael Mann on Steyn et al. in the form of this lawsuit should entitle the victims to the sorts of discovery that would indeed see Mikey “investigated, tried, and thrown in a very small room with the key never to see the light of day,” a judge willing and eager to maintain the “Liberal” fascist utility of the preposterously bogus horsepuckey peddled by credentialed incompetents and fraudsters like the Hockey Stick Hoser can and will quite flagrantly violate every canon of her profession, not to mention those standards of moral conduct to which even self-respecting child molesters hew.

    Witness the prosecutorial misconduct (and judicial complicity) in suppressio veri, suggestio falsi regarding the sociopathic personal past history of the sainted Trayvon Martin in the recently adjudicated criminal case against Martin’s victim, George Zimmerman.

    ==========

    I propose that it shall be no longer malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a [government] jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s deserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined. The flogged judge, or Congressman, or other jobholder, on being discharged from hospital — or his chief heir, in case he has perished — goes before a grand jury and makes a complaint, and, if a true bill is found, a petit jury is empaneled and all the evidence is put before it. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that this punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course.

    – H.L. Mencken

  39. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    So CEI and Steyn/NRO are pointing at each other and saying “It was them wot did it”. Doesn’t bode well for their cases.

  40. steveta_uk says:

    Damn, I hate to agree with Nick, but he may be right in this case.

    Instead of just reading the extracts above, read the section from the Judge’s order. It makes it clear that since Stein directly references the CEI article, the CEI history has to be taken into account in interpreting Stein’s words.

    (sorry if this is double posted – something went weird with WUWT just now, so I’m not sure what happened).

  41. Tucci78 says:

    At 3:32 AM on 30 July, Nick Stokes had grabbed from out’n his tochus:

    They are’nt being sued for requesting investigations etc. They are being sued for words they published. And the judge is talking about how those words would be interpreted.

    Which means, of course, that Steyn et al. are emphatically not “being sued for words they published” (inasmuch as were that the fact, the motion to dismiss would have been granted) but rather upon how this particular malfeasant judge has claimed that “those words” (authorship notwithstanding) “would be interpreted.”

    Let us return to Mr. Mencken’s robust observations:

    Judge — A law student who marks his own examination-papers.

  42. Szilard says:

    Look up any judge at “The Robing Room” and you’re pretty likely to find negative comments from litigants who think they got the wrong result. It’s completely unreliable as a guide to judicial quality.

    Nice touch with the “Clinton judge” label. It’s good to always Inject a soupcon of lame, tedious party-political rhetoric into any kind of debate, I find.

  43. Olaf Koenders says:

    Many of the comments against Greene show a clear basis for declaring mistrials in every case. A judge must uphold the law, not personal bias or opinion, which is the reason the jury exists. It appears Greene failed in her Oath on many occasions and should have been dismissed long ago.

  44. philjourdan says:

    Clinton appointees appeat to be setting new standards of lows in Judicial rulings. Given his proven predilections in the past, one wonders how they got the jobs in the first place.

  45. sergeiMK says:

    This is realy weird.
    wuwt seems to be suggesting that mann has no case because all those fraud/cheat/incompetent claims were just for fun and have no truth behnd them.

    It seems strange that you can call a professional a fraud so many times and with such force, then turn round and say it was just for fun.
    Fraud is in uk a criminal offence and you have called this scientist (who relies on his science for funding) a criminal. It is obvious that there is a real chance you will cause him financial loss. An important point in uk defamation law.

    Are you now saying that his science is valid?
    or are you saying his science is fraudulant?

    Decision time I think

  46. Dave says:

    Let’s see… a judge known for making emotional rulings while ignoring facts and the law. Hmmmm. She’s probably on Obama’s short list for the next opening on the Supreme Court.

  47. Jonathan Abbott says:

    It looks to me that the ruling is that someone has a case to answer for defaming Mann, despite some confusion over exactly who that should be. Therefore, I personally file this under ‘Not good news’.

  48. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    When the lawsuit was announced earlier at WUWT I tried to do some research on Judge Combs Greene. I was able to find the notice of her appointment to the DC Superior Court (Bill Clinton, president), but she was not included in the American Bar Association nominee ratings during the year covering her appointment. I think that is a bit unusual, but maybe the ABA doesn’t get involved in every appointment.

    Technically, the President nominates all federal judges, but the practical system is the senior US Senator of the president’s party for the state hosting the court recommends candidates for any vacancies there and absent a really compelling reason the President will simply forward the name on to the Senate. The DC Superior court is different; there is a Nominating Committee which makes recommendations and I assume these go directly to the President.

    I don’t know how much faith to place in comments left at the Robing Report — anyone can leave a rating there — all the quality control of Wikipedia and none of the audit trail. Most for Judge Combs Greene appear to come directly from litigants (based it appears on their own assessments; I don’t see any verification that people claiming to be attorneys actually are). For almost every civil litigation there is a winning party who is happy and a losing party who is not. If you look at comments for other judges you’ll find relatively few positive ones — the unhappy party is usually more motivated to complain.

    What I tried to find, and did not, was a record of how many rulings by Judge Combs Greene were reversed as a percentage of rulings appealed. That’s a more objective measure of how well a judge knows and applies the law.

    In any case judges do make mistakes, which is why there are appellate courts.

  49. TImothy Sorenson says:

    Maybe a good thing though, she retires on Sept 20th and perhaps due to her poor calendar it will not get ruled and need a new judge to be appointed.

  50. johanna says:

    @ Nick Stokes

    “They are’nt being sued for requesting investigations etc. They are being sued for words they published. And the judge is talking about how those words would be interpreted.”
    ——————————————-
    Nick, the judge claimed that Steyn and his publishers did things that they did not do as a basis for her decision to let the trial go ahead. She was simply wrong on the facts, mixing up what CEI (a separate party) did with the contents of the article, which are the only things that Steyn and his publishers can be sued for.

    This is such a dumb error that one wonders how she ever passed her law exams, let alone got appointed to the Bench.

  51. wte9 says:

    Isn’t it Competitive Enterprise Institute?

  52. MattN says:

    Not one single positive review of her work. Wow.

  53. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Keep in mind this ruling is to deny a motion made by Steyn’s attorney to dismiss the suit under DC’s anti-SLAPP statute. It has no bearing on the merits of the underlying case.

  54. Doug Huffman says:

    The judicial system and its components are not up to the challenge of science, demotically confusing technology with science. Beyond that; the law is an ass that lawyers ride to work.

  55. Fred says:

    Amusingly enough, Steyn is on record in the National Review Online itself as far back as 2009 declaring that Mann’s work was a ‘fraud’

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/228696/crus-tree-ring-circus/mark-steyn/page/0/1

    I’m not sure how that fits in with today’s claim that they have “did not criticize Plaintiff’s scientific research for years”.

  56. chris y says:

    Hilary Ostrov says-

    “If one didn’t know better, reading between the lines, one might be inclined to wonder if the Mann himself (never known to be one who is too concerned with facts) had written the rejection ruling for her!”

    I had a similar thought as I read the ruling, but with a different cast of characters.

    Since Mann the “independent scientist” is stumping for political candidate Terry McAuliffe, in addition to researching the spread of vector-borne diseases (his area of expertise du jour), he surely doesn’t have the time to mess around with these courtroom hijinks.

    I think there are more nefarious things afoot.

    It will be interesting to see which judge is assigned the case after September.

  57. Johnh says:

    One thing she did rule was that Mann is a Public figure so has to show ‘Actual Malice’ against him, she then goes on to say she see’s ‘Little sign of Malice’.

  58. Dodgy Geezer says:

    steveta_uk says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:58 am
    Damn, I hate to agree with Nick, but he may be right in this case…

    I have less trouble in agreeing with Nick. The judge’s comments don’t indicate that Mark and NR MADE the comments attributed to CEI – they are mentioned as examples of the situation at the time. I don’t know if this is acceptable in law, but it does not look as if the main accusation in this piece – that there is confusion over who made the CEI statements – is valid.

    It is very handy having someone who completely disagrees with your position commenting on your actions and assertions – it means that errors should be picked up that much faster. WUWT should encourage more of this…

  59. Ric Werme says:

    I recommend people here read the judge’s orders and not fully trust the interpretations of others. The US legal system is inherently biased – a lawyer is expected to present the client’s side of the story and can get in trouble for admitting the other side may have a credible argument. Also, the ruling is far more extensive than one would imagine from reading the commentary. I haven’t read the CEI order, but here are a couple points from the NR order.

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mann_v_Natl_Review_Order_7-19-13.pdf
    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mann_Order_CEI_7-19-13.pdf

    Oh crap – I can’t copy & paste from the .pdf. Grr.

    Page 17 (Ref the claim above that it is the CEI that has requested investigations), unquoted text includes “intellectually bogus”, “ringmaster of the tree-ring circus,” and refers to “National Review Online, Football and Hockey, by Mark Steyn (July 15, 2012).” I haven’t verified that the first comments came from NR, nor investigated all the articles NR has published criticizing Mann. In the context of the Order, “made over the years” doesn’t seem to refer to CEI, and reads as though it were similar to “made over time,” i.e. the time period is too vague for this engineer to get bent out of shape over. Lawyers can read it differently.

    Page 19 – “The court finds, at this stage[,] the fair comment privilege does not apply to the NR defendants.”

    Page 21 – “As a public figure, Plaintiff may only succeed in a suit for libel if he can prove “actual malice: because, as a public figure, he has opened himself to criticism and differing opinions. At this stage, the evidence is slight as to whether there was actual malice.” … “however there is sufficient evidence to find that further dicovery may uncover evidence of “actual malice.”

    Page 24 – “ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a status hearing on September 27, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

    “Motions to reconsider” are routinely made when a lawyer for one side (or both!) think the judge erred or misconsidered some point. In a 24 page order, there’s plenty of fodder to find something to squawk about. They’re rarely successful, in part because the judge is biased and/or incompetent and I’m probably saying more than I should about some of my wife’s motions here in whatever state it is that she practices in. :-)

  60. Coach Springer says:

    Getting sued by Mann was always going to be ugly. It didn’t take NRO long to go from “bring it on” to a motion to dismiss. NRO and Steyn would rather spend their limited money on other things. CEI probably the same. And they’ll never see the E-Mails. I want to know where Mann comes up with his money to keep several of these harassment lawsuits afloat at one time. Any activist scientist is a fraud at the outset, but a public figure like Mann who has to settle his science by suing his most convincing and plain spoken critcs? That makes him science’s most tyrannically unfunny joke.

    As for the judge, minimize the negative comments all you want, but they’re consistently negative. I wonder if she’s going to file a suit against WUWT for linking to the comments. It could be interpreted as malice.

  61. philjourdan says:

    johanna says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:07 am

    This is such a dumb error that one wonders how she ever passed her law exams, let alone got appointed to the Bench.

    Quota kid.

  62. RockyRoad says:

    So a mixed-up, fraudulent practitioner of mixed-up, fraudulent science is taking his case to a mixed-up, fraudulent system of jurisprudence.

    Maybe something of substance will come of this, but I seriously doubt it.

  63. philjourdan says:

    sergeiMK says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:24 am

    An important point in uk defamation law.

    Where have you been the last 237 years? This is not the UK. We have something called freedom of speech.

  64. ferd berple says:

    tonyb says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:18 am
    We shouldn’t need lawyers to convey a meaning that can then be misinterpreted. it should be in plain simple English.
    =============
    computer programming teaches one that even the simplest sentences can be misinterpreted.

    every computer program with more than one line of code has at least one undiscovered bug.

  65. Steve in SC says:

    Sounds to me like the fix is in.

  66. George Washington says:

    Go check google images for “Judge Combs-Greene”. I bet she can’t read cursive.

  67. Ric Werme says:

    philjourdan says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:17 am

    sergeiMK says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:24 am

    An important point in uk defamation law.

    Where have you been the last 237 years? This is not the UK. We have something called freedom of speech.

    In the United States, the right to free speech is not absolute. Libel and slander laws exist because the right has been abused. You should learn more about that.

    OTOH, sergeiMK says “It seems strange that you can call a professional a fraud so many times and with such force, then turn round and say it was just for fun.
    Fraud is in uk a criminal offence….”

    You are applying the legal definition of fraud with the non-legal usage. If you had read the Order, would would have seen the Judge’s quote from a non-legal dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fraud :

    1
    a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
    b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick

    2
    a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat
    b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be

    This made me laugh – LOL even – because this definition allows one to suggest that “Mike’s Nature trick” is fraud.

  68. Luther Wu says:

    Szilard says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Look up any judge at “The Robing Room” and you’re pretty likely to find negative comments from litigants who think they got the wrong result. It’s completely unreliable as a guide to judicial quality.

    Nice touch with the “Clinton judge” label. It’s good to always Inject a soupcon of lame, tedious party-political rhetoric into any kind of debate, I find.
    _______________________
    It’s “pretty likely” that you’ve made valid points, but are you attempting a left- handed defense of this judge’s decision in re this matter? If so, speak up! We have a form of discovery around here. It’s called: give you all the rope you need…

  69. wobble says:

    sergeiMK says:

    wuwt seems to be suggesting that mann has no case because all those fraud/cheat/incompetent claims were just for fun and have no truth behnd them.

    It seems strange that you can call a professional a fraud so many times and with such force, then turn round and say it was just for fun.

    It’s obvious that you’re not familiar with the case. Mann isn’t suing Steyn and National Review because they claimed that this work was fraudulent. Mann is suing them because they compared Penn State’s investigation of him to Penn State’s investigation of Jerry Sandusky by saying,

    “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except for instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.”

    This is the part that defense attorneys are claiming is hyperbole.

  70. ferd berple says:

    steveta_uk says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:58 am
    since Stein directly references the CEI article, the CEI history has to be taken into account in interpreting Stein’s words.
    ============
    that sounds like a stretch of the law and an unreasonable one at that. for example:

    Say party A calls party B a bozo 100 times. Party C comes along and quotes party A 1 time. Party B sues party C for quoting party A. Does party C now become responsible for the other 99 times they did not quote party A?

    I would think that party C could not be held responsible for the other 99 times they did not quote party A. In point of fact, party C could claim this in defense, that they showed restraint in not quoting party A the other 99 times.

    As such, if the judge did use the other 99 times that party C did not quote party A against party C, then the judge could well have overstepped the law. Had party C quoted party A the other 99 times, then this certainly could be used against party C.

    However, to make C responsible for actions they did not take would establish a very dangerous precedent in law. In effect you could be found guilty for past actions of other parties, simply for publicly agreeing with the parties today. A very dangerous legal precedent that could easily be used to deny freedom of speech and political dissent.

  71. ferd berple says:

    In effect, if the ruling is allowed to stand, it would mean that by agreeing with someone 1 time today, you are now assumed to agree with that person all the time, and you thus become responsible for their past actions, as though you had agreed with them at the time.

    In effect, unless you spoke out in the past against the person you now agree with, you can now be held legally responsible for all the past actions of the person you agree with today, even those actions you did not agree with, but did not speak out against.

    In effect, you become legally responsible to condemn every action by everyone you do not agree with, otherwise if you happen at some point in the future to agree with them on 1 point, you them become liable for all actions by that party you did not speak up against.

    this would place unreasonable burden on every person and party to speak out against every action by every other person or party that they did not agree with, even if they were not aware of the action.

  72. steveta_uk says:

    Fred, if party A insults party B 100′s of times, then along comes party C and joins in, it would be very reasonable to conclude that party C was fully aware of the ongoing bullying and joined in, even if only once. For C to then claim that they were only having fun and was unaware of the previous incidents would be reasonable if C hadn’t joined in with “yeah, what he said”.

  73. wws says:

    It is all George Zimmermann’s fault.

  74. Gail Combs says:

    “The comments left about her professionalism are quite something.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    After reading the comments I was astonished to find that they were made by the LAWYERS and not the defendants in the cases.

    FAQs

    1. What is the The Robing Room?

    The Robing Room is a site by lawyers for lawyers. Our mission is to provide a forum for evaluating judges and magistrate-judges.

    2. Who operates The Robing Room?

    The Robing Room is owned and operated by North Law Publishers, Inc., a New York Corporation, whose principal shareholders are attorneys….

    This comment was in “Notable Comments” on the HOME PAGE of the Robing Room.

    Hon. Natalia M. Combs-Greene (DC)
    Openly states she is on the side of DC goverment attorneys, having been one herself, and turns a blind eye to their refusal to participate in discovery and late responses. She is openly biased, moody, sarcastic, and acts without regard for the robe or the law. She looks like she’s on a permanent audition to replace Judge Judy.

    These comments under her name struck me as exceedingly nasty.

    Rating:2.0
    Comments:
    With great hubris,Judge Combs-greene controls every aspect of the court room to ensure a favorable outcome for DC. And when the AAGs are too incompetent to handle a cross, she intervenes. Frequently she objects and sustains without any vocalizing by defense counsel… when challenged on her open bias, she states, take me to the Court of Appeals, if your client can afford it….

    Rating:1.3
    Comments:
    Staunch supporter of the District of Columbia when the District is sued. Comments about personal relationship with Assisant Attorney Generals. Called my client a “dog” in open court and told me “When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” Warned me that I could be “hurt” for my zealous advocacy against the District of Columbia and then took a case from the jury (a case in which I represented a plaintiff that the defendant admitted that they had damaged) and dismissed the case.

    So much for the Rule of Law….

  75. Gail Combs says:

    Skipio Australis says:
    July 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I’m not sure how it is in the US, but in Australia, truth is a complete defence to defamation….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If the Judge is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, it does not matter WHAT the facts are. That is why The Robing Room comments are important. This judge believes in the rule of man (political favoritism) and not in the Rule of Law. Too bad there is no way of removing dishonest judges. Judges are now, above the law. and our rights to a fair trial BY JURY has been compromised by the US Supreme Court.

    “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved….” ~ Amendment VII

    Pretty darn clear isn’t it? But the Supreme Court didn’t think so.

    Right to Jury in Civil Cases

    Toward the end of the Constitutional Convention, Hugh Williamson of North Carolina noted that “no provision was yet made for juries in civil cases and suggested the necessity of it.”

    ….The Seventh Amendment, passed by the First Congress without debate, cured the omission by declaring that the right to a jury trial shall be preserved in common-law cases, thus leaving the traditional distinction between cases at law and those in equity or admiralty, where there normally was no jury. The implied distinction parallels the explicit division of federal judicial authority in Article III to cases (1) in law, (2) in equity, and (3) in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The contemporaneously passed Judiciary Act of 1789 similarly provided that “the trial of issues of fact, in the district courts, in all causes except civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shall be by jury.” As Justice Joseph Story later explained in Parsons v. Bedford (1830): “In a just sense, the amendment then may well be construed to embrace all suits which are not of equity and admiralty jurisdiction, whatever may be the peculiar form which they may assume to settle legal rights.”

    The Supreme Court has, however, arrived at a more limited interpretation. It applies the amendment’s guarantee to the kinds of cases that “existed under the English common law when the amendment was adopted,” Baltimore & Carolina Line v. Redman (1935), or to newly developed rights that can be analogized to what existed at that time, Luria v. United States (1913), Curtis v. Loether (1974). Accordingly, in a series of decisions in the second half of the twentieth century, the Supreme Court ruled that the Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to trial by jury in procedurally novel settings, like declaratory judgment actions, Beacon Theatres v. Westover (1959), and shareholder derivative suits, Ross v. Bernhard (1970). The Court also applied the amendment to cases adjudicating newly created statutory rights, Curtis v. Loether, Pernell v. Southall Realty (1974). In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that when factually overlapping “legal” and “equitable” claims are joined together in the same action, the Seventh Amendment requires that the former be adjudicated first (by a jury); and that when legal claims triable to a jury are erroneously dismissed, relitigation of the entire action is “essential to vindicating [the plaintiff's] Seventh Amendment rights.” Lytle v. Household Manufacturing, Inc. (1990).

    The right to trial by jury is not constitutionally guaranteed in certain classes of civil cases that are concededly “suits at common law,” particularly when “public” or governmental rights are at issue and if one cannot find eighteenth-century precedent for jury participation in those cases. Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (1977). Thus, Congress can lodge personal and property claims against the United States in non-Article III courts with no jury component. In addition, where practice as it existed in 1791 “provides no clear answer,” the rule is that “[o]nly those incidents which are regarded as fundamental, as inherent in and of the essence of the system of trial by jury, are placed beyond the reach of the legislature.” Markman v. Westview Instruments (1996). In those situations, too, the Seventh Amendment does not restrain congressional choice….

    So there went our last constraint on the Federal government. Without a trial by jury we lost our RIGHT to overrule corrupt judges and idiotic laws and regulations.

  76. ferd berple says:

    steveta_uk says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:10 am
    Fred, if party A insults party B 100′s of times, then along comes party C and joins in, it would be very reasonable to conclude that party C was fully aware of the ongoing bullying and joined in, even if only once.
    ===================
    Public figures are able to take advantage of publicity to advance their personal interests, ahead of the interests of the many. In effect it is the public figures that are acting as the bullies, forcing the rest of us to go along by way of their access to media and government. Freedom of speech allows us to stand up to the bullies, without fear that they will try and silence us.

    Freedom of speech is not “having fun”. It is a right earned though the struggle and deaths of untold millions over the centuries so that you and I might might enjoy the right to object to the actions of the high and mighty of the land, without the fear of the high and mighty using their position of influence to silence us.

    What you are suggesting is guilt by association – a form of injustice. The fact is that C didn’t join in for the 100′s of times. They only joined in 1 time. This demonstrates either C didn’t agree with the 100′s of other times, or had no opinion on the 100′s of other times.

    Guilt by association takes many forms. the standard argument is “if you are not with us, you are against us”. This denies the right of the crowd to sit on the fence – the right of people to not take part in the fight. It forces the crowd to take sides, to join in the battle, regardless of their interests. Small conflicts become large. Damages grow out of proportion to the disagreement, until the parties are exhausted. All too often the ordinary people are left to clean up the mess. the rich and powerful are above such matters.

  77. Gail Combs says:

    tonyb says: @ July 30, 2013 at 1:18 am
    …..Perhaps trying to confuse the plebs with obscure language is a deliberate tactic of the legal profession AND climate scientists?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Of COURSE it is. How else are you going to convince the plebs you are superior to them and therefore they have to fork over their hard earned cash. The current system is all about guaranteed employment, not for unions by for lawyers, accountants, bureaucrats and scientists aka as The Regulating Class

    For scientists see Bafflegab Pays by J. Scott Armstrong pdf

  78. WillR says:

    Why would Steyn (his lawyer) file that motion?

    Because if you do not you are deemed to have accepted the judges statements — some of which appear to be factually incorrect.

    So, if you do not file for reconsideration — it can be taken that you agree. Then it becomes easier for the other party to make their case — without any significant evidence other than your acceptance of the false material.

    It’s a subtle trap and many fall for it — one way or the other.

  79. Yancey Ward says:

    This case will, at some point, get dismissed. As a public figure, the bar to proving libel and slander is just so high that Mann will never reach it. Whoever is funding his suit is wasting their money- it will not only not succeed at trial, it won’t even stop the attacks on Mann’s scientific results.

    As for the judges decision, it almost seems as if she considers them a single entity, which they are not.

  80. steveta_uk says:

    Fred, I agree with everything you said. But note in this case that nobody has said the Stein and NR are guilty – simply that they may have a case to answer. Still a long way to go.

  81. Mardler says:

    Fred B has it and very well put.

    OTOH, I am so disbelieving of what once served as a system of justice in the US (and here in the UK) that I have no doubt that Mann will not only win the case but will come out smelling of roses to grand applause from the Watermelons.

    Such is life.

    Time to think of another way to get our message across.

    [Note: Folks, the commenter referred to is 'ferd', not 'fred'. Several are making this error. — mod.]

  82. Bob Kutz says:

    Re; sergeiMK, July 30, 2013 at 4:24 am;

    As it happens, they were not attacking Mann in such a way as to cause him to lose his funding or job.

    Mann decided he wanted to play in the public arena. He became a celebrity instead of a scientist. In the U.S. you give up a lot of the legal protections against slander and libel when you do that.

    Steyn/NR did not make up false facts and use them in a malicious way inside the academic establishments where such things would cause Mann’s career to suffer. IF anything they improved his standing in that community.

    Your argument is invalid.

    On the separate, underlying point; the notion that someone would have read CEI’s statements and considered them in regard to Steyn/NR defamation lawsuit; does not matter in the least. 1) Defamation stands on what you said. Not on what anybody else said. That would be the readers interpretation and falls outside the meaning of both libel and slander. This judge is very very poor in her legal interpretation skills. If this lawsuit is being brought forward based on interpreting what Steyn said in light of what CEI said, it cannot be brought. Even if collusion were present, this is not a criminal proceeding. If one guy says you’re a liar, and the guy’s brother says you’re a thief as well, you cannot charge or convict the first guy because he cannot prove you are a thief just as you cannot convict his brother if he cannot prove you are a liar. If there’s no valid basis for the suit based on only what Steyn said and NR published, there is no legal way to construct a valid suit against them based on anything someone else said. Especially considering that if what someone else said was wrong and you reasonably relied on it, that IS a valid defense.

    2) Mann is a public figure. You can call him a fraud, charlatan, opportunist, creep, child molester or whatever. He can’t sue you for that any more.

    Now if you make up facts; (for example; Mike Mann did X, Y and Z on Febtemer 41st, 1998, and therefor committed felony — insert crime of your choice here — under the statutes of the commonwealth of Virginia) and then caused those false statements to be published and/or sent it to his current or prospective employer, you are guilty of slander and/or libel. Difficult to defend that.

    I don’t think anyone is alleging Steyn did such. Fact is, if Mann would ever give up his raw data and methodology, someone would probably call him a fool or a cherry picker, rather than accuse him of a crime. Even in the face of absolutely comically wrong methodology, one has to first assume incompetence rather than impute malfeasance. Comically wrong methodology seems to be the underlying theme of all of Mann’s published works.

    Either way, comparing Mike Mann to that sick s-o-b at Penn seemed a bit over the top, even before the suit was brought. I didn’t agree with it. But its not defamation.

    If this judge is unaware of Mann’s standing in the climate community and popular media, Steyn’s lawyer is not doing his job.

  83. hunter says:

    Many things are in decline in America. Justice in Washington, DC, appears to be one of those things in decline.
    The question now is whether or not this is even a trial in the sense of facts, evidence and law?

  84. RB says:

    I practiced as a lawyer for 20 years and did my fair share of trials. I note that quite a few of the comments about this judge appear to be made by lawyers. As a whole lawyers (certainly here in the UK) would never publish derogatory remarks about a judge, even if they were merited. We would just know between us who and what any judge was and deal with it, often resigned at the get go that an appeal would probably be necessary. That the lawyers themselves have openly published such comments about this judge probably means that she is, as they say, appalling at her job. I have never seen such remarks published openly about a member of the judiciary and she must be bad for such a shocking thing to have happened.

  85. Beta Blocker says:

    Yancey Ward says: July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am This case will, at some point, get dismissed. As a public figure, the bar to proving libel and slander is just so high that Mann will never reach it. Whoever is funding his suit is wasting their money- it will not only not succeed at trial, it won’t even stop the attacks on Mann’s scientific results.

    The goal is to keep Michael Mann in the public eye as a supposed victim of anti-science zealots.

    For those who are bankrolling Mann’s suit, It is worth every penny they are spending on it, regardless of the final outcome of the suit.

    If the suit is successful, much will be made of the decision; but if it fails or is dismissed, nothing more will be said in the MSM about it. Mann’s supporters win either way.

  86. wobble says:

    steveta_uk says:

    Fred, if party A insults party B 100′s of times, then along comes party C and joins in, it would be very reasonable to conclude that party C was fully aware of the ongoing bullying and joined in, even if only once. For C to then claim that they were only having fun and was unaware of the previous incidents would be reasonable if C hadn’t joined in with “yeah, what he said”.

    It’s been awhile since I read the motion to dismiss, but I think you’re missing the essence of their motion.

    I don’t think that the defense is claiming that their criticism of Mann was just for fun. I think they are claiming that they merely used hyperbolic phrasing in stating their criticism. They stated that Mann was a molester of data in the same way that Jerry Sandusky was a molester of children. The motion clearly states that Mann is worthy of criticism.

  87. _Jim says:

    I suggest we have a new category of impropriety in society, and in particular the jurisprudence system:

    . . . . J W I – Judging while Intoxicated.

    No telling what she “was on” (power; delusions of grandeur, Jim Beam in a flask kept under the bench …)

    .

  88. Claude Harvey says:

    In the world of AGW, “facts are whatever we say they are”. This judge understands that ordinary logic cannot be applied to a world where “colder” is evidence of “warmer”, where “missing heat” is obviously “hiding”, where only “select trees” are “temperature trees” and all the other trees are “liar trees”.

    “What we have here is a failure to communicate!”

  89. Chad Wozniak says:

    Obviously the judge is an AGW alarmist herself, and that makes her order corrupt. She should have recused herself for known and admitted bias. Perhaps she can be challenged on that basis.

  90. Scott Basinger says:

    I’d be careful about what you write about a judge, regardless of her qualifications.

  91. Hal44 says:

    Bring it on. Steyn versus Mann in court. This should be funnier than a Monty Python skit.

  92. Jim Roth says:

    She is retiring in Sept, 2013 :-)

  93. Mr. Watts,
    Your post says “…attributing actions taken by the Consumer Enterprise Institution to…”.
    I believe you mean “Competitive Enterprise Institute.”

    REPLY: That’s the source article from Lawton, not me – Anthony

  94. Graham says:

    Seems this judge is to facts as Mann is to science. I wonder if there is any romantic attachment for which she should recuse herself (sorry, I was being funny, please don’t sue me for false accusations or some other Mannly charge.)

  95. philjourdan says:

    @Scott Basinger – inside their courtroom, they are god. Outside, they are just another citizen.

  96. Just Steve says:

    Steyn made reference to Jerry Sandusky in regards Mann for the simple reason both were at Penn State, and that Penn State did horrible jobs of investigating either one internally. Steyn basically accused Mann, if you will, of molesting facts in.re. global warming, furthering the Sandusky comparison.

    Steyn is Canadian, not American, and has spent a lot of time in England (if you hear him speak, he has a very British lilt to his speech) and if you read him on a regular basis you find he has a very British sense of humor, mucn more bawdy and direct than we have (think Delingpole). In the final analysis, Steyn accuses Mann of nothing he hasn’t been accused of on WUWT, he was just a little more colorful in his language. If Mikey doesn’t like it, he can retreat from the public spotlight, if not he’d better grow a pair.

  97. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    July 30, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Either way, comparing Mike Mann to that sick s-o-b at Penn seemed a bit over the top, even before the suit was brought. I didn’t agree with it. But its not defamation.

    If this judge is unaware of Mann’s standing in the climate community and popular media, Steyn’s lawyer is not doing his job.

    I don’t have the Steyn article in front of me but my recollection is the comparison with Jerry Sandusky was not to Mann or his alleged actions, but to the perfunctory investigation Penn State did in both cases. It seems to me that the University has a much stronger basis to sue for libel than Mann does.

    Mann’s standing in the climate community and popular media is irrelevant to the determination of libel. What is relevant was what exactly Steyn published, and exactly how that damaged Mann. As a public figure, Mann has a steep burden of evidence to prevail here: he has to show that Steyn published the false and damaging statements either knowing they were false or with reckless disregard to their truth.

  98. CFT says:

    Remember that all the federal judges in DC were being assessed by the lawyers. Though the lawyer’s comments were indeed negative on the website, the relevant factor is the ranking of the judges within the same framework of critique. The perhaps not so honorable judge in question was at the very bottom of the barrel so to speak, so comparatively to the other judges she was found wanting.

  99. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:32 am

    “They are’nt being sued for requesting investigations etc. They are being sued for words they published. And the judge is talking about how those words would be interpreted.”

    So, what is the argument, Nick? Are you saying that if CEI had not published its criticisms of Mann that statements by Steyn and Lowry would not be interpreted as factual claims? You do realize that the argument is ridiculous?

    Good old Nick, embrace a conclusion and then attempt to construct an argument in public.

  100. It appears as that there were two anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss; one from CEI and one from Steyn/NR – and two “rejection” decisions.

    See: DC Court affirms Michael Mann’s right to proceed in defamation lawsuit against National Review and CEI

    There’s a certain amusing irony in the Judge’s … uh … “trick” which mirrors that of Mann’s: Both seem to have a rather unfortunate habit of, in effect, taking stuff from one virtual table, pasting it into/onto stuff from another, smoothing it out (well, sort of) – and pretending that the resulting “creation” [h/t Joelle Gergis] is valid.

    But here’s an interesting tidbit from SuperMandia™ in the comments:

    Thank you for suggesting donations to Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). Although CSLDF is not involved with this particular case, we have helped Dr. Mann and others with previous issues [...]

    Probably a wise move on the part of CSLDF to not appear to fund plaintiffs. In particular, not those plaintiffs like Mann, whose “case” appears – not unlike those of the notorious, publicity-seeking, self-aggrandizing faux-historian, David Irving – to be founded on a firm belief in the “principle” of ‘free unfettered speech for me, but not for thee’!

    But, to paraphrase an old song (which, of course, was before my time!) I wonder who’s funding him now?

  101. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Chad Wozniak says:
    July 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Obviously the judge is an AGW alarmist herself, and that makes her order corrupt. She should have recused herself for known and admitted bias. Perhaps she can be challenged on that basis.

    I don’t see how you can possibly support this contention. The judge ruled against a motion to dismiss under the provisions of DC’s anti-SLAPP law. Counsel for the defense moved to reconsider, claiming actions of one defendant were incorrectly attributed to the other in a way materially relevant to determining applicability of the statute. They may be correct and the judge may reverse the ruling, or it could be reversed on appeal. None of this has anything to do with the dispute over global warming science. The case is not about the science; the judge will not judge the science. Courts in general are not competent to determine questions of science and most judges are smart enough to realize this. That does make for a kind of bias we’ve seen where the courts defer to an executive department (e.g., the EPA) on the assumption they have fairly examined the science, but I don’t see how that bias is going to help Mann in this case as he is a private citizen and not acting out of any public duty or charge.

    Mann could be absolutely wrong about global warming and still collect a libel judgement. Or he could be absolutely right about global warming and not get a cent. The specific legal action is completely divorced the background dispute; they could be arguing about dancing angels on pins and the legal issues would be the same.

    It is wrong to attribute bias to the judge based on this one ruling, and it is certainly wrong to attribute corruption. An attorney who petitions a judge to recuse herself on the grounds of bias and corruption can expect a very chilly reception. Probably one of several reasons why Steyn’s lawyer chose a different course.

  102. Mark says:

    Mann probably chose her because she’s a political hack and therefore a bottom ten judge.

  103. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    No discussion of judicial failings is complete without reference to at least one Gilbert & Sullivan song (“The Judge’s Song, from Trial by Jury):
    <a href="[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzFf1kpio_E?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

  104. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Hmm, it looks like I botched the Youtube player link. …

  105. Nick Stokes says:

    Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 11:50 am
    “So, what is the argument, Nick? Are you saying that if CEI had not published its criticisms of Mann that statements by Steyn and Lowry would not be interpreted as factual claims?”

    I’m not saying it. The judge is (with more context than just the criticisms). But it’s not quite like that. NRO and Steyn said things that do sound fairly libellous. The judge is dealing with a defence that they are just rhetoric, and no-one would expect they are literally meant. She prefaces her statements quoted in this thread by:
    “In determining whether the statement is an opinion, the context of the statement should be considered.”

    johanna says: July 30, 2013 at 5:07 am
    “Nick, the judge claimed that Steyn and his publishers did things that they did not do as a basis for her decision to let the trial go ahead.”

    You keep saying that. But where is that claim? Could you quote?

  106. John says:

    @Theo Goodwin

    “Are you saying that if CEI had not published its criticisms of Mann that statements by Steyn and Lowry would not be interpreted as factual claims? You do realize that the argument is ridiculous?”

    Steyn did make a factual claim, he accused Mann of fraud. That is a falsifiable fact. The judge was actually looking at if it could be considered rhetorical hyperbole within the context of the climate change debate. I think many of the commenters here are too critical of the judge if you read the dismissal she actually talks about how this type of harsh language is common in the climate change debate and considers if it could be rhetorical hyperbole.

    Also this isn’t a judgement she is just saying that there is enough doubt that it need to be decided in a court case.

  107. Gunga Din says:

    tonyb says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I would consider I have a good grasp of English but the statement cited in the article was confusing. I dare say the legal arguments were confusing. I dare say the judges ruling was confusing.

    We shouldn’t need lawyers to convey a meaning that can then be misinterpreted. it should be in plain simple English….

    ====================================================================
    I think that often the “fine print” in legal and financial documents isn’t in the small print but the “big words” and twisted verbiage that are peculiar to those professions. Science can seem the same to us layman.
    One great thing about WUWT is that there is usually someone willing to put the discussion in “plain English” for people like me.

  108. Gunga Din says:

    Szilard says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Nice touch with the “Clinton judge” label. It’s good to always Inject a soupcon of lame, tedious party-political rhetoric into any kind of debate, I find.

    ==================================================================
    When a judge rules based on party politics (left or right) rather than the Constitution (Dang! I’m back on the “the list” again.) and the law, then who appointed them is relevant.

  109. Tucci78 says:

    [snip - way way WAAYYYYY over the top. You keep doing these things so I'm putting you in the permanent spam bin, sorry - Anthony

  110. Gunga Din says:

    Gail Combs says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:38 am

    …..and our rights to a fair trial BY JURY has been compromised by the US Supreme Court.
    ===============================================================
    Maybe I’m mistaken but doesn’t “trial by jury” mean a jury of their peers?
    I wonder what the state of health care and health care cost would be in the US if malpractice suits allowed MDs on the jury?

  111. Nick,

    What is it you are having so much difficulty understanding about the simple incontrovertible fact that there were TWO motions to dismiss?

    The judge took her “arguments” pertaining to the motion from ONE defendant (to which they may or may not have been relevant) and applied them to her decision on the motion from a SECOND defendant (to which they were definitely NOT relevant)

    Bottom line: There is no … wait for it, Nick … EVIDENCE …that the SECOND defendants had uttered that which she had WRONGLY attributed to them. And (unlike “climate science”) application of the law is supposed to be based on EVIDENCE.

    I fully appreciate that Mann’s decision to sue two separate and distinct entities simultaneously as part of the same lawsuit might would be somewhat very confusing to you. If I have learned nothing else in the last three years, I have definitely learned that it takes very little to confuse Nick Stokes (or for him to confuse himself, for that matter)!

    But just because Mann has confused you, does not mean that your wild unfounded floundering guesses – and stretches of your over-active imagination (not to mention common meanings of the English language) have any bearing on reality.

    So, for Gaia’s sake, Nick … if you are not open to listening to reason, why don’t you start doing your own homework, instead of playing this silly – and intellectually dishonest – game of “my claim, prove me wrong”.

    The documents in the case are all publicly available. If you cast your lazy eyes back through this thread – and previous posts on Mann’s latest attempt to silence the speech of those who don’t agree with his high and mighty opinion of himself and his “creations” – you and your mouse can even find some useful starting points.

    So get cracking on that homework, eh?! Surprise us all and build your own case, just for once.

  112. Alvin says:

    Show me the damages. Hurt feelings are not grounds to sue or be compensated. This reflects more on Penn State’s flawed hearings and HR decisions than anything Mark Stein could be blamed for.

  113. johanna says:

    @ Nick Stokes

    From Steyn’s lawyers’ brief:

    “See Order, at 17. (“On the other hand, when one takes into account all of the statements and accusations made over the years, the constant requests for investigations of Plaintiff’s work, the alleged defamatory statements appear less akin to ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and more as factual assertions.”). In addition, the Order relies on these erroneous facts in concluding Plaintiff met his burden under the Anti-SLAPP Act of demonstrating that National Review published the statements at issue with actual malice. Indeed, the Order asserts that several investigations of Plaintiff’s work were prompted by allegations leveled by National Review and Steyn. See Order, at 21 (“It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the NR Defendants.”).
    ———————————————–
    The judge is saying that because CEI – and perhaps others (her prose is appallingly opaque, and it’s not lawyerese, just semi-literate) – had questioned Mann’s work over a long period, and Mann had been “investigated” and found to be squeaky clean, another party entirely – Steyn and NRO – ought to have known and accepted that Mann was indeed squeaky clean.

    This is wrong in fact and completely irrelevant in law. It wouldn’t matter if Mann had been awarded the Nobel Prize, the Mother Teresa Award and the top Scout badge all on the same day. The only thing that matters with regard to Steyn is what Steyn actually said, not what others have said or done.

  114. Mike B. says:

    Just further validation of my personal voting strategy in retaining judges: any judge with a hyphenated last name gets an automatic “do not retain” vote.

  115. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    ‘Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 11:50 am
    “So, what is the argument, Nick? Are you saying that if CEI had not published its criticisms of Mann that statements by Steyn and Lowry would not be interpreted as factual claims?”

    I’m not saying it. The judge is (with more context than just the criticisms). But it’s not quite like that. NRO and Steyn said things that do sound fairly libellous. The judge is dealing with a defence that they are just rhetoric, and no-one would expect they are literally meant.’

    OK, Nick (and John), because you cannot focus on detail I will do it for you – but this is the absolute last time. The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.

    The comparison between Mann and Sandusky is clearly hyperbole. It is no different than Tony the Tiger’s claim that Kellog’s Frosted Flakes are Greeeaaat. Such claims have been recognized in US law since at least 1930 as acceptable exaggeration because no one in his right mind would take them as factual claims. This practice of hyperbole is known in legal circles as “puffery.” Every professor of business ethics teaches this fundamental doctrine.

    There is nothing in anything that CEI or anyone else might have published that could have given the claim factual weight, just as nothing could make Tony the Tiger factual.

    The judge is grasping at illlusory straws. You should have recognized that.

  116. Duster says:

    Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) says:
    July 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

    If one didn’t know better, reading between the lines, one might be inclined to wonder if the Mann himself … had written the rejection ruling for her!

    I’ve only been involved in one litigation, but, in fact, when it came to the final ruling, the judge actually had our lawyer write it. He in turn had us draft it and he then edited it to proper legalish.

  117. OldWeirdHarold says:

    Incoming instalink…

  118. temp says:

    ” John says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Steyn did make a factual claim, he accused Mann of fraud. That is a falsifiable fact. The judge was actually looking at if it could be considered rhetorical hyperbole within the context of the climate change debate. I think many of the commenters here are too critical of the judge if you read the dismissal she actually talks about how this type of harsh language is common in the climate change debate and considers if it could be rhetorical hyperbole.”

    This shows a lack of understanding of the suit. Steyn is being sued in basic for comparing mann to a kid toucher NOT for calling him a fraud. If mann was suing because he was being called a fraud then not only would he have to prove in court he’s not…(good luck with that btw).

    This is why they argue that it should be dismissed because its call they were in fact not calling mann a kid toucher but a data molester.

  119. Theo Goodwin says:

    Everyone needs to set aside politics and emotion so that the central point of the lawsuit can be considered. The point is about the following:

    “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except for instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.”

    Does anyone believe that this statement was not created as hyperbole for the purposes of hyperbole? Does anyone believe that Steyn/Lowry made a factual claim to the effect that Mann causes unwilling underage data to engage in sexual acts with him? If not, then why would you claim that the statement can be interpreted (by you) as making a factual claim?

  120. CodeTech says:

    Theo, just to muddy the waters further, telling children that “we” are destroying their future and the planet is burning up IS a form of child abuse.

    When I was a kid I had sleepless panicked nights worrying about nuclear war. Kids today are doing the same, only the cause is different. When I turned 18 and was eligible to vote I did what I was programmed to, and looked for someone who was against nuclear arms.

    Just once I’d like a see a generation able to grow up without the constant threat of global devastation and no significant life ahead hanging over their heads.

  121. Janice Moore says:

    @Nick Stokes: Do your own research, you lazy sloth. All the answers to your questions are in the pleadings. Read them.

    **************************************************
    A few comments…

    From Judge Combs Green’s ORDER [http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mann_v_Natl_Review_Order_7-19-13.pdf] (of 7/19/13) in her own words….

    [Annotations mine]

    1. “Background… in 2010… (“the EPA”) investigated Plaintiff [Mann] as a result of constant pressure from Defendant The National Review, Defendant Steyn [Note: Combs omits Mann's name, but specifically (and mistakenly) names N.R. and Steyn] … .” [Order at 1] ***

    COMMENT: Combs Green is mistaken. N.R. and Steyn never asked anyone to investigate Mann. [Defendants N.R. and Steyn's Memorandum in Support of Special Motion to Dismiss at 1, 15-17]

    2. “Actual Malice … At this stage, the evidence is slight as to whether there was actual malice. There is however sufficient evidence to demonstrate some malice … . Plaintiff has been investigated several times … . In fact, some of these investigations have been due to the accusations made by the NR Defendants. [wrong] It follows [judge thus makes an erroneous conclusion of serious legal consequence based on her mistake of fact] that if anyone should be aware of the … (… findings that the work of the Plaintiff is sound), it would be the NR Defendants. Thus, [legal conclusion not warranted by facts] it is fair to say that the NR Defendants continue to criticize Plaintiff due to [legal conclusion] a reckless disregard for truth.” [Order at 21]

    3. On page 24 of the Order, Judge Combs Green denies the Defendants’ Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (the Defamation charge) based on her flawed reasoning (due to her egregious mistake of fact) [emphasis mine] by simply citing her discussion supra of the Anti-SLAPP (a law designed to protect people who speak out against public officials on matters of public interest) grounds to dismiss.

    ******************************
    COMMENT re: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress — On page 5 of her 7/19/13 Order, Judge Combs Green mentions Mann’s claim for damages for the common law tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, but never addresses it in her analysis, thus, sub silentio denies NR and Steyn’s motion to dismiss this cause (which Mann on the face of his complaint can never prove for he does not allege any actual damage nor does the possible emotional distress come close to satisfying the very high level of “distress” required by that tort (it is RARELY granted; the distress would have to amount to something as horrible as watching a J-ih-ad-ist cut off your spouse’s head before your eyes, yes, THAT bad).

    *************************************

    COMMENT re: Backseat Litigating — NR’s and Mark Steyn’s attorney, Shannen Coffin is one of the most competent litigators at one of the most highly competent firms in the U.S.. Criticizing his legal arguments or strategy should only be done by one who is well-versed in both U. S. rules of civil procedure and the substantive law. As far as I can see from what I’ve read of this case and its pleadings, Mr. Coffin and his associates are doing EXCELLENT work.

    COMMENT re: Crooked Judges Sabotaging Justice — They can, but, in this case, NR and Steyn will appeal any adverse judgments all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court if they have to. There, the corruption is possible, but far less likely. Of course, given the tortured legal reasoning and uncharacteristic stance of Chief Justice John Roberts on the D’oh!bamacare issue, shockingly poor legal reasoning can be the basis for decisions, even there. It APPEARS (I have no evidence for either of these possibilities — just a hunch) that Roberts either: 1) was unduly influenced to decide against his better judgment; or 2) he is not stable mentally. Yes, that decision was THAT wrongly decided. The votes of the liberal justices along the party line are not suspicious per se, but Mr. Roberts’ strange behavior does logically raise the question of “Why?” Given the goal of the current administration to ram carbon taxation down the nation’s throat, whatever (if anything, of course) they did to get Roberts to go along on Government Medicine, they will try again.

    HOWEVER, God is, even now, in control. God, not Obama, will decide if the U.S. is destroyed from within. This is not to predict what God will do — who could?! — just to remind you (who believe in God) that NO MATTER HOW CORRUPT the judges are, TRUTH CAN YET WIN.

    And, in the long run, Truth will win. Always.

  122. John says:

    “OK, Nick (and John), because you cannot focus on detail I will do it for you – but this is the absolute last time. The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”

    That is wrong I’m afraid, if you follow the links above you can find the dismissal here:
    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Mann_v_Natl_Review_Order_7-19-13.pdf

    Under the section about the deformation it is clear that it is about the claim Mann committed fraud. This is a factual claim.

  123. Theo Goodwin says:

    CodeTech says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I agree totally. I do not see how you muddy the waters. Lots of lies around today.

  124. johanna says:

    Theo Goodwin, it is worth pointing out that the words you quoted were not Steyn’s, but those of another journalist, Rand Simberg (quoted by Steyn). Indeed, Steyn goes on to say:

    “Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.

    If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.”

    The full column in dispute is here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/309442/football-and-hockey-mark-steyn

  125. Janice Moore says:

    WOW!

    Way — to — go! WUWT bloggers, above! NICE refuting of the ignorant arguments against Steyn and NR.

    And, bear in mind, Steyn explicitly stated that his analogizing Mann-the-data-molester to Sandufsky was “a metaphor.”

    ************

    Given that Mann really IS a data twister, I hope CEI will end up forcing him to prove the falsity of their alleged “defamation.” At that point, Mann’s bloated ego will send him flouncing into the arena of facts where he will be proven before the world to be the L-I-A-R that he is.

  126. Simon says:

    The more I read about this the more I think Mann is going to win and win big. When you read the full transcript of what the judge has said, you realise she clearly thinks Steyn has a case to answer to. I’d be saving if I was him.

  127. Diggs says:

    Judge: “I find you guilty!”
    DA: “Your Honor, I’m the prosecuting attorney.”
    Judge: “In that case, I find you not guilty!”

  128. Tucci78 says:

    [snip - all snips final -mod]

  129. Janice Moore says:

    John,

    I would suggest you read up on the law of Defamation of a Public Figure.

    In the U.S., you can say “You are a lousy, data-molesting, fraud!” or “Your ridiculous hockey-stick is a bunch of junk!” or “You big fat liar!” or “Mann is a science fraud.”

    When the plaintiff is a public figure (conceded, here, by Mann DELIGHTEDLY, no doubt), you can say just about anything — unless it is a specific, ascertainable, assertion that can be proven not true by the plaintiff.

    Actual malice or knowledge that one is highly likely to be lying is necessary to prove defamation against a public figure. Here, where we’re talking about a “metaphor”, there is ON ITS FACE only hyperbole and NO ASSERTION of fact in Mark Steyn’s OPINION piece.

    “I think you’re lying,” is essentially ALL that Steyn has alleged. That is not defamation. That is an opinion.

    The judge mistakenly says, essentially, “Well, Mr. Steyn, you say you only THINK he’s lying, but, given all those investigations that YOU pressured agencies into doing, I think:
    1) you KNEW Mann was not a fraud; AND
    2) you just went after him because you hate him.”

    The judge does, if you’ll notice, on page 21 of her Order acknowledge that there is NO “clear and convincing evidence” of malice. She just thinks that the Plaintiff will come up with something to prove there was, so, she’s giving little Mikey a pass to go figure out how to prove Steyn hated his guts and went after him KNOWING Mikey was really an innocent little scientist.

  130. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    “The more I read about this the more I think Mann is going to win and win big. When you read the full transcript of what the judge has said, you realise she clearly thinks Steyn has a case to answer to. I’d be saving if I was him.”

    This isn’t the trial but the actions to dismiss… it is Impossible for Mann to win this lawsuit in any sense of the word “win”.

    If the trail goes forward mann will be required to release huge sums of info that he has spent alot of money and time preventing release. We have already seen in the canadian case against bob tisdale that mann will simply refuse to turn over the information. Even assuming a hugely corrupt court mann dirty laundry will be full on display and likely will result in legal action against him after he “wins” his case against steyn.

    Judges can only be so corrupt before everyone admits they are corrupt and an appeals court is forced to act. More so when your talking about a journalist issue. If steyn was some random guy off the straight making a comment maybe… but the fact that NR is a news publication means that any ruling this this case will having sweeping affect across the whole media sphere… in effect limiting the amount they can do without agro-ing the whole of many large media outlets. If suddenly say fox news were to take up the cause and point out how corrupt this judge is the judge would probably goto jail and the courts would be forced to act.

    What this judge and many corrupt judges always hope for is they can pass a ruling and not have it seen by the public… because like all criminals they believe as long as they aren’t caught its ok. To much overt corrupt means instance media attention. Which is what mann will be afraid of which is also why he will refuse to release him documents and thus everything will get thrown out anyway.

    The issue is cost however. Mann has the backing of deep pockets. Steyn not so much. Mann and said deep pockets goal is not to win but to win by “cost punishment”. AKA making steyn and crew pay huge sums to defend themselves thus reducing the cash they have to actively attack mann and the deep pockets.

  131. Jimmy Hoffa says:

    She would be a great nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security

  132. Nick Stokes says:

    Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”

    Not true. The complaint is here. Right in para 1, the first complaint is an accusation of academic fraud. The second is Sandusky.

    Re NRI, they specifically cite
    “Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. “

  133. Simon says:

    temp
    You seem to be relying on two things. Mann being forced to release data and the judge being corrupt. I’m not convinced of either. As the judge has said there have already been numerous investigations into Mann’s work… and he has been cleared by them all. Frankly I hope he does have to release his data so we can see once and for all. And I see no evidence that she is corrupt.

    Anyway we are all going to find out. I’m just saying if I was a betting man I would be backing Mann. Bring it on…. This next stage is going to be so interesting.

  134. Janice Moore says:

    “… Mann has the backing of deep pockets. Steyn not so much.” [Temp]

    This is a fact. So…… if you are able…….

    GO TO steynonline.com or nro.com and CONTRIBUTE.

  135. RockyRoad says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”

    Not true. The complaint is here. Right in para 1, the first complaint is an accusation of academic fraud. The second is Sandusky.

    The discovery process should be a delicious adventure, Nick.

    I can’t wait to see Mann’s red face when his “academic accomplishments” are exposed for the world to see.

    Question: When do you think Mann will bail on this suit?

  136. Theo Goodwin says:

    Janice Moore says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Nice job. Details are such wonderful things.

  137. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    temp
    “You seem to be relying on two things. Mann being forced to release data and the judge being corrupt. I’m not convinced of either.”

    This is an either or statement… either mann will be required to release huge sums of info OR the judge is corrupt. A corrupt judge will block the release of info.

    “As the judge has said there have already been numerous investigations into mann’s work… and he has been cleared by them all. Frankly I hope he does have to release his data so we can see once and for all.”

    The only investigation of mann i know of is the one of the hockey stick done by congress. He was found to have abused science in that case.

    Show investigations into claims that skeptics never made, have little to no bearing on his work, and countless other things are completely irrelevant to the case in question. Shandusky had dozens of investigations done into him and was found cleared of any wrong doing… until suddenly he wasn’t. AKA he was tried in a court of law instead of a court of propaganda.

    Once again i will say the only investigation of know of into Mann in the congress one… any other panal of retards on some college board that have a vested interest in clearing him doesn’t count as an investigation in my book… nor under the law.

    “Anyway we are all going to find out. I’m just saying if I was a betting man I would be backing mann. Bring it on…. This next stage is going to be so interesting.”

    If the judge is corrupt then yeah Mann may stand a chance… but in libel cases with someone like mann involved where he has spent huge amounts of time and money covering up things. Well the chances of him walking away a winner is near zero. At this point mann can hope for a draw.

    Lets also not point out mann sued bob tisdale… he then refused to turn over documents as required by the court.

    What do you think going to happen when steyn and crews lawyer request those same documents? Mann will refuse and thus game over. The fact that he already failed at bring a libel sue against another person for the same claims though not in a US court is surely material evidence in this trial and will be brought to forward,,, at which point a corrupt judge will block the release of that info KNOWING that it will destroy mann’s case, mann will refuse to release said info thus case destroyed or mann will release the info which is probably very very bad for him at best and the case will either be thrown out or continue.

    End run being that mann has already failed in one case… that doesn’t go well for his chances here.

  138. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”

    “Not true. The complaint is here. Right in para 1, the first complaint is an accusation of academic fraud. The second is Sandusky.”

    You are incorrigible. Right there, in the first paragraph, it says academic fraud and the comparison to Sandusky. It does not say academic fraud or the comparison to Sandusky, which would allow them to be separated as numbers one and two. Do you not know the meaning of the word ‘and’? It has the same effect as ‘both’. The two items are bundled. I will leave it up to you to figure out why. Let me know what progress you make.

    By the way, you have not addressed the main point that the Sandusky comparison is clearly designed as hyperbole. I know you will not. You have not a clue what to say about it.

  139. Simon says:

    temp
    Your comments add to the intrigue and interest. It’s gonna be so much fun to watch.

  140. Nick Stokes says:

    johanna says: July 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm
    “The judge is saying that because CEI – and perhaps others (her prose is appallingly opaque, and it’s not lawyerese, just semi-literate) – had questioned Mann’s work over a long period, and Mann had been “investigated” and found to be squeaky clean, another party entirely – Steyn and NRO – ought to have known and accepted that Mann was indeed squeaky clean.”

    Is that your basis for saying (repeatedly)
    ““Nick, the judge claimed that Steyn and his publishers did things that they did not do as a basis for her decision to let the trial go ahead.””
    It seems to have changed. Now you’re saying not that she says they did it, but they should have known about it.

    Well, they probably did – they could hardly write what they did without knowing about the investigations. Whether it’s a good legal argument I won’t comment on, but it isn’t shown to be based on the error of fact claimed here.

  141. temp says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    “Right there, in the first paragraph, it says academic fraud and the comparison to Sandusky. It does not say academic fraud or the comparison to Sandusky, which would allow them to be separated as numbers one and two. Do you not know the meaning of the word ‘and’? It has the same effect as ‘both’. The two items are bundled. I will leave it up to you to figure out why. Let me know what progress you make. ”

    I would agree with this. Also to add in even if we assume points 1 and 2 are completely separate the judge should have thrown out number 2 as part of the approving the case to go forward. Can’t remember how thats handled by the suing party but either the judge or suing party would have to amend the suit. Even if we assume that the fraud “libel” part is “legit” they would still need to have the suit adjusted which doesn’t seem to be the case.

  142. temp says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm
    “Well, they probably did – they could hardly write what they did without knowing about the investigations.”

    What “investigations” cleared mann of wrong doing? I know of none other then the same that cleared sandusky… so in simple argument that would seem to back steyn in him comparing the two.

    The judge claims the EPA investigated but never heard of this one nor do a believe it has any relevance to the topic as they probably did a similar manner as was done by sandusky defense crew… aka simple hearing with no evidence and no people to actively counter mann.

    As stated above the only investigation i know of was the one done congress and we all know mann only got a slap on the wrist as punishment but he was proven to be wrong. So unless you can press these “investigations” that hold the standing of law they are meaningless.

  143. Janice Moore says:

    Thanks, Theo Goodwin! Much appreciated.

  144. Gail Combs says:

    _Jim says:
    July 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I suggest we have a new category of impropriety in society, and in particular the jurisprudence system:

    . . . . J W I – Judging while Intoxicated.

    No telling what she “was on” (power; delusions of grandeur, Jim Beam in a flask kept under the bench …)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A judge during the middle of a case I was plaintiff in was removed from the bench due to alledged Cocaine addiction…. and he was one of the good ones!

  145. Nick Stokes says:

    Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    ” Right there, in the first paragraph, it says academic fraud and the comparison to Sandusky.”

    and somehow I am supposed to be wrong in supposing those are two things. Because, just before, Theo says:
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”

    “By the way, you have not addressed the main point that the Sandusky comparison is clearly designed as hyperbole.”
    No, I haven’t. I’ll leave that to the court to decide.

  146. Gail Combs says:

    Gunga Din says:
    July 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    …. Maybe I’m mistaken but doesn’t “trial by jury” mean a jury of their peers?
    I wonder what the state of health care and health care cost would be in the US if malpractice suits allowed MDs on the jury?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    About 1/10 of what they are now?
    gallopingcamel mentioned

    ….The most striking contrast is the cost of medical care. My wife was quoted $1,400 for an MRI in Florida which only cost $102 in Bogota. When we asked a doctor to “Read” the MRI report he refused to charge us!….

    I operate a relatively safe business and the minimum insurance I can get cost 10% of my GROSS income. The insurance company actually demanded the last years income tax forms before they would insure us! Doctors liability insurance is much much worse.

  147. joe bloggs says:

    Didn’t Mann claim to be a Nobel Prize winner? The Nobel Committee clarified that he is not a Nobel Prize winner. The IPCC was? Individuals in the IPCC did NOT get the Nobel Prize.

    If Mann claimed he was a Nobel Prize winner, there’s the fraud. That would be a pretty egregious case of fraud right there…

  148. johanna says:

    Racecourse (aka Nick) – read Janice’s post at 3.13. She has kindly done some research for you, as others have.

    What’s the next argument – there is no such person as Michael Mann (the equivalent of “I don’t have a dog”)?

  149. Gail Combs says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    July 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    …. Does anyone believe that Steyn/Lowry made a factual claim to the effect that Mann causes unwilling underage data to engage in sexual acts with him?….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    BUt the data wasn’t underage, remember Mikey’s Nature Trick where he removed the ‘Young Data’ (from trees) that showed a decrease in temperature and substituted thermometer data?

    (Removes tongue from cheek)

  150. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Janice Moore says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Of course, given the tortured legal reasoning and uncharacteristic stance of Chief Justice John Roberts on the D’oh!bamacare issue, shockingly poor legal reasoning can be the basis for decisions, even there. It APPEARS (I have no evidence for either of these possibilities — just a hunch) that Roberts either: 1) was unduly influenced to decide against his better judgment; or 2) he is not stable mentally. Yes, that decision was THAT wrongly decided.

    You are forgetting option (3): through NSA intercepts the Obama team had something incriminating to hold over his head. I agree, the “Roberts doctrine” is such abysmally poor legal reasoning that it can only be explained by insanity or duress.

    Don’t laugh — the precedent was set by good old J. Edgar Hoover who blackmailed every President from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon, or at least every President who harboured any intention of replacing Hoover as FBI director.

    So if a powerful federal official in possession of compromising information is willing to blackmail the President, what are a few Congressmen, Senators and Justices?

    All of which is well off the main path of this post. Thank you for your indulgence.

  151. Nick Stokes says:

    johanna says: July 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    “Racecourse (aka Nick) – read Janice’s post at 3.13. She has kindly done some research for you, as others have.”

    johanna – giving quotes or references to back up your claims is elementary. It’s your job.

    There’s no way I can work out from Janice’s jumble what you are relying on. In any case, she misquotes. Just the first one:
    “1. “Background… in 2010… (“the EPA”) investigated Plaintiff [Mann] as a result of constant pressure from Defendant The National Review, Defendant Steyn “
    sentence truncated – it’s actually
    “1. “Background… in 2010… (“the EPA”) investigated Plaintiff [Mann] as a result of constant pressure from Defendant The National Review, Defendant Steyn (collectively the “NR Defendants”) and others (Pl Mtn at 22.)”.
    And it isn’t what the judge relied on, as you said. It’s just a remark in the background section, describing the history.

  152. ttfn says:

    John says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    “Steyn did make a factual claim, he accused Mann of fraud. That is a falsifiable fact.”

    Actually, Steyn called Mann’s hockey stick fraudulent. The exact quote is:

    “Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus.”

    If you pick up a thesaurus and look up fraudulent, you’ll find: bamboozling, counterfeit, crafty, criminal, crooked, deceitful, devious, dishonest, dishonorable, double-dealing, duplicitous, fake, forged, mock, phony, pseudo, sham, spurious, swindling, treacherous, tricky .

    Tricky seems especially relevant considering the “Mike’s Nature trick” quote found in the climategate emails. Of course, we all know that Mann’s Nature trick was grafting together real data with pseudo data to tell a more compelling story, which I’m sure real scientists do all the time, but there’s no reason to assume that a rube like Steyn would pick up on the distinction. He probably just assumed the stick was a POS fraud.

  153. Janice Moore says:

    Nick Stokes is either mistaken (at 6:44PM) or lying about my misquoting. Since all he can make of my post is a “confusing jumble,” I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. BTW, I am NOT addressing Stokes, here (what would be the point?!), this is just for the record. I stand by my quotations. Which, of course, can easily be verified.

    ********************

    Thanks, Alan Watts, for giving my post the dignity of something worth commenting intelligently on. Your remarks are insightful and not, I think, all that far off the path… .

    **************

    Thanks, so much, Johanna the Valiant, for recommending dufus (he is either: 1) stupid and prideful (thus, the insult) or 2) lying or 3) insane) read my post. You have been ably defending the Steyn-NRO position throughout the thread. Nice work!

  154. Janice Moore says:

    Excellent arguments, Joe Bloggs and Ta Ta for Now (I LOVE it!).

    Here’s a link to the National Review ad exposing Mann’s Nobel prize fraud:

    “*… Mann claims he won the prize … the Nobel committee says he didn’t. … .”
    http://wizbangblog.com/2012/11/02/national-reviews-michael-mann-ad/

  155. Tucci78 says:

    At 2:22 PM on 30 July, Gunga Din had wondered:

    …what the state of health care and health care cost would be in the US if malpractice suits allowed MDs on the jury?

    …to which Gail Combs had replied at 6:26 PM:

    About 1/10 of what they are now?

    …observing:

    I operate a relatively safe business and the minimum insurance I can get cost 10% of my GROSS income. The insurance company actually demanded the last years income tax forms before they would insure us! Doctors liability insurance is much much worse.

    The mitigation of the tort law mess pertinent to medical liability would not effect anything like such a radical (nine-tenths) reduction in the cost of providing health care services, but it would make substantive change. Perhaps as much as one-half, if not more.

    The reason for this is that it would substantially alleviate the pressures to practice defensive medicine, which results not only in high diagnostic costs but also therapeutic misadventure as objectively statistically insignificant deviations from the established norms on such diagnostic studies are pursued beyond the bounds of real benefit in terms of both monetary expenditure and the risks suffered by the patient.

    In all businesses, however – both those of health care services providers as well as that of Ms. Combs – these high liability insurance premiums must be passed along to the customers. Private sector businesses have to operate “in the black,” and to do so the managers of such businesses cannot evade the necessity to build such operating costs into their pricing structures.

    These increased costs not only punish the consumer – the ultimate victim of all such boondoggling – but have degraded the

    In address of Gunga Din, though, medical doctors are – in theory, at least – not debarred from service on petit or grand juries. As a rule, we’re customarily removed from the pool of veniremen because the exigencies of the profession so commonly won’t permit a medical practitioner to be drawn into full-time devotion to this duty without putting his patients at risk. For similar reasons, clergy are usually excused jury duty.

    For practical reasons, however, medical doctors are almost invariably challenged during jury selection by either prosecuting/plaintiffs’ attorneys or counsel for the defense, depending upon which side in the adversarial proceedings would be most disadvantaged by empaneling a member of a profession in which emphasis is daily placed on the evaluation of evidence according to each such factor’s reliability before arriving at conclusions.

    No medical doctor is ever the compliant tabula rasa beloved by judges and ambitious prosecutors throughout American history.

    This appears to be why retired medical doctors don’t wind up on juries, even though their patient care obligations no longer obtain.

  156. philincalifornia says:

    I haven’t read all the posts on this thread, but was wondering if any of these new defendants were involved in the Mann-made grant money theft cover-up ??

    http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2013-07-30/penn-state-sandusky-sexual-abuse-three-officials-ordered-to-stand-trial?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl17%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D351586

  157. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    ‘Theo Goodwin says: July 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    ” Right there, in the first paragraph, it says academic fraud and the comparison to Sandusky.”
    and somehow I am supposed to be wrong in supposing those are two things. Because, just before, Theo says:
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”’

    Read what I said about the word ‘and’. You do not understand the meaning of the word.

    ‘“By the way, you have not addressed the main point that the Sandusky comparison is clearly designed as hyperbole.”
    No, I haven’t. I’ll leave that to the court to decide.’

    It is the main point in this forum and in the suit. If the Sandusky comparison is recognized for what it is, hyperbole, then the suit will be thrown out.

    So, why do you come here? You are not into debate apparently.

  158. Theo Goodwin says:

    Gail Combs says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Very funny! Thanks.

  159. Theo Goodwin says:

    Janice Moore says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Your clear research caused Nick to choke. You do good posts.

  160. Janice Moore says:

    Dear Mr. Goodwin,

    Thank you SO MUCH. If I had any reservations about the merit of my post, that you (a real scientist, too!) whose reasoning and evidence (over the past 4 months I’ve been coming to WUWT) is impeccable would say that, removed all doubt.

    Hope the rain has eased up in Virginia with enough of a breeze to keep the humidity bearable.

    Take care, O Steadfast and Zealous Warrior for Truth,

    Janice

  161. Theo Goodwin says:

    Janice Moore says:
    July 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for the praise, Janice. But your praise is a tad excessive. Just keep up your good work.

  162. temp says:

    I see old nick is still dodging the “and” section and the list of supposed “investigations” that cleared mann.

  163. Nick Stokes says:

    temp says: July 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm
    “I see old nick is still dodging the “and” section and the list of supposed “investigations” that cleared mann.”

    The caomplaint, 1st para, says they were:
    accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester
    That isn’t compatible with Theo’s
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”’
    with any spelling of “and”.

    As to investigations, the judge will make her own mind up as to what they decided. That’s what counts in court.

  164. George Washington says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:35 am
    Go check google images for “Judge Combs-Greene”. I bet she can’t read cursive.

    Bingo :)

  165. Paul says:

    This is ridiculous. Can’t people read? Steyn’s last sentence reads: “Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.” He never says “academic fraud.” He doesn’t “compare” Michael Mann to Sandusky, He compares investigations. He slams the Penn administration calling it corrupt and having conducted a joke of an investigation in both cases. And the judge’s decision is flat out incoherent. At the minimum you’d expect a learned judge to review the precise legal standard and precedents for a charge of “fraud” to rise to the level of a charge of “academic fraud.” Instead she reaches into the American Heritage Dictionary for the generic entry on “fraud.” Her attempted distinction between asserting facts and opinion is very strange. If an opinion “stems from” facts it’s not opinion!? Say what? She references a case where calling someone’s actions “horrid” is an opinion. But didn’t that adjective “stem from” facts? What a mess. She botched it by not narrowing the focus to a claim of “academic fraud.”

  166. temp says:

    I see nick sill dodging hehe even if we assume your version of argument the suit must be amended to remove “comparing him to a convicted child molester” or else theo is correct and you are wrong. It is clear that under the current suit you counter argument to theo = fail and he is fine in the argument he stated.

    AND……….

    Still waiting for all these “investigations” would you mind listing them for me… you know the ones that weren’t sandusky like/style coverups.

  167. steveta_uk says:

    Theo, you’re being silly and pedantic. It’s like claiming that the statement “Janet and John went into the shop” cannot be used to justify the claim that John went into the shop because the and somehow turns them into a composite person so we know nothing about each individually.

    Daft, really.

  168. johanna says:

    Wrong, steveta.

    The analogous statement is “Janet went to the shop, and John went to the pub.”

  169. Ficklefinger says:

    A man died and arrived in Hell. As he was being ushered away by the Devil, he passed by a scoundrel lawyer he had known. The lawyer was having sex with a beautiful woman. The newcomer said, “That’s not a fair punishment.” The Devil replied, “Do not question the severity of the woman’s punishment.”

  170. Dyuspeptic Curmudgeon says:

    Meanwhile, looking at the boy-toy ‘investigation’ we find:
    ********
    July 30, 2013
    HARRISBURG — Calling it “a tragic day for Penn State University, to say the least,” a judge has ordered three former Penn State officials to stand trial on charges related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    Former university president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz are charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, obstructing justice, conspiracy and failure to report suspected child abuse.
    ********

    I wonder if anyone will ask about the ‘Mann investigation’ during the course of thjs? The trial is expected next spring, so the defendants will be available and compellable witnesses to testify about the rigour of their ‘investigation’ of the Nobel Prize winning Michael Mann.

  171. philjourdan says:

    @Nick Stokes – Cutting a complete quote short is NOT misquoting. If it changes the meaning of the statement (Janice’s did not) it can be called ‘taking out of context’.

    Misquoting is when you change the words completely. Janice did not do that.

    You have a lot to learn in both the law and English.

  172. Theo Goodwin says:

    steveta_uk says:
    July 31, 2013 at 2:32 am

    I am referring to the crucial matter of what makes a sentence true.

    The sentence “A and B” has the same meaning as “Both A and B” and that meaning is that the sentence is false if A is false or if B is false. In the context of this case, the judge used ‘and’ which means that the Sandusky comparison is now welded to the fraud claim. Therefore, if the Sandusky comparison fails to prove factual, which it must, then Mann loses regardless of the fraud claim. (This decision by the judge is not necessarily wrong – the hyperbole in the Sandusky comparison can be seen as setting the tone for all of Steyn’s comments.)

    If the judge had written “A or B” then the fraud charge and the Sandusky claim could be treated separately.

    If you are not totally familiar with logic at this level then you must take a good logic course. There is no pedantry in what I have written.

  173. JP says:

    @Nick,
    “They are’nt being sued for requesting investigations etc. They are being sued for words they published. And the judge is talking about how those words would be interpreted.”

    True. But, NRO and Steyn are in the business of political punditry and therefore what they say is protected. Mann himself is a willing political pundit (whether he realizes it or not) and not a dis-interested scientist in search of the Truth (which his suit alleges). Mann, over the years, has indulged in quite a bit of political theater. He slings the phrase Climate Denier around with the best of them; he famously accuses his detractors of being in the pockets of Big Oil. And unlike criminal suits, civil suits have have very loose rules concerning evidence. Ergo, Climategate and that treasure trove of scandalous emails will be included on discovery. Once that happens, and the Whos Who of Climategate get a subpena to testify in court about their part in Climategate, the lawsuit will be dropped.

    This case has no legs

  174. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    ‘The caomplaint, 1st para, says they were:
    “accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester”
    That isn’t compatible with Theo’s
    “The object of contention between Mann and Steyn/Lowry is the comparison that the latter drew between Mann and Sandusky. It is not and has never been something else.”’’

    I must clarify. Nick is reading me as saying that if the fraud claim and the Sandusky comparison are both considered then only the Sandusky comparison matters. Specifically, he sees me as saying that “both A and B” means “B only,” which would be rather dumb.

    I must add that it is one characteristic of the Sandusky comparison that makes it the tail that shakes the dog. It is obviously designed as hyperbole. No one in his right mind could interpret it as factual. If this item is admitted, which it must be under the judge’s written ruling, then Mann has to prove that it was intended as a factual claim, something that is impossible.

    Temp has explained above that Mann’s only hope is that the judge amend her ruling to exclude the Sandusky comparison from consideration.

    By the way, if any are offended that Steyn’s hyperbole can save him, please understand that it is as America as apple pie.

  175. quentinkeynes@yahoo.com says:

    With ratings of:
    Attorney Average Rating: 2.1 – 17 rating(s)
    Non-Attorney Average Rating: 1.0 – 6 rating(s)
    I am surprised that she was able to spell the parties’ names correctly.
    Our judicial system is going down the drain with courts full of morons.
    Thankfully, there are courts which can hear an appeal and reverse any damage Judge Coombs-Greene does.

  176. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    July 31, 2013 at 7:31 am

    If you are not totally familiar with logic at this level then you must take a good logic course. There is no pedantry in what I have written.

    I was rather surprised to learn from my father at one point that neither formal nor informal logic were part of his law school curriculum (University of Chicago, 1942).

    I was also surprised to be told by an attorney friend that the phrase:

    A and B or C

    can be parsed both as ( ( A and B) or C) and (A and (B or C)), there being no standard precedence rules to disambiguate.

    I wish I could find it now but I once stumbled across a legal document containing the procedure to compute compound interest, with all the phrases written out in English instead of formulas. Lacking standard precedence and associativity rules in legal phrasing, there were I forget how many different ways to interpret the procedure, but every one of them was wrong.

    Don’t look for logic in the law.

  177. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    JP says:
    July 31, 2013 at 7:38 am


    And unlike criminal suits, civil suits have have very loose rules concerning evidence. Ergo, Climategate and that treasure trove of scandalous emails will be included on discovery. Once that happens, and the Whos Who of Climategate get a subpena to testify in court about their part in Climategate, the lawsuit will be dropped.

    This case has no legs

    Civil actions have different rules for admissibility and burden of proof than criminal proceedings, but it is incorrect to describe either of these as “very loose”.

    It seems many people are expecting a cornucopia of discovery out of this trial and that simply isn’t going to happen. As I’ve said before, the court is not going to judge the science, so Mann will not have to produce his original data and methods. And what Mann has said about others either publicly or in Climategate emails is irrelevant: Steyn does not escape a libel judgement by showing that Mann said equally nasty things about others. The only way Climategate emails would come into play would be if one from Mann expressed the intent to use meritless libel actions to punish anyone critical of him, or if one described actual conduct amounting to academic fraud, or was in some other way materially relevant to establishing the truth of Steyn’s accusations.

    The judge is not going to permit either side to engage in unlimited discovery just because they might find something juicy. In any case, the Climategate emails are not discovery; they’ve already been released and tacitly verified. (discovery is forcing one of the parties to produce documents or information not already revealed in some way). I suspect they can be admitted (if relevant) because they were known to Steyn at the time he wrote the article and therefore speak to the test of whether what he wrote was known to be false or was in reckless disregard of the truth.

    The case does have legs, but I doubt they are sufficient for the long uphill climb libel actions have in US courts when the plaintiff is a public figure.

    An interesting example of a successful one was brought by Steven Pagones, then an assistant District Attorney of Duchess County, New York against Al Sharpton and attorneys Alton Maddox and Vernon Mason in the Tawana Brawley Rape Allegations. The three men escalated their accusations against the police and other officials to the point of naming Pagones as one of the rapists. The accusations collapsed in the Grand Jury proceedings and Pagones brought suit against the three and was eventually awarded $345,000. Alton Maddox was also indefinitely suspended by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court for failing to appear at a disciplinary hearing to answer allegations over his conduct.

    In other words, the conduct of Sharpton, Maddox and Mason was exceptionally egregious. The court found that Sharpton had made seven defamatory statements against Pagones, Maddox two and Mason one.

  178. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Damn. Botched the blockquote tags on the above. The first level indent is quoted from JP. The next level indent is my comment.

  179. Theo Goodwin says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

    “The only way Climategate emails would come into play would be if one from Mann expressed the intent to use meritless libel actions to punish anyone critical of him, or if one described actual conduct amounting to academic fraud, or was in some other way materially relevant to establishing the truth of Steyn’s accusations.”

    I have nothing interesting to say about fraud, academic or otherwise, but many of us have believed since 2009 that Jones, Mann, and the whole gang engaged in fraud. We are not alone. Dr. Richard Muller of BEST had/has a video on youtube in which he graphically illustrates “hiding the decline” and labels it fraud. There are many matters of near criminality that were not addressed during the several whitewashes following Climategate. What makes you think that these matters lie outside the boundaries of this case? Why not call as witnesses for the defense Richard Muller, Andrew Montford, Steven Mosher, and Steve McIntyre?

  180. JP says:

    @Alan Watt,
    I’m no lawyer. But, I’ve followed a few libel cases over the years. And from what has been filed in the original suit. Dr Mann’s lawyers allege that he is nothing but a disinterested scientist whose been smeared by political activists. That entire contention will come under fire – any lawyer worth his salt will begin to attack that premise. Ergo, what Mann has said, wrote and published will come under scrutiny. And don’t think for a moment that the Climategate emails won’t be entered into the court’s records. It is all fair games. Additionally, NRO’s lawyers can subpena a whole host of people who have experienced the Wrath of Mann. No, this isn’t about the Hockey Stick. But, NRO’s lawyers will demonstrate to the Court that Mann is just as much as a partisan hack as any activist.

    The downfall of the late actress and New York City power broker, Lillian Hellman comes to mind. For years she routinely sued her critics for slander and libel. Most people gave her a wide birth. She could make or break a person. But, she went too far going after Mary McCarthy. And during the libel suit, McCarthy’s lawyers unearthed enough of Hellman’s dirt and mendacity that it irreparably destroyed her reputation.

    Mann risks much by pressing this lawsuit. He would be wise to drop it.

  181. Simon says:

    Theo Goodwin,

    “Dr. Richard Muller of BEST had/has a video on youtube in which he graphically illustrates “hiding the decline” and labels it fraud. There are many matters of near criminality that were not addressed during the several whitewashes following Climategate.”

    I don’t mean to be rude, but Richard Muller wouldn’t be the best (no pun intended) choice. This is what Muller had to say this time last year.

    “Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” [16]

    In fact if I am right I seem to recall a few here saying (before the report was released) that they would accept the BEST findings….
    “And, I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise.” (Anthony Watts March 6 2011)
    ….only to run a mile when the report came to the conclusions outlined above. Interestingly they pretty much endorsed the Mann hockey stick.

    I don’t think in the history of the climate debate has anyone gone from hero to villain as quickly as Muller did.

  182. Theo Goodwin says:

    JP says:
    July 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    “But, NRO’s lawyers will demonstrate to the Court that Mann is just as much as a partisan hack as any activist.”

    What a huge service to mankind that outcome of the trial would be.

  183. Gunga Din says:

    Tucci78 says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    At 2:22 PM on 30 July, Gunga Din had wondered:

    <blockquote<…what the state of health care and health care cost would be in the US if malpractice suits allowed MDs on the jury? …………

    …………….In address of Gunga Din, though, medical doctors are – in theory, at least – not debarred from service on petit or grand juries. As a rule, we’re customarily removed from the pool of veniremen because the exigencies of the profession so commonly won’t permit a medical practitioner to be drawn into full-time devotion to this duty without putting his patients at risk. For similar reasons, clergy are usually excused jury duty.

    For practical reasons, however, medical doctors are almost invariably challenged during jury selection by either prosecuting/plaintiffs’ attorneys or counsel for the defense, depending upon which side in the adversarial proceedings would be most disadvantaged by empaneling a member of a profession in which emphasis is daily placed on the evaluation of evidence according to each such factor’s reliability before arriving at conclusions.
    ===============================================================
    “Allowed” was a poor, and potentially misleading, word choice on my part. What I was getting at is that, if I was an MD and the target of a malpractice suit I would insist on an MD, a peer, on the jury. Someone who could follow and, if need be, “see through” the testimonies of the MD’s whose only “practice” is testifying as an expert witness for the law firm that hired them. To often the jury sympathizes with the victim whether or not their plight is due to the MD’s mistake or not.
    (But we’ve veered from the topic a bit.)

  184. temp says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am
    “As I’ve said before, the court is not going to judge the science, so Mann will not have to produce his original data and methods. ”

    Completely wrong on this count. Mann suits claims that steyn called him a fraud… in order to prove that mann is not a fraud mann MUST submit documentation PROVING as such, at least so much as they must submit it to the defense so the defense has the chance to prove it wrong. In the US truth is a complete defense in it self. One can not claim “I have be libeled” and then refuse to provide docs that show that the party doing the libeling is right or wrong.

    If documents are refused then basically mann has nothing showing in fact he is not a fraud and at best the court must dismiss due to a lack of evidence. Mann claiming he is not a crook do not suddenly mean in the legal system that he is not a crook.

    No matter how you cut it under the current suit mann science is front and center of the argument of fraud.

  185. Theo Goodwin says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Well, I haven’t kept up with Muller. To me, BEST is just more non-empirical work done by statisticians who get totally turned on by their own erudition and suffer under the delusion that other folks will get equally turned on. But his video does make a good, easy to understand case for fraud. I was just making suggestions. But I am confident that Steyn’s lawyers can find people who will make a good case for Steyn.

    The really important point is the one I quoted from JP. For that point, the lawyers need only repeat Mann’s own words.

    In addition, I cannot wait to see a capable lawyer explain Steyn’s Sandusky hyperbole. The courtroom should be rolling with belly laughs.

  186. Simon says:

    Temp

    I doubt he will have to front up with any more than he has already. Although it is not acknowledged here, his work is widely acknowledge in the world of climate science as being of a high standard and almost beyond question. While he may not always have got things 100% right, he will have plenty of experts in the field more than willing to tell the judge he is a respected cutting edge scientist, who is far from being a fraud.

    Steyn and the team on the other hand are going to struggle to find an acknowledged expert in the field of CS who will say he is a fraud. In fact I can’t think of any. There will be some who say he got things wrong, McIntyre, McKitrick etc, but a fraud…. I don’t think so.

    This is where the New Zealand case against NIWA came unstuck. While there was lots of chest beating by the Climate Science Coalition, when push came to shove they had no one with any credibility to tell the judge what NIWA did was wrong.

  187. Nick Stokes says:

    Theo Goodwin says: July 31, 2013 at 7:45 am
    “It is obviously designed as hyperbole. No one in his right mind could interpret it as factual.”

    If your defence consists of convincing the judge that you say things no-one should believe, then you have a problem.

    But that’s actually her point in the topic of this thread. She says that the allegations of fraud led to at least one inquiry. That implies that they were seen as allegations of fact.

  188. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    “I doubt he will have to front up with any more than he has already. Although it is not acknowledged here, his work is widely acknowledge in the world of climate science as being of a high standard and almost beyond question. While he may not always have got things 100% right, he will have plenty of experts in the field more than willing to tell the judge he is a respected cutting edge scientist, who is far from being a fraud.”

    This is a completely meaningless argument. 99% of all fraudsters are “widely acknowledged as having the highest standards almost beyond question”. Thats the fundamental reason they manage to scam millions, billions of dollars. Enron, countless quack medical doctors, thousands of scientists…and of course SANDUSKY. They all met the standard you cite…. until they were forced into a court of law to prove it in a fair trial. Appeals to authority and consensus have zero bearing in a court of law, that is fair and just. Only facts and evidence of which mann will have to produce will matter. Al-gore’s movie was considered the greatest scientific movie EVER!!! until someone in the UK challenged it in court and the court ruled without doubt that much of it was a lie, the rest unproven. You seem to live in the world of logical fallacy where authority and consensus is more important then the scientific method. While law doesn’t follow the scientific method it does have alot of similar features. Mann unless getting a very corrupt judge will not have the benefit of pal review to back him… he will have to argue by himself based on science to prove his point. He will fail horribly in any fair court.

    The climategates e-mails alone cast a very long shadow over mann… add in congress. If he purposely created the hockey stick with intent to fraud he not only will lose the but will likely goto jail. Steyn and crew only need to show that he wasn’t being straight forward in his results and they win. Since congress already filed a huge report saying as such mann really doesn’t have much room to work with.

    Once again which includes old nick… it doesn’t matter how many football coaches come out, it doesn’t matter how many college deans come out, it doesn’t matter how many sports news casters come out and say sandusy is innocent what matter is what the evidence presented in the court says… and just like the well respected, honorable and epically loved sandusy, mann will be put in the spot light for the first time ever to have a true investigation done on him. Where people are actively able to attack him, where he won’t find protection by censorship and forcing the non-believes out of the room… he will have to win on the merits and that is simply not possible in a fair court hearing.

    Once again i ask who has cleared this man, mann of wrong doing? The people who made millions off him? Yes, the people that own him everything? Yes, the people whose whole reputation is based on him? Yes, a fair hearing with combative nay-sayers? No. Congress is the closest we’ve seen to any type of fair hearing on his work…

    Mann will wish he was being investigated by congress by the time this is through if steyn’s lawyers have any skill at all.

    Another wild card in this is what it we have a penn stategate? Where someone leaks his e-mails from there or VA tech or the password for the last set of climategate e-mails comes out. If steyns lawyers are good they will find someone in either of these colleges will to turn over 1 or 2 e-mails that they can then push for a request for the rest and wipe mann off the map. So many wild cards in this case… and they all go against mann.

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    “But that’s actually her point in the topic of this thread. She says that the allegations of fraud led to at least one inquiry. That implies that they were seen as allegations of fact.”

    Wouldn’t let be congress and it was upheld that the stick was fake and wrong….

  189. Simon says:

    Temp

    Wow, you certainly have it in for Mann. You keep asking who has cleared him? Read this. I’d say it’s a good example of a time he has been investigated and it pretty much cleared.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Report

  190. johanna says:

    Simon, I wouldn’t bother touting junk like the North report around here. They have about as much credibility as Al Gore’s concern about people’s “carbon footprints.”

  191. Theo Goodwin says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm
    Temp

    “Wow, you certainly have it in for Mann. You keep asking who has cleared him? Read this. I’d say it’s a good example of a time he has been investigated and it pretty much cleared.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Report

    Please do not assign homework. If you have an argument to make based on that report then make it. You need to show that the investigators were independent, in all important ways, and that they put Mann on the hot seat with some of the well known tough questions that no one has asked, and show that Mann’s answers provided powerful evidence in his behalf.

  192. Theo Goodwin says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    Theo Goodwin says: July 31, 2013 at 7:45 am
    “It is obviously designed as hyperbole. No one in his right mind could interpret it as factual.”

    “If your defence consists of convincing the judge that you say things no-one should believe, then you have a problem.”

    The defense is that you said something that no one could believe. Not ‘should’, but ‘could’. It’s those tricky words again.

    Clearly, you do not believe that you should brush up on the law. You believe that your man in the street reaction settles all. There is a long history of rulings on hyperbole and widely accepted standards for what counts as hyperbole. Google “legal rulings on hyperbole in defamation lawsuits.”

  193. Theo Goodwin says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    “I doubt he will have to front up with any more than he has already. Although it is not acknowledged here, his work is widely acknowledge in the world of climate science as being of a high standard and almost beyond question. While he may not always have got things 100% right, he will have plenty of experts in the field more than willing to tell the judge he is a respected cutting edge scientist, who is far from being a fraud.”

    His reputation is at issue in the trial. You cannot appeal to his reputation to defend it. His reputation might not survive the trial. Surely, you are not thinking that his reputation is somehow not at issue and will stand apart from the trial? Somebody might give him a job but no one can restore his reputation if the facts revealed in the trial go against him.

  194. Dixie Recht says:

    It’s called Affirmative Action. It’s bringing down every institution in the nation.

  195. Simon says:

    johanna

    While I’m sure it’s true that many here don’t accept what is in this report, the point is a judge may well consider it as evidence that Mann’s work (the hockey stick part of it) has been vindicated and certainly is not fraudulent. I guess only time will tell.

  196. Simon says:

    Theo Goodwin
    “Surely, you are not thinking that his reputation is somehow not at issue and will stand apart from the trial?”

    Yes I think his reputation will be on trial, but, this is about whether it was truthful/fair to call him a fraud. Given the very public investigations into Mann and his work (that may have criticised some of his methods, but never accused him of deceit or fraud)and the outcomes that everyone in the CC community knew about, it’s going to be very hard for Steyn and co to prove
    a) they had no knowledge of these investigations
    b) it was fair to call him a fraud publicly.

    Now I get that these investigations hold no water here, but I think they will in a court of law or at least you can bet his council will make sure they are at the forefront of their arguments.

  197. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    “Temp

    Wow, you certainly have it in for Mann. You keep asking who has cleared him? Read this. I’d say it’s a good example of a time he has been investigated and it pretty much cleared.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Report

    Umm i’m confused a bit about your argument… according to this wiki page says

    “Principal component analysis methodology which had been contested by McIntyre and McKitrick had a small tendency to bias results so was not recommended,”

    Clearly this report agrees that mann was wrong and used bias data. It says so right in the wiki…

    Also lets not point out the wegman report which was also to congress which also said mann was bias…

    The report claims It concluded “with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries”, justified by consistent evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies, but “Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from 900 to 1600″

    So basically they believe that less then 50% of mann work is considered usable. Where mann claims 100%.

    Once again the report supports steyn view….

    Now heres the big kicker that i like ” but it had little influence on the final reconstructions, and other methods produced similar results”

    While it stats this… thats mostly an appeal to consensus vs science fact. Picking data that create the effect you want can make other methods on the same data get similar results… A host of bad experiments get the same answer does not result in that being the correct answer.

    I would also point out a few other quotes.

    ” The procedures for dealing with these data are evolving—there is no one “right” way to proceed.”

    In basic “we don’t have a clue so were BSing our way through this report.”

    ” As in all scientific endeavors, research reported in the scientific literature is often “work in progress” aimed at other investigators, not always to be taken as individual calls for action in the policy community.”

    Except that exactly what the hockey stick propaganda was and has always been.

    “With this as context”

    Aka when they did the report they state right up front the context of this report should be viewed that the hockey stick IS NOT SETTLED SCIENCE. Also that IT SHOULD NOT BE viewed for action in the policy community.

    So once again in basic the report is very very vague in pinning anything down. They try to make as broad a brush as possible when reporting the results and clearly state as such.

    This is by defacto admitting the report is of little value in itself. It repeatedly down plays itself as being some kind of hard standard and reportedly plays up how vague the field is and how it doesn’t want to “claim that some things are right or wrong”.

    This report is worthless from a legal standpoint for mann… however in some respects it hurts mann’s case.

    Context of “on going science” is generally meaningless in court. Evidence matters, truth matters, facts matter. Unless mann can show his hockey stick is legit which the north report says it is not he’s go nothing.

    I’m going to keep running down this thing because i’m sure I can find more BS wishy washy BS in it but frankly this report holds little to nothing of value in “clearing mann”.

  198. temp says:

    Also as a PS when running through this report I really don’t see any info about mann’s method and data or a host of other things. It seems like all of the info has been purposely left out or maybe i haven’t gotten to it thus far. Since this report seems to go out of its way to be vague and very 2nd hand its not so much an investigation as a general review… thus nothing in it should hold much legal weight since they are no point actively tried to find fraud, actively were able to look for fraud or at any point would have pointed out fraud even if found.

  199. temp says:

    “In the Andes, at the same glacier where the dated plant material was exposed (Quelccaya), melting in the 1980s was strong enough to destroy the geochemical signature of annual layers in the ice beneath (Alley 2006; Thompson et al. 2003, in press). An ice core taken from Quelccaya in the late 1970s showed that such melt had not happened in at least the previous millennium. This strongly suggests anomalous warmth in the late 20th century. The Quelccaya ice cap has existed without interruption for more than 1,000 years. If its present rate of shrinkage continues, it will disappear entirely within a few decades.”

    Love this quote…creationist nutbags.

    Also this one

    “Over the last few decades, the floating ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have been disintegrating, following a progressively southward pattern (Vaughan and Doake 1996, Cook et al. 2005). This is primarily a result of higher temperatures inducing surface melt (van den Broeke 2005). Analysis of sediment cores from the seafloor (Domack et al. 2005) beneath one of the largest former shelves (the Larsen B, which disintegrated in the late 1990s) indicates that this ice shelf had persisted throughout the previous 10,000 years, providing further evidence that recent decades have been anomalously warm.”

    How that southern pole ice melting going for you guys hehe

    And another fun one

    “The variability of proxy reconstructed temperatures will be less than the variability of the actual temperatures and may not reproduce the actual temperature pattern at particular timescales.”

    Isn’t this the same and the last moron who came out and said “well the last 50 years aren’t “robust””. Its nice that they admit that basically only some section which could be say 10 years here are good then 100 years are bad then another 50 years are good. Lovely how these guys work.

    and yet more fun quotes.

    “Most critically, the relatively short instrumental temperature record provides very few degrees of freedom1 for verifying the low-frequency content of a reconstruction.

    The differences among a collection of proxy reconstructions that have not been deliberately created as a representative statistical sample may not reveal the full uncertainty in any one of them.”

    “The process of reconstructing climate records from most proxy data is essentially a statistical one, and all efforts to estimate regional or global climate history from multiple”

    Yeah skeptics been saying that for years.

  200. johanna says:

    Just a wee bit of threadjacking here?

  201. temp says:

    “Greenhouse gases and tropospheric aerosols varied little from A.D. 1 to around 1850. ”

    Really? I haven’t looked at my CO2 past graph but i have a hard time believing this.

    “Computer models can be used to simulate the behavior of the climate system, taking into account both temporal and geographic variability, ”

    “Climate models have been used to test various aspects of surface temperature reconstructions”

    bahahahaha…hahaha

    I really like the graph on 106 how it completely cut off all future projects… aka if extended everyone would see that they are full of BS. Add in almost all of these models to the letter are not well into the completely wrong, badly wrong and just about wrong… the fact they are arguing that bad models somehow support mann is funny.

    Once again the report says mann is full of shat

    “although their results differ in geographic emphasis and in the details of the time sequence of the temperature changes. Von Storch et al. (2004) used a long-term climate model simulation to produce artificial proxy data and then compared reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperature with varying degrees of noise contamination; they found that the full amplitude of century-to-century variations were underestimated to an increasing degree as the noise level was increased. Thus, the reconstruction of century-long trends has substantial uncertainty when it is based on data that exhibit year-to-year variability.”

    They clearly say that due to the huge variability mann claims “its the hots in blah blah blah” is meaningless.

    and the last bit


    WHAT COMMENTS CAN BE MADE ON THE VALUE OF EXCHANGING INFORMATION AND DATA?”

    This section is great… they basically completely admit mann hide data, that he purposely did so to improve his position and that they think thats bad but ok at the same time because “its complicated”.

    The north report as far as I can see is not based in any science rigor but is a general overview of which they take little in the way of poistions except to quote alot of mann’s friends. At no point does this report clear mann of any wrong doing in which in the section about data they all but admit mann purposely hide the data.

    Overall I’d say once again the report in no way helps mann but in many way hurts him. The fact that it openly admits that mann hide data even in an insanely round about way means that the report itself can not be considered valid when reviewing mann’s work. About the only thing the report does is say that mann’s buddies all got the same results. Since all his buddies worked together with him to get his and they’re results this is not overly surprising or important.

  202. temp says:

    johanna says:
    July 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    “Just a wee bit of threadjacking here?”

    sorry i’m done with it now

  203. Simon says:

    temp
    I made the comment the report vindicates Mann’s work. This comment is pretty much game set and match…

    “The NRC committee stated that “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators”.

  204. johanna says:

    Simon says:

    “I doubt he will have to front up with any more than he has already. Although it is not acknowledged here, his work is widely acknowledge in the world of climate science as being of a high standard and almost beyond question. While he may not always have got things 100% right, he will have plenty of experts in the field more than willing to tell the judge he is a respected cutting edge scientist, who is far from being a fraud.”
    —————————————————————-
    I’m glad that you admit that Mann’s work is only “almost beyond question.” Luckily for us, things like McIntyre and McKitrick’s work took it out of the celestially blessed zone and back to practical science. As in, it’s bollocks.

    I fear that we do not see you at your best.

  205. temp says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Simon as i said about the report claims that mann’s results were the same as others… that doesn’t mean that mann’s paper is good nor does that mean that the other are correct. The assumptions made by the repeat that… they claims evidence which does not exist or which has now been proven wrong… aka southern pole melt and a host of computer models. which are now proven wrong.

    You quote must be taken in context of the report which clearly states as I pointed out about. This means the quote that you quote is meaningless from a scientific or legal stand point because the context its made in is completely vague and not based in science.

  206. Tucci78 says:

    At 3:16 PM on 31 July, Gunga Din had written:

    What I was getting at is that, if I was an MD and the target of a malpractice suit I would insist on an MD, a peer, on the jury. Someone who could follow and, if need be, “see through” the testimonies of the MD’s whose only “practice” is testifying as an expert witness for the law firm that hired them. To often the jury sympathizes with the victim whether or not their plight is due to the MD’s mistake or not.

    It could go precisely the opposite way.

    But medical malpractice – even without a physician or surgeon on the jury – isn’t really a matter of an “MD’s mistake” but rather dereliction of duty to the patient, which tends to be embodied in negligent deviation from those prevailing standards of care which must reasonably be expected of a practitioner in the pertinent specialty in the community where the alleged dereliction of duty had taken place.

    Among medical doctors, there’s an expectation that professionals will police each other in terms of such adherence to standards, and while MD types almost never advise people to initiate malpractice lawsuits (we’re all in glass houses, and we’re all reluctant to throw stones), we sit in judgement of each other as a matter of routine. For those of us with hospital staff privileges, these are some of the most miserable “Let George Do It” jobs in the profession, especially the very deadly dull quality assurance and utilization review audits.

    (On one occasion, after I’d been tasked with creating a UR study to assess the cost-efficient employment of a relatively new technology in the hospital and running a retrospective analysis of about a year’s worth of all cases in which such use had been made, I had to send myself a formal letter of notification regarding one such case in which I’d over-used the hardware to no objective patient benefit. Damned odd writing that letter, signing it, and receiving it, but it’s how we’re supposed to iron out the wrinkles. For all I know, it’s still on record at the community hospital where I was practicing at that time.)

    You’re right about an educated, trained, and experienced physician not being easily flummoxed by “professional expert witness” testimony, but insofar as I know, jurors aren’t allowed to interrogate witnesses directly, and unless the opposing attorney does something in discovery that might impeach such a witness’ qualifications to speak as an expert, an MD juror can’t even get a look at the guy’s curriculum vitae to run a crap detector assessment of the expert’s relative respectability as critic of the defendant’s conduct or the circumstances pertinent to the case at hand.

    However, I expect that – even more so than with the average person – no judge’s instructions could likely get a physician juror to accept what he’s told in the courtroom as the sum total of his knowledge on the case at hand. With this in mind, both the plaintiff’s attorney and the defense would have to pitch the technical information at the doctor’s level, risking the strong possibility that everybody else on the jury will wind up swamped into MEGO status, bewildered and resentful.

    Medical doctors are entirely too damned much trouble.

    As jurors, I mean.

  207. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    JP says:
    July 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    @Alan Watt,
    I’m no lawyer. But, I’ve followed a few libel cases over the years. And from what has been filed in the original suit. Dr Mann’s lawyers allege that he is nothing but a disinterested scientist whose been smeared by political activists. That entire contention will come under fire – any lawyer worth his salt will begin to attack that premise.

    Mann’s portrayal of himself as just a disinterested scientist could be to support a claim of damages suffered or it could be to avoid being treated as a public person and thus having to meet a higher burden. I think he’s already lost the second point, so it’s not necessary to attack any further. Good attorneys don’t waste time on irrelevant issues or points they’ve already won.

    I said:
    “As I’ve said before, the court is not going to judge the science, so Mann will not have to produce his original data and methods. ”

    temp says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Completely wrong on this count. Mann suits claims that steyn called him a fraud… in order to prove that mann is not a fraud mann MUST submit documentation PROVING as such, at least so much as they must submit it to the defense so the defense has the chance to prove it wrong. In the US truth is a complete defense in it self. One can not claim “I have be libeled” and then refuse to provide docs that show that the party doing the libeling is right or wrong.
    Completely wrong on this count. Mann suits claims that steyn called him a fraud… in order to prove that mann is not a fraud mann MUST submit documentation PROVING as such, at least so much as they must submit it to the defense so the defense has the chance to prove it wrong. In the US truth is a complete defense in it self. One can not claim “I have be libeled” and then refuse to provide docs that show that the party doing the libeling is right or wrong.

    You have both the burden and standards of proof wrong here. Steyn does not need to prove Mann is a fraud, and certainly Mann does not have to prove to the court his proxy temperature reconstructions are valid. Mann needs to establish by preponderance of evidence that Steyn made that charge either knowing it was false or in reckless disregard for its truth.

    Now if Mann does attempt to walk the court through his work then he opens the door to discovery. But he (or his attorneys) would be stupid to do this. Aside from inviting unwelcome discovery it also risks putting the jury to sleep or giving them headaches (not to mention the judge). It is much simpler and more effective to reference the multiple investigations which have cleared him. There is plenty of reason to discount those prior investigations but they are on the record, which counts for a lot in court.

    But Steyn does not need to prove Mann committed academic fraud; he only needs to show that the statement he published was not in reckless disregard of the facts. Queue the Wegman report, and Steve McIntyre’s investigations. All of which render it not reckless to say that Mann manipulated the data and statistical procedures to exaggerate late 20th century warming.

    Please understand the legal questions determining libel will be largely divorced from the scientific debate over Mann’s work or global warming theory in general. The court will determine these things:

    1) Did Steyn knowingly publish the statements attributed to him in the complaint?
    2) Was Mann damaged by the publication of those statements?
    3) Were the statements materially false?
    4) Did Steyn publish the damaging statements knowing they were false or in reckless disregard for their truth?
    5) Were the statements outside the bounds of what is generally accepted practice in criticism of public persons?

    If the court finds all these tests are met; Mann gets a libel judgement. The court will not entertain evidence which does not speak to these legal issues.

    I’m not an attorney either but my family is lousy with them and I’m reasonably confident this case will not yield any windfall of previously withheld documents that some people expect. It seems people assume Steyn’s attorneys will take every chance they get in court to foray into all those issues so important to skeptics. Absolutely wrong; they will put forward the simplest and most effective defence available, which is:

    (a) plaintiff is a “public person” as defined by applicable statute and case law.
    (b) plaintiff has not met the burden of proof required for public persons claiming libel.

    This is a simple argument with ample case law for guidance. Any judge is expected to follow it and rule accordingly; it is the sort of thing courts do reasonably well. Making a detour into advanced statistics (or indeed any math beyond grade school level), or upside down lake sediment proxies or CO2 fertilization of bristlecone pines substitutes a complicated and unusual case for a simple and familiar one. Steyn’s attorneys have a duty to work for the best interest of their client; they have none at all to satisfy our curiosity. If they’re any good I can’t see them departing from the well-trod path. Even if Steyn has absolutely no credible defence, their advice would be to settle rather than risk a much larger judgement with a novel court strategy.

    Since we’re all not attorneys versed in libel law, why don’t we just agree to print out this thread and post it on our respective walls. We’ll see what happens in six months or so.

  208. Theo Goodwin says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    August 1, 2013 at 5:07 am

    You failed to mention the hyperbole in the Sandusky comparison.

    Also, the burden of proof in the US is very high:

    Steyn’s statement must be false. (Hyperbole cannot be either true or false.)
    Steyn must have known that his statement was false.
    Steyn’s statement must be malicious. (The jury gets to decide this.)
    Steyn must have intended malice in making the statement.

  209. Theo Goodwin says:

    Simon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Could you please present one probing question from one investigation and the answer to it? If you want the investigations taken seriously here, give us some reason to do so. The questions were along the lines of “Do you recall falsifying data?”

  210. Theo Goodwin says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    August 1, 2013 at 5:07 am

    “Since we’re all not attorneys versed in libel law, why don’t we just agree to print out this thread and post it on our respective walls. We’ll see what happens in six months or so.”

    Good point. My guess is that there will be no trial because no lawyer worth his salt will risk putting Mann on the stand in an actual trial in an actual courtroom with an actual jury.

  211. temp says:

    “You have both the burden and standards of proof wrong here. Steyn does not need to prove Mann is a fraud, and certainly Mann does not have to prove to the court his proxy temperature reconstructions are valid. Mann needs to establish by preponderance of evidence that Steyn made that charge either knowing it was false or in reckless disregard for its truth.”

    I can not understand a bit of your argument… in order for mann to “establish by preponderance of evidence” that steyn made the charge “knowing it was false or in reckless disregard for its truth”, mann must talk about his work… or else mann who argument is “steyn says i’m a fruad, I say i’m not, find steyn guilty”. Thats not going to hold up in court.

    Please explain to me how mann without bringing up his work can show that steyn knew it was a false statement….

    ” It is much simpler and more effective to reference the multiple investigations which have cleared him. There is plenty of reason to discount those prior investigations but they are on the record, which counts for a lot in court.”

    I know of no investigation that has cleared mann… the claim by simons that say the north report claims mann didn’t do anything wrong is completely and utterly false. No court is going to put weight behind that report which has zero scientific rigor add in the north report really didn’t even talk about mann’s paper at all. The north report clearly states mann’s methods and science were wrong but his results were right… one can argue that clearly states proof he is a fraud. He got those results not through science but through random luck. Until such time that someone can show me these “investigations” they are simply flights of fancy by mann’s lawyers.

    “But Steyn does not need to prove Mann committed academic fraud;”

    This is true however steyn has the RIGHT as the defense to prove that mann committed fraud and to claim truth as a defense. That means that mann’s work will be open for discovery. The court can not block the defense’s RIGHT to defending itself by use of the truth. Truth is consdered the ultimate defense in a libel case…

    “Absolutely wrong; they will put forward the simplest and most effective defence available, which is:
    (a) plaintiff is a “public person” as defined by applicable statute and case law.
    (b) plaintiff has not met the burden of proof required for public persons claiming libel.”

    While I somewhat agree with this… A. requires they do alot of digging and casing a wide net. I would also point out one of the simplest defenses is to prove that mann is a fraud. Not only will they win the suit but then they can counter suit.

  212. geran says:

    Sorry to be a late-comer to this thread (being over-worked suks….)

    The REAL issue here is the corruption of the legal system. Judges decide more on politics than the LAW.

    We are witnessing the complete perversion of TRUTH in America.

  213. johanna says:

    temp, you have missed the points so well put above.

    Libel cases are not about the fine points of academic argument. Even if Steyn was completely wrong, and the Hockey Stick was akin to the Law of Gravity, that is not what the case is about.

    People who imagine that this case will put Mann’s scientific work on trial just don’t understand how the libel laws work.

  214. temp says:

    johanna says:
    August 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Please do explain because the last time I studied libel law the truth is a valid defense… of which the defense has the right to put forward. Once again your argument goes down to mann says he’s not a fraud, thus steyn is guilty.

    Steyn in no way has to prove anything but he has the right to defend himself and has the right to access information that supports his defense. Mann has the right to sue him and get access to information that supports his case as well.

    Mann can not win by simply saying he is not a fraud. Now mann can arguable win the other point of he’s not a kid toucher by saying as much. The bar for mann to win the case is very very high not he must proof something that is near impossible. 1. He really has to prove he’s not a fraud 2. He then must prove that steyn knew he was not a fraud.

    It is near impossible for him to due 2. without doing 1. as well.

  215. Mike Rossander says:

    This is no big deal. This decision was in the “Motion to Dismiss” stage. At this stage of the lawsuit, the judge must assume that everything the Plaintiff said in the Complaint is true. Dismissal can only be granted if even assuming all that, that there is no legal argument under which the Plaintiff could win. The Plaintiff could be lying through his teeth and you could have rock-solid evidence of the lie but it doesn’t matter at this stage. Motion to Dismiss assumes all facts in the Plaintiff’s favor.

    It is very rare for a case to be dismissed at this stage. The fact that the Motion to Dismiss failed says nothing about their prospects of winning at the Summary Judgment stage or at Trial if it goes that far

  216. Simon says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
    Wow… that last post of yours made so much sense. You are a clever man. Especially this bit.

    “Since we’re all not attorneys versed in libel law, why don’t we just agree to print out this thread and post it on our respective walls. We’ll see what happens in six months or so.”

    I for one will be back here in 6 months to see which one of us got it right… or wrong.

  217. johanna says:

    temp, once again you miss the point. Steyn’s team are not relying on “truth”, quite simply because both sides of the CAGW debate could put up duelling experts. So what? There is no “truth” in an objective, agreed sense here. If there was, there would not be the debates about climate issues that are happening all around us.

    Legal criteria are not the same as passionate blog-readers’ personal views. Get over it.

  218. temp says:

    johanna says:
    August 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    johanna you seem to miss the point the very fact that steyn can call experts to say mann is a fraud and is his paper is not science means that steyn spoke the truth… thus mann’s got nothing. Steyn doesn’t have to prove global warming is fake.

    “Legal criteria are not the same as passionate blog-readers’ personal views.”

    I completely agree with is why mann doesn’t have a leg to stand on… his investigations that cleared him are as legally valid as any blog post… the same as his claim he is not a fraud. IE once again he’s got nothing.

  219. Simon says:

    temp

    Sorry, tell me again who these experts are who Steyn will call on to say Mann is a Fraud? Just one climate scientist will be good.

  220. temp says:

    I’m sure Steve McIntyre would be happy to relate his feeling on the topic and how mann refused to turn over data. That as well as a number of ppl including MIT Lindzen would be happy as well to point out mann in no way was anything but fraudulent in the way he handled his hockey stick issue even to this day.

    Remember mann still has refused to release the data for this… that is clearly within the bounds of fraud and the impression of. It will be near impossible in a fair court for mann to claim no i’m not hiding anything but at the same time refuse to release the data.

  221. Simon says:

    temp
    only time will tell, but I think those two names you mentioned would regard themselves as men with integrity and will stay well clear of this debate. They my well disagree with Mann but they will not want to have it go on record they think he is fraudulent.

    But even if they did McIntrye is a mining consultant not a climate scientist and Lindzen accepts the science behind CC he just doesn’t think it will be catastrophic. It would be a brave move by them to step up here and take on the might of the scientific community who are totally behind Mann.

  222. Nick Stokes says:

    temp says: August 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm
    “I’m sure Steve McIntyre would be happy to relate his feeling on the topic and how mann refused to turn over data.”

    They might be not what you want to hear.

    “I was copied on one of Keenan’s attempts to instigate a fr-ud investigation against Mann and immediately made it clear that I did not support or endorse the request, strongly disapproved of it and even offered Mann my support.”

  223. temp says:

    Simon says:
    August 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    “It would be a brave move by them to step up here and take on the might of the scientific community who are totally behind Mann.”

    Well I agree with that…. challenging the type of science mann is pushing is dangerous in every way. When people fought back against all tyrants cloaked in science they often suffered greatly. People have already suffered greatly from fighting against global warming cultism. So its true that most people would be scared for their safety to challenge them but i’m sure they can find people willing to fight.

  224. Simon says:

    temp
    ” So its true that most people would be scared for their safety to challenge them but i’m sure they can find people willing to fight.”

    Yes they will. It’s just a question of who and whether they will have credibility in court.

    My last word on this is that I hope Mann wins. Not because he is right or wrong, but because on both sides of this debate people have for too long got away with saying things that are viscous, untrue and unfair. Saying something on a blog is one thing, but publishing in a paper is another. Perhaps a hefty fine here will ensure people are just a bit more careful about what thy say…

  225. milodonharlani says:

    Simon says:
    August 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    What according to you qualifies as a “climate scientist”?

  226. milodonharlani says:

    Simon says:
    August 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Do you deny that Mann has shamelessly molested data?

    Then explain why did he hide the decline in a tree-ring series behind a bunch of graph spaghetti, cutting it off just before it started going the “wrong” way?

  227. Simon says:

    milodonharlani
    Straight from wikipedia…
    “Many commentators quoted one email in which Phil Jones said he had used “Mike’s Nature trick” in a 1999 graph for the World Meteorological Organization “to hide the decline” in proxy temperatures derived from tree ring analyses when measured temperatures were actually rising. This ‘decline’ referred to the well-discussed tree ring divergence problem, but these two phrases were taken out of context by climate change sceptics, including US Senator Jim Inhofe and former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, as though they referred to some decline in measured global temperatures, even though they were written when temperatures were at a record high.”

    Translated… The phrase “Hide the Decline” was not about data manipulation by Mann, Jones or anyone else. It was about lining the actual readings up with what the tree rings were telling them. Nothing fraudulent or dodgy.

  228. Simon says:

    milodonharlani says:
    Do you deny that Mann has shamelessly molested data?

    Yes I do, which is why I think this is going to end badly for Steyn.

  229. dbstealey says:

    Simon says:

    “Straight from wikipedia…”

    Well, there’s your problem right there.

    You appear to be hopelessly credulous, appealing to a fake authority like Wikipedia.

  230. Nick Stokes says:

    dbstealey says: August 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm
    “appealing to a fake authority like Wikipedia.”

    Well, at least he gave a reference, responding to:
    milodonharlani says: August 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    “‘Do you deny that Mann has shamelessly molested data?
    Then explain why did he hide the decline in a tree-ring series behind a bunch of graph spaghetti, cutting it off just before it started going the “wrong” way?”‘

    Np reference at all.

  231. dbstealey says:

    Nick Stokes,

    I have given literally thousands of references; I know the difference between a credible climate reference, and Wikipedia. But I suppose not everyone does. Maybe Nick Stokes believes that Wikipedia is a credible climate reference. I don’t. Not so long as William Connolley is deleting, editing and editorializing from behind the scenes.

  232. Nick Stokes says:

    dbstealey says: August 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm
    “Maybe Nick Stokes believes that Wikipedia is a credible climate reference.”

    It’s much better than nothing, and that is what he was responding to. And if mildonhari had consulted that wiki, he would not have confused Jones and Mann.

  233. Simon says:

    dbstealey
    So are you telling me my quote is wrong, or that the “Hide the Decline” was about was about something else? Coz if you are I would love to hear it.

    All the reports I have read on this says this wiki quote is 100% correct. i.e the HTD quote was taken out of context to imply deceit when in actual fact there was no such thing. The reality is the deceit was in fact by those who misquoted Jones knowing full well what they were doing. And it seems the deceit carries on.

  234. dbstealey says:

    Nick,

    Good! So now we’re discussing the Wiki’s putative ‘authority’. FYI, a ‘wiki’ is not an ‘authority’, at least not on my planet — where the sky is blue and global warming is natural. For the reasons given above, I absolutely dispute that Wikipedia is a climate authority, so long as Connolley has undue influence there; YMMV.

    And Simon says [I just love writing that!] :

    “All the reports I have read on this…”

    Let’s not limit this conversation to any reports that you may have read.

    Simon asserts: “…the HTD quote was taken out of context…” FYI, Simon, I posted a CHART. Argue with that empirical scientific evidence — if you think you can.
    ‘K thx bye.

    Hey, this is fun! But on this side of the pond, it’s bedtime for Bonzo. Let’s resume mañana.

    Niteall.

  235. temp says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    “It’s much better than nothing, and that is what he was responding to. And if mildonhari had consulted that wiki, he would not have confused Jones and Mann.”

    You sure about that?

  236. Nick Stokes says:

    temp says: August 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm
    “You sure about that?”

    Well, maybe he would have. But let’s have your reference for that incident then..

  237. philjourdan says:

    @Simon – I take it you are not an American? It matters not whether Mann has molested or not. Since Steyn was merely using hyperbole, he does not have to prove that. Mann has to prove that it is defamatory, that Steyn knew it was wrong (given the difference of opinion even here, that is virtually impossible) and that knowing it was wrong, he said it anyway.

    Opinions are not meant to be facts. And the freedom of speech is strong in this country.

  238. milodonharlani says:

    Simon says:
    August 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Have you really never seen a blow-up of Mann’s hockey stick spaghetti graph? It clearly shows one spaghetto ending which if continued would have turned up. I’m not confusing Mann with Jones. I’m referring to the blatantly manipulated hockey stick graph.

    I don’t need to consult Wiki, having seen the blow-up myself, as I’m sure many here have done as well. It’s blatant manipulation & any judge or jury seeing it in court will find for Steyn.

  239. milodonharlani says:

    I meant turned down, ie against the trend Mann wanted. Sorry.

  240. milodonharlani says:

    Didn’t bother to Wiki, but have read this:

    http://junksciencearchive.com/Hide_the_decline.html

    And McIntyre’s deconstruction & destruction of Mann’s statistically nonsensical bogus “science”.

  241. Nick Stokes says:

    ” milodonharlani says: August 5, 2013 at 8:07 am “
    Your link also describes the WMO cover graph, created by Jones, not Mann.

  242. Simon says:

    milodonharlani says:
    August 5, 2013 at 8:16 am
    Didn’t bother to Wiki, but have read this:

    http://junksciencearchive.com/Hide_the_decline.html

    I did, but wish I hadn’t wasted 5 mins of my life. It is clearly misleading and to be honest a load of rubbish.

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