Mark Steyn writes:
Breaking as-it-happens news about a trial that isn’t happening any day soon, or any half-decade soon. Previously on Mann vs Steyn et al, National Review had filed a motion asking for yet another stay in discovery pending the appeals court’s ruling on their appeal – or, indeed, the appeals court’s ruling on whether they’re allowed to appeal. Whatever. I’m bored by all this procedural flimflam and am anxious to proceed with discovery and go to trial, as I could have done by now in almost any functioning jurisdiction.
So I filed an objection. Michael Mann eventually filed an objection, too. He also wants to proceed with discovery but only against me, not against him. A voyage of one-way discovery.
Anyway, yesterday Judge Weisberg announced his decision:
Accordingly, it is this 11th day of April, 2014,
ORDERED that the motion of Defendant National Review, Inc. for a Protective Order Staying Discovery Pending Appeal be, and it hereby is, granted; and all proceedings in this case are stayed pending the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on the Defendants’ interlocutory appeals.
So we’re on hold for a while, again. I intend to use this period for trial preparation, including my investigation of Mann and my counterclaims against him. I’ve been immensely touched by the generosity of readers who understand how costly in time and money a campaign of this nature can be, and have supported the Steyn store to a degree I never expected.
Nevertheless, I explained in my objection why I was anxious to get on with it:
3. The charge that a man is a defamer is a serious one and profoundly damaging. With criminal charges, this nation provides a constitutional right to a speedy trial. It offers no such protections in civil court, even though to be accused as a defamer is certainly as damaging to one’s reputation and honor as all but the most serious criminal charges. For an independent writer such as Defendant Steyn, this is especially so: His livelihood depends entirely on his reputation, and as long as this charge stains his character without being answered he is being damaged. As the accused, he asserts his right to confront his accuser in open court in a timely manner.
4. Likewise, the Plaintiff is owed the courtesy of being received straightway without delay. As this Court noted in its Order of January 22nd, the allegedly defamatory statements “go to the heart of scientific integrity”, and thus to the heart of the Plaintiff’s character. If the Court truly believes that, then Dr Mann is entitled to a timely trial that settles the truth of the matter wheresoever it be.
Judge Weisberg acknowledged the unfairness of this in his ruling:
Read the entire piece here, including some frustration by the judge in the case: http://www.steynonline.com/6260/irony-alert
This demonstration of Dr. Mann’s principles, where he doesn’t want to yield to discovery, but let’s go ahead with discovery on Steyn, isn’t just irony, it’s über irony.
What a cowardly Mann. Eventually, this game of musical chairs will stop, and it is pretty clear who’s going to be without one and left holding a broken hockey stick.