Mann -vs- NRO legal battle, heating up

Reposted from National Review Online

Please support us in our fight against Professor Michael Mann.

By Jack Fowler

We’re being sued, and we need your help.

Let me recap: A lawsuit has been formally filed by Professor Michael Mann against National Review and Mark Steyn. You know Mann: The Penn State academic and self-proclaimed (and bogus) Nobel Peace Prize awardee best known, famously and infamously, for the “hockey stick” graph that allegedly proves that recent years were the hottest on record for more than a millennium.

Of course, he is also known for the scandal about embarrassing e-mails, pried out of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

(Anything you want to know about “Climategate” can be found at the great site WattsUpWithThat.com. And if you want to get a load of Mann, visit his Facebook page for kicks and giggles and a look at self-promotion on steroids.)

In July, Mark wrote on the Corner about Penn State, much in the news for its institutional cover-ups, and Professor Mann. It was a Steyn classic, so it must have really smarted, and soon thereafter NR received notification of a pending lawsuit (here’s our response).

Like his claim to be a Nobel laureate, the charges against NR are baseless and very much worth fighting. National Review doesn’t look to get itself sued, but neither does it shy from a fight, especially one like this. Rich Lowry’s response to Mann’s legal threats exactly captures our mood and determination.

As many of you know, National Review is not a non-profit — we are just not profitable. A lawsuit is not something we can fund with money we don’t have. Of course, we’ll do whatever we have to do to find ourselves victorious in court and Professor Mann thoroughly defeated, as he so richly deserves to be. Meanwhile, we have to hire attorneys, which ain’t cheap.

The bills are already mounting.

This is our fight, legally. But with the global-warming extremists going all-out to silence critics, it’s your fight too, morally. When we were sued, we heard from many of you who expressed a desire to help underwrite our legal defense. We deeply appreciated the outpouring of promised help.

Now we really need it.

Please help National Review in its fight to kick Professor Michael Mann’s legal heinie.

Contribute here. Many thanks for your help.

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James

Done
James

Stuart Elliot

When lies attract funding but telling the truth costs money, an honest man should reach for his wallet and fight back.

fobdanger from back in the day of low pay and long hours.
Done.
fobdangerclose

Stairway Press is…in.

Lilith

I am really happy to help…does it matter that I don’t have any shares in oil?

vigilantfish

Done with pleasure. Looking forward to justice, truth, and fireworks!

more soylent green!

One thing I can say for Mann, he doesn’t have a problem with too little ego. Is he over-compensating for something?

Lauren Biddle

Great post Jack! It really sounds like things are heating up and getting very interesting. Thank you for sharing this with us!

SteveV

Done, I fully concur with Stuart Elliott’s comment above. To not contribute in this matter is to enable the apparently bottomless resources of the climate bullies to silence opposition by the threat of costly lawsuits.

Dr Furst Dunaharm

Done. Flush that dead fish down the terlet.

LexingtonGreen

Done, I wish I could do more.

Gary

While I can sympathize, NRO picked this particular fight and Steyn went over the top with the Sandusky reference. I’ve decided to make my donations to innocents who are harmed by things other than their own actions — like prisoner’s kids whose parents can’t buy them gifts and Haitian orphans. I hope you can understand.

markon

Seems to me there are plenty of lawyers ready to step up pro-bono and defend the scum attacking us. (Gitmo terrorists in the US, Khadr here in Canada) Where the hell are they when it comes to defending our cherished freedoms? Whose side are they on anyway? If you win will Mr. Mann be liable for your costs?

Stephen Richards

Done. Don’t know what $50 is in €s !!

Mark and two Cats

Donated. Good luck NRO!

Jeff

I did what I could–every little bit helps, I hope.

Is it possible to be sure of getting Mann actually into court? His earlier ploys in the court room seems to revolve around not actually getting there but in pulling out after forcing whoever he is suing at the time to spend a LOT of money in preparation for it. It seems his MO and there should be a law against it. Can this “court trick” of his be prevented? Isn’t “dodge and weave” a waste of the court’s time, especially if done repeatedly? I’d love Mann to be jailed for that AND see the court case continue. Good luck with it all. If you take mastercard, I’m in.

Done! 🙂

Done with great pleasure – worth every penny!

Gunga Din

Gary says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm
While I can sympathize, NRO picked this particular fight and Steyn went over the top with the Sandusky reference. I’ve decided to make my donations to innocents who are harmed by things other than their own actions — like prisoner’s kids whose parents can’t buy them gifts (http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/) and Haitian orphans. I hope you can understand.
================================================================
I can understand you donating where you wish.
Unless I misunderstood you, I don’t understand the implication that Mann is in anyway an innocent here.
If you choose not donate, fine. But I’d suggest you reread what NRO actually said regarding any connection between Mann’s Penn State “investigation” and Sandusky’s. Then read what Mann claims they said.
You’d think someone that has a Nobel Lariat could read and understand his own language.

wobble

Gary says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm
While I can sympathize, NRO picked this particular fight and Steyn went over the top with the Sandusky reference.

The Sandusky reference was the whole point. Penn State white washed BOTH the Sandusky and the Mann investigations.
What’s wrong with pointing that out?

Gunga Din

PS Reread not so you change your mind and donate but to see who the real victims are here.

DesertYote

If NRO wins do they still have to pay MMs liar^H^H^Hawers like in other states?

wobble

Gary says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm
I’ve decided to make my donations to innocents who are harmed by things other than their own actions…

It seems as if the only purpose of your comment is to try to derail the NRO efforts. That’s probably why you lied about what they did when you linked to a charity.
Your comment should be deleted.

pbft

Done.

Gunga Din

A.D. Everard says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Is it possible to be sure of getting Mann actually into court? His earlier ploys in the court room seems to revolve around not actually getting there but in pulling out after forcing whoever he is suing at the time to spend a LOT of money in preparation for it. It seems his MO and there should be a law against it. Can this “court trick” of his be prevented? Isn’t “dodge and weave” a waste of the court’s time, especially if done repeatedly? I’d love Mann to be jailed for that AND see the court case continue. Good luck with it all. If you take mastercard, I’m in.
====================================================================
Counter sue. I believe that would take the “case going forward ball” out of his court.

Skiphil

In addition to needed financial contributions, perhaps some of the more knowledgeable WUWT and CA readers could start posting some of the most up-to-date analyses of weaknesses in the Mann et al corpus.
I.e., the legal team could surely benefit from concise, specific updated summaries of problems with Mann’s work. For example, this summary from Jan. 2005 by McIntyre and McKittrick could be brought up to the present by someone sufficiently expert in these matters:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/MM-W05-background.pdf

Richard deSousa

I hope NR files a counter suit to cover the cost of defending itself. NR will win when during the discovery phase Mann’s case will collapse!

Skiphil

What I am suggesting above is that we initiate some volunteer “crowd sourcing” here and/or at other blogs, to provide the most concise, relevant, and up-to-date analyses with links so that the NRO or any other legal teams can draw rapidly upon the info available. For instance,ma review and revisit of this kind of material:
http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/nas-mm.pdf
My understanding is that to prevail in a legal defense in a libel case in the USA, the defense team will only need to show how the defendant(s) could reasonably believe something said, not that it has to be proved true beyond all reasonable doubt etc.
Others can correct me about both law nd science (please do), but I think what the legal team needs in terms of info is that which shows some plausibility, to deny “malice” by arguing the defendants had reason to believe what they wrote/said.

I thought Steyn was gonna be “whupping ass”? Or that Mann “took the bait”?
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/23/yay-mike-mann-took-the-bait-intends-to-file-lawsuit-against-steyn-and-nro/
Not feeling so confident now, are we?
REPLY: There’s a difference between feeling confident and asking for help with legal bills, a point obviously lost on you – Anthony

Gunga Din says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm
A.D. Everard says:
December 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Is it possible to be sure of getting Mann actually into court? His earlier ploys in the court room seems to revolve around not actually getting there but in pulling out after forcing whoever he is suing at the time to spend a LOT of money in preparation for it. It seems his MO and there should be a law against it. Can this “court trick” of his be prevented? Isn’t “dodge and weave” a waste of the court’s time, especially if done repeatedly? I’d love Mann to be jailed for that AND see the court case continue. Good luck with it all. If you take mastercard, I’m in.
====================================================================
Counter sue. I believe that would take the “case going forward ball” out of his court.
*
Thanks for your reply Gunga Din. I sure hope that happens then, Mann should not get away with it.
*
A note to Gary. While you have every right to donate where you wish, I do think it was bad form to post a link to your charity of choice – I’m sure you meant no harm by it, but it smacks of being a counter-call for donation (a call for others to follow that way instead of donating to NRO).
Since all this CAGW utilizes so many so-called charities, I’m sorry to say I’ve gone off the lot of them. I no longer know who to trust. Even some of the big names are now headed by extremists. That’s a shame because it’s always the little guy at the bottom of the ladder who suffers, but the Greens/Reds have infiltrated everything and whichever way you look they are stuffing other people’s money into their pockets. It’s got to stop.

ttfn

Done NRO, and good luck. Good to see the Mann fanboys are already mucking up the thread. How dare NRO defend itself from a frivilous lawsuit. Instead, we should all walk around on rice paper rather than take the chance that some offhand comment may offend the sensibilities of the touchiest climate scientist in the world.

Typo – I did not, of course, mean that “CAGW utilizes” charities, I meant the people that expound CAGW views do. My apologies.

Skiphil

P.s. If there is any actual lawyer reading here, one kind of argument which seems to offer prima facie support for Steyn’s piece is to provide a layman’s analysis of Figure 2 in the McIntyre and McKittrick presentation to the NAS panel in 2006:
http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/nas-mm.pdf
I.e., any judge should be able to see at a glance that before and after comparison of MBH statistical magic as displayed in Figure 2 raises questions…..

Telboy

Not much, but glad to be of a little help.

Darren Potter

Donation made.

For people like Mann this has little or nothing to do with accuracy or truth; it has everything to do with Public Relations and ego. This reminds me of Diogenes of Sinope, also known as Diogenes the Cynic. His is said to have traveled the streets of Athens carrying a lamp in search of an honest man or mann is this case (±300 BCE). This was a stunt. The tradition of stunting to gain attention goes a long way back. Mann in my opinion is a piker in that regard but give him a modicum of credit for trying. Diogenes’ problem and anyone else who searches for an honest man is centered in the mind of the searcher. He can probably recognize an honest man but only if he himself is honest in all part of himself and his philosophy. Without that he has no criteria from which to judge.

Jim McCulley

Done, I fought a long legal battle against the state of New York. It’s a battle but you must prevail, NY had to pay my legal fees. I hope Mann child has to pay yours.

Skiphil

Ahhh I now see that Climate Depot started a list similar to what I am talking about:
http://climatedepot.com/a/17202/Michael-Mann-says-lawsuit-against-National-Review-is-on-Climate-Depot-responds-to-Mann-and-his-lawyers-claims-about-the-Hockey-Stick–Climategate
However, what I am also suggesting as helpful to NRO lawyers (or anyone who has to deal with a Mann type nuisance suit) would be precise sketches of legal types of arguments, incorporating only the most relevant evidence and links.

Kev-in-Uk

I have some genuine and I hope relevant questions:
1) following on from the previous thread a few weeks ago regarding this matter: Has there been any obvious indication of likelihood of success? The reason for asking this is twofold:
a) I don’t want to see good money thrown away for a dumb, pointless defence
and
b) what would Mann get should he be successful? (which leads to question 2)
2) If Mann were to win his suit – would that mean that substantial damages (are we talking thousands or millions?) would be awarded against NRO? and thence:
a) would NRO go bust?; in which case
b) would he actually get anything? (does NRO have assets?)
My concern being that in my limited experience fighting cases on points of principal generally is very expensive (especially in the uk, with suits and counter suits!) and folk get emotionally involved and ‘forget’ the starting point- an objective overview is required!
There are other questions which derive from above
such as, is it actually worth engaging expensive lawyers? (why would you spend many tens of thousands defending a lawsuit that most likely would only cost you a few thousand in damages?)
Might NRO be better served ‘folding’ and setting up under a new name as per many companies that go bust with vast debts, etc? Obviously, this depends on the legal likelihood of success – but I am sure that many folk would like to have some understanding of whether such likelihood is 10% or 90% !!
I appreciate the defence would not like to reveal it’s tactics, but we are really talking about facts, and interpretation of such facts (such as the interpretation of the articles actual reference to Sandusky).
Obviously, I am unaware of the way the American system works (sorry!) – and I am happy to support something that may bring Mann out from his dark closet of secrecy – but it would be nice to have some indication/probability of success?
I apologise if others feel my queries are not justified – but I for one like to see a logical explanation for processes and at least some reasoning! I hope that makes sense!

Gunga Din

REPLY: There’s a difference between feeling confident and asking for help with legal bills, a point obviously lost on you – Anthony
==================================================================
True. The Soros-type people’s pockets are deep. They don’t care if they win or lose civil cases as long as it shuts up whoever dares oppose them.
The trial lawyers are the only winners. (Does Obamacare include tort reform?)
“Freedom of the press” does not mean the freedom to libel and lie but does not mean one has the freedom to silence and crush by any means an opposing view. Did you ever see “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”? Remember “The Wishbone Star”? The same thing is going on here only it’s being carried out by lawyers and legal bills instead of thugs and bullwhips.
(PS I’ve nothing against ethical and honest lawyers. My Uncles were lawyers. One of them taught law. He even wrote at least one law book that I know of.)

knr

The bad news is Mann has proved time and again he cannot take questions unless he can control the process so that he only comes under the most friendly of fire. Which means it unlikely to ever get to court because like his others cases when it comes down to it he have to back off or be exposed .

Happy to help.

Rosco

According to a story I read Mann’s and Weaver’s actions against Tim Ball have collapsed with costs awarded against the plaintiffs for failure to prosecute the case.
Apparently having to produce their science was too much of an inconvenience.
Apparently, Tim Ball is to counter sue – which he will easily win if the courts determine their actions were vexatious – I’m assuming Canada’s British based legal systems are similar to Australia and Dr Ball would have little difficulty here in achieving an award over a vexatious lawsuit.

Buzzed

A fool and his money are soon parted the saying goes. The National Review is backed some of the wealthiest individuals in the country. But give them your money if you want.

James Allison

done – good luck.

Gunga Din

“As many of you know, National Review is not a non-profit — we are just not profitable. A lawsuit is not something we can fund with money we don’t have.”
===========================================================
That does bring up a question. To head off critics, perhaps you should declare what would be done with funds beyond what you need for the case? A counter suit? Tim Ball’s legal bills? Gary’s “prisonerfellowship”? I’m only thinking of heading off critics. Maybe form a “Skeptics’ Defence Fund”? You may be far needing to think about having more donations than you need but we know the Mannequins don’t miss a PR trick.

A donation has been made. More to follow if I find that sufficient effort is being put into thoroughly and scientifically rubbishing — in court filings and oral arguments — the “scientific” and “academic” emissions of the petty tyrant and mental child, Michael Mann.
I would like to suggest that at some point, perhaps soon, a picket of Michael Mann’s department by those who have contributed to the NRO legal defense may be in order. The money (in sufficient quantity) sends a strong message, but if it’s backed up by physical presence and in-person arguments being placed at his business doorstep by a large crowd, that could be a sound heard far and wide. But I urge readers, let us do it well, if we do it. A small crowd will be ignored. But if we can shock with the unexpected size of a demonstration, and make a disciplined and serious presentation, and make sure that friendly, respected media are notified well in advance (of course the NRO, but others as well) … I think it could make a big difference.
There are an estimated 52 million people in Pa., Ohio, W.V., Va., Md., Del., N.J., and in western N.Y.
I am willing to travel from outside this region for such a demonstration.
Michael Mann has crossed a line with this lawsuit, and he, his colleagues, and the public need to understand why — they need to understand what makes this case different from the others. I feel that with a little preparation, I can make a convincing case about that, both to climate professionals and to laypeople. I hope there are others as well who feel they can do so?
RTF

hippo

@Gunga Din:
Obamacare does not reform tort, tto many Dems are getting their living out of its existance.
@NRO:
Done, looking forward to some fireworks.

RexAlan

Donation made.