Help Steyn with the Mann lawsuit process

Dr. Mann’s lawsuit against National Review and Mark Steyn continues. National Review, while having walked back some of the early claims to square one, failed to get the suit dismissed. But Steyn is going on his own path and says he will fight in court for a verdict.

Anyone so inclined can help at: http://steynonline.com

[Note: I’ve removed the direct email address and most of the original comment, as it is creating an overwhelming response.

It seems that that best way to support Steyn’s effort is with a donation, see this:

Some readers have asked about that, Steyn says

As I’ve said, in previous battles I’ve never asked for money, and always responded simply by asking supporters to buy a book or a subscription to Maclean’s or whatever. But the scale of things is different down here: Michael Mann has Big Tobacco lawyer John Williams (before the hockey stick, his previous fictional client was Joe Camel) and at least three other named attorneys working on his case. So, for the moment, we’re asking those who “don’t need a coffee mug” to consider buying one of our new SteynOnline gift certificates either for a friend or for yourself, to be redeemed down the line in the event that we improve our mug designs. I’ve been heartened to see they’re being bought in places where I was barely aware I had readers, including the remoter Indonesian provinces, a couple of Central Asian stans, and dear old Vanuatu (for fellow old-school imperialists, that was pre-1980 the Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides). They never expire, so you can put it to one side and redeem it when my new book comes out later this year.

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I’d suggest NOT leaving your questions in comments, since that may provide an unfair preparation advantage to the plaintiff. – Anthony

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They are fighting over a pack of lies called global warming. How sickening. So much need in this world – those funds could be better used for helping people in need. These GW apostles of Al Gore are their own worst enemies.

which will support certain statements he made about Dr. Man for which the suit was brought
For clarity and organization, Mr. Steyn should list and itemize the “certain statements” in question.
These should come from NR article and from plaintiffs court documents.
Then the readers can suggest references cross referenced to the statements.

Any legal expert wants to describe what exactly the discovery phase of such a trial will entail?

Political Junkie

Anthony, your suggestion that the questions not be detailed here makes sense.
However, that train may have left the station – the extensive discussion currently going on at Lucia’s blog will be pored over by lawyers for both sides.

Ian

Steyn should retain McIntyre as an expert – or at least as an advisor. That would be well worth the investment.

Contact McIntyre – 2003, 2005 the Hockey Stick Fraud was destroyed.
Also ask for the entire set of algorithms, data base, models, documentation and assumptions from Piltdown Mann and have IT people go through all of it.

Tom J

I am not a scientist. (Readers of my comments are probably painfully aware of that.) So, I cannot assist Mark Steyn in the discovery process of this trial. I can, however, assist financially. I just might wear a T-shirt with his smiling face and name on it. I understand they are for sale. Perhaps I’ll have my morning cup of coffee whilst looking at his smiling face on the cup. I’m pretty certain anybody can Google to find a website where such fine items may be acquired.

I am sure Steyn has already done this, but it would be helpful to catalog all of Mann’s mis-statements, lies, and political rants. This would show a pattern of Mann’s penchant to mislead people about his personal status and science. His science is nothing more than political speak.

Felix

So Steyn is admitting that he accused Mann of fraud although he did not have evidence to backup his claim.

pokerguy

Yes, I’m echoing the call for McIntyre. Meanwhile, this is an opportunity for us mostly anonymous climate blog skeptics, a kind of Greek Chorus with a lot to say but not much to do, to help Steyn with a lawsuit which could have major public relations repercussions for both sides.
Let’s give til it hurts!

Joseph W.

The best way to help Steyn is to convince him to join the appeal that the other defendants have filed, on free speech grounds. That’s where his case is strongest. An appellate court can issue a binding precedent that deters future cases of this kind.

Joseph W.

Felix – No, neither Mann nor Steyn has admitted any such thing. But both will be asking discovery from each other.

Peter, Austria

I’m all for supporting Mark Steyn in the lawsuit that Michael Mann saw fit to embroil him in. National Republic, sorry to say, has grown cold feet and sort of deserted Steyn, probably fearing the overhead of protracted legal proceedings and Mann’s hush-hush funded ambulance-chasing lawyers.
Everything that @Stephen Rasey wants to know can be found, in detail, on
http://www.steynonline.com/
This courageously unfaltering guy, by the way, does not fancy or encourage cash donations. He wants folks to get a run for their money by buying one of his books or music compilations, which naturally adds a few bucks to his war chest. But they’re worth having and reading, and this British Canadian American certainly knows lots more about music than Lady Gaga, Al Gore and Justin Bieber combined.

Mark Steyn, embroiled in a lawsuit brought by Dr. Mike Mann, is asking for suggestions as to how he can substantiate his case during the discovery phase of the trial. Plainly, Steyn….
…is toast.
I’m a long time commenter here, and friend to the cause of better science. (goback to the days of SurfaceStations.org and helped get pics of a local station) I’m sorry, but this isn’t science… It’s law. Science typically does not translate well in a legal setting, and there is nothing out there that would be compelling enough to support Steyn’s assertion of fraud, especially since most of the climate science community will back Mann. Remember, the scientific evidence against OJ was pretty damning, but we see what happened in that case. And try taking a “psychic” to court. Armed with even the best science that CLEARLY show psychics are frauds, it’s rare to get a conviction.
This case is, what, a year old now or more…. If Steyn doesn’t have material to build a good case by now, he’s done.
PS. Is he defending himself???? If so, that’s another fork in this sad turkey of a case.

Scott Basinger
Pat Frank

Mike, “there is nothing out there that would be compelling enough to support Steyn’s assertion of fraud
Yes, there is.

Joseph W.

Mike — It’s Mann who brought the case. Steyn doesn’t have to prove Mann is a fraud; Mann has to prove Steyn didn’t believe he is. The evidence hasn’t even come in yet; the fights so far have been over motions to dismiss. There has been no discovery so far, so neither side has yet had the chance to get evidence from the other side (which is what discovery is – I’m sure both sides have been diligently gathering publicly available evidence, which is a different story).

Tom J

Mike Alexander
February 4, 2014 at 8:49 am
says:
‘…I’m sorry, but this isn’t science… It’s law.’
You’re quite right. But, then again, climate science was never science either. Do I remember another Canadian saying, “Never mind if the science is all phony…”? Climate science has always been all about a return to that wonderful, glorious time between the fall of the Roman Republic and the ‘Shot heard ’round the world.’ A time when the peasants, the serfs, knew their proper place in the scheme of things. A time when they unquestioningly bowed to authority. You’re right, let’s let Steyn rot.

Peter, Austria

@Mike Alexander:
You might be right by a frog’s hair. Agreed. But please consider the obvious fraud of Mann’s hockey stick, the “Hide the decline” exchange of emails, his usurpation of the Nobel Prize given to the IPCC (a scam in its own right), the vested interests Mann is fighting for in spite of science having produced quite different results, his pathetic claim of being a private person, not a public talking face, thus immune from reproof, even if it’s substantiated …
Once Dr. Mann appears in court, which he has been shirking all the way, matters might very well take a different turn, don’cha think? Depends on the guys behind the bench, of course.

Police will tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you. I suggest capturing and recording every blog post, every twitter post, every facebook post, everything where Michael Mann goes on a rant and use it against him in trial. Ask “why is okay for Dr. Mann to call Judith Curry ‘anti-scientific’ without proof or to call Anthony Watts a ‘denier’ which is an attempt to connect a person with a holocaust denier but it is not okay for someone to call Dr. Mann a fraud? Why is free speech selective?”

grs

The discovery phase is the most lengthy part of a lawsuit. The parties send each other written lists of questions, called interrogatories, and demands for the production of documents in each others’ possession that may be relevant to the facts of the case. The parties also examine witnesses, or potential witnesses, under oath. These examinations are called depositions. The discovery phase may take many months. Once discovery closes, one or both parties will again attempt to finish the case without trial by filing a motion for summary judgment. The judge may grant summary judgment, or grant partial summary judgment on some points, in which case the remaining issues are tried, or deny summary judgment and proceed to trial. That’s a year or two away at this point.

Jay Davis

If possible, Mark should request all Mann’s emails related to the Climategate releases, along with all his emails from his UVa and Penn State days. After all, Mann is objecting to the UVa emails release, and has repeatedly maintained the Climategate emails were taken out of context.

Mike — It’s Mann who brought the case. Steyn doesn’t have to prove Mann is a fraud; Mann has to prove Steyn didn’t believe he is.
If that were the case, then Steyn wouldn’t need to troll the blogosphere for suggestions as to how he can substantiate his case. I’m no fan of Mann, but the case rests on Steyn being able to show that (A) he was giving an opinion and no more than an opinion, or (B) that he has plenty of substantiated evidence to show that Mann is a fraud. Steyn has already whiffed at option (A) and now (B) is in play. Steyn now has to show that he has valid reasons for calling Mann a fraud. And I’m sorry, but a few blog-post from Steve McIntyre or Anthony Watts or anyone else is not going to be able to convince anyone that Mann committed fraud,especially since the scientific community says he didn’t.
And remember, if Mann was accused by Steyn of simply being wrong, there would be no case here. Steyn is in hot water because he used the term “fraud” on multiple occasions. Because he used that specific term, which implies that Mann ‘knew” he was being deceptive, Steyn has to show that he has ample proof that backs the claim.
Note…. I’m no fan of this entire episode. I think this lawsuit is dumb, and wished the court had thrown it out… Thought they should have. But they didn’t.

I agree, Mann can be hung by his own words.

negrum

grs says:
February 4, 2014 at 9:22 am
” … That’s a year or two away at this point.”
—-l
I wonder how the CAGW hypothesis will be doing in two years time?

ossqss

A link to the formal court documents would be helpful. The details in the formal complaint will provide clearer guidance to the appopriate line of questioning and any opportunity to dissect and dispute the data that is ultimately at the core of the entire litigation. Connecting the claimed liable to the flawed science is critical to success for the defendant.
Documentation links anyone?

Rob Dawg

Mann needs to provide a list of his actions that were in violation of the terms of his employment.
Now Mann will certainly deny any such acts. It should be an easy step to perjury from there.

Kip Hansen

I would donate to a Styne defense fund but his site is so darned confusing I can’t find a link to a DONATE FUNDS…can anyone help me?
Anthony?
REPLY: Steyn writes

As I’ve said, in previous battles I’ve never asked for money, and always responded simply by asking supporters to buy a book or a subscription to Maclean’s or whatever. But the scale of things is different down here: Michael Mann has Big Tobacco lawyer John Williams (before the hockey stick, his previous fictional client was Joe Camel) and at least three other named attorneys working on his case. So, for the moment, we’re asking those who “don’t need a coffee mug” to consider buying one of our new SteynOnline gift certificates either for a friend or for yourself, to be redeemed down the line in the event that we improve our mug designs.

– Anthony

Dr. Ball, a guest contributor here, has fought Mann to a standstill in Canada. (As I understand it Mann has not complied with Dr. Ball’s document demands.) Perhaps Dr. Ball, if he reads this, could get in touch with Mr. Steyn directly and share the benefit of his, no doubt unpleasant, experience.

But please consider the obvious fraud of Mann’s hockey stick, the “Hide the decline” exchange of emails,
That doesn’t matter. The scientific community where Mann’s work exists, has accepted that the “hide the decline” bit is sound and scientific. What is Steyn going to do when Mann presents statements from all his colleagues, three dozen or so who are fellow climatologists working iin the same field, plus the IPCC reports, all saying the technique is sound, and all Steyn has are a handful of scientists and bloggers who say it’s not. Which side is the average jury going to be more receptive to?
his usurpation of the Nobel Prize given to the IPCC (a scam in its own right),
Irrelevant, because that only happened after the case was filed. And it doesn’t show Mann and the hickeystick is / are frauds.
the vested interests Mann is fighting for in spite of science having produced quite different results, his pathetic claim of being a private person, not a public talking face, thus immune from reproof, even if it’s substantiated …
All irrelevant. To borrow a metaphor from Steve M… That is the thimble, not the pea. The pea is showing fraud, or convincing the jury that the fraud is there, and that Mann KNEW he was being deceptive. “Hide The Decline” certainly SOUNDS deceptive…. But when all of Manns colleagues says it’s not, and it’s just a turn of phrase…. Steyn is doomed.
Once Dr. Mann appears in court, which he has been shirking all the way, matters might very well take a different turn, don’cha think?
He hasn’t been “shirking away from it… He brought the lawsuit.
Depends on the guys behind the bench, of course.
Depends more on if Steyn can present a good enough case to support his assertion that Michael Mann is a fraud. So far, Steyn is very much on the losing end of this fight. Having and using questionable techniques is not the same as being fraudulent. One is pushing the envelope, something done in science all the time, sometimes to good effect, sometime not. Fraud is knowing damned well that what you’re doing is BS. When the rest of the climate science community, who know far more about this subject than Steyn does, backs Mann and says he’s not committing fraud…. Unless Steyn finds that elusive smoking gun, it’s not hard to see how this is going to turn out.
My prediction. Steyn loses. He also finds nothing that shows Mann committed fraud. But this goes to the upper courts and gets tossed for free speech issues.

Steve from Rockwood

Suggestion to Steyn – shut-up about Mann while you have a pending law suit with him.

Joseph W.

If that were the case, then Steyn wouldn’t need to troll the blogosphere for suggestions as to how he can substantiate his case. I’m no fan of Mann, but the case rests on Steyn being able to show that (A) he was giving an opinion and no more than an opinion, or (B) that he has plenty of substantiated evidence to show that Mann is a fraud.
Incorrect; “plenty of substantiated evidence” is not the standard at all. Read the correct standards here. You don’t know, no more than I do, what kind of evidence Steyn has collected already. This post is about “what Steyn should try to get from Mann now that, for the first time, he has that opportunity.” Even a litigant with a rock solid case is not going to miss the opportunity to get more evidence from the other side once discovery begins. Mann will certainly do that. Just as Steyn will.
Steyn, having fired his lawyers, is trying to crowdsource the issue of “what to ask Mann for.” I think that’s a foolish move; I think he should get a new lawyer for that. But it says nothing about what other evidence he already has, and it certainly does not imply that Steyn has to show “plenty of substantiated evidence” or prove anything in order to prevail.

Bernal

Mark may be asking for help but I don’t see what issues he wants help with. Court documents? I don’t see any of that at his web-site.
Crowd sourcing is probably a good idea but there is no place on Mark’s web-sit to accumulate or collate crowd-sourced information.
Lucia seems to be doing some of this on her own. Explaining R2 even to an innumerate clod like me.

PeteJ

Mark simply needs to find out if Mann knowingly suppressed or selectively omitted data in coming up with the “Hockey Stick” or anything else he’s submitted. Collusion with others via the “Climategate” emails would support this so he has to get his hands on any other incriminating emails that may still be “sequestered.” Just pointing out his slip-shod statistical approach is not enough, unless it can be shown he selected his method intentionally and presented the spliced “data” together in a deceptive manner. Good Luck!

FerdinandAkin

The first point that should be discovered is who is funding Dr. Mann’s legal team.

Hmmm

Felix says:
February 4, 2014 at 8:28 am
“So Steyn is admitting that he accused Mann of fraud although he did not have evidence to backup his claim.”
That is a completely skewed way to look at it. Detailing a list for a lawsuit is likely to be done more thoroughly than for an article. He doesn’t want to leave anything out so that he makes the strongest possible case. Possibly another skewed way of looking at it; perhaps we’re both skewed? My guess is he already had what he thought was enough ammo for an article and wants all he can get as the defendant for a lawsuit non knowing himself how someone else will judge; seems fair enough to me.

Rob Dawg

Mann’s repeated claim to Nobel recognition even after the Committee clarified the issue is fraud. The case is a slam dunk. Go Steyn!

mib8

Cmon! Steyn’s a satirist. Take it to a jury and let him do 5 minutes on the court-room decor, on his own lawyer’s clothing, on the weather at Ice Station EIB! No remotely sane jury could convict.

Tuduri

I think there’s a difference between calling someone a fraud(opinion, commentary)and saying someone committed a fraud, the allegation of a crime or Tort. Calling someone a fraud is like saying one is an ’empty suit’. Pure opinion, I would say. But saying Mann defrauded someone(the public, the government, a specific person)is more than opinion. It’s an allegation of the commission of a wrong, civil or criminal. But what was the ‘wrong’? The Hockey Stick Graph? We know that was totally unfounded and it deliberately left out proven historical warming and cooling periods in the past. Policy and Polemics have been driven by Mann’s pronouncements which have encouraged and resulted in the expenditure of public and private funds. And for what? If Steyn can show that Mann deliberately omitted historical and scientific evidence in developing his ‘Hockey Stick”, I would call that fraud. And Mann’s working for NASA and the Federal Government would seem to lend a kind of public fiduciary responsibility to Mann’s work and official comments. That is my non-scientist’s, layperson’s two cents.

pouncer

To quote directly, Mann — in his person or in his profession, has not been labeled a fraud. Mann is, according to Steyn, ‘the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus.’
The opinion regarding the WORK has to be distinct from the opinion of the WORKER.
The phrase “ring master of the tree-ring circus” is cute but not defamatory.

Ivan

I think it is relatively easy to prove that Mann committed a fraud: just invoke the CENSORED directory from his university website which proves they ran the sensitivity test without the bristlecones in the data set, sand discovered that the hockey stick disappears in that case.

Ivan

….and decided not to report this result in the paper !!!

Shrunn

There are several ways to pin Mann down into something close to an admission of fraud. An obvious one, with respect to the “hockey stick”, is to find out how he validated his statistical methods. If he tested them in any manner similar to what Steve McIntyre did, then he would have known they did not work (=fraud). If he did not test them, but represented them as valid, that also seems like fraud (scientifically, at least). I suppose the third option is that he tested them lightly or incorrectly, and thought they worked, which would merely be incompetence. Giving Mann the benefit of the doubt, that he is not incompetent, leaves the *appearance* of fraud.

Crispin in Waterloo

It is clear the Climategate emails will be central to this and that Mann will try to have them refused as evidence. Without knowing ‘officially’ which parts of tree ring data that were selectively removed, it is hard to prove the hockey stick was not simply the result of incompetence. Do not attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.
However, others having demonstrated in journals that the hockey stick was incompetent, and understanding as climate scientists do, that the incompetence means something important, to perpetuate the meme that it was correct, and to produce further defective (or incompetent) works purporting to support the hockey stick could amount of fraudulent behavior. One could show for example that there is a lot of fraud in academic works on climate as supporting evidence. By that I mean knowingly defending incompetent work with other works crafted to support an earlier incompetent work and doing it knowingly in concert with others is still fraudulent behavior, especially if one gained monetarily from doing so.
If Mann is willing to be judged to be incompetent in order to avoid being found fraudulent, he might win the case. The compensation payable might not be much.

JPS

Joseph W.,
“Steyn doesn’t have to prove Mann is a fraud; Mann has to prove Steyn didn’t believe he is.”
Hmm. In your second comment, you direct us to some helpful legal definitions. As I read them, I wonder: Is it enough for Steyn if Mann fails to prove Steyn didn’t believe he’s a fraud, but (repeatedly) called him one anyway?
It seems to me that if Mann can convince the jury that he is not a fraud (that maybe he was wrong, not that he’d ever admit it, but not willfully so), then there’s a case to be made that Steyn made the statement with Reckless Disregard for its truth or falsity.
My sympathies are all with Steyn, but I’m worried for him. Legally, I think Mann may have a point – even if I happen to think his findings were marshaled to support a conclusion he’d already reached, that he pushed the Hockey Stick with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity, and that he is a thin-skinned jackass and a nasty piece of work. (Can I be sued for that?)

ba

Make the publicity of the process so odious that Penn State cries for mercy. Mann et al’s hide the decline acts are so contrary to integrity in science practices that the supposed “scientific community” is simply going to be discredited in the eyes of the numerate and technically literate population. Probably the ordinary people too.
I wouldn’t send a kid to Penn State for a free education in any science or profession – future bad reputation risk a la Mann or Sandusky, a 3rd time, three strikes. What happens to Penn State when a large percentage of the population thinks that too, even if the lawyers slice, bake and martyr Steyn in a resource war. Especially ca 2020, if it’s extra cold, and the Mannian circus is still not producing publicly demanded or court ordered information…

Joseph W… thanks for that link.
It says this of the burden of proof of malice:
“””the plaintiff must produce clear and convincing evidence that the defendant actually knew the information was false or entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication. In making this determination, a court will look for evidence of the defendant’s state of mind at the time of publication and will likely examine the steps he took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work. It is generally not sufficient, however, for a plaintiff to merely show that the defendant didn’t like her, failed to contact her for comment, knew she had denied the information, relied on a single biased source, or failed to correct the statement after publication.
Not surprisingly, this is a very difficult standard for a plaintiff to establish. Indeed, in only a handful of cases over the last decades have plaintiffs been successful in establishing the requisite actual malice to prove defamation.
The actual malice standard applies when a defamatory statement concerns three general categories of individuals: public officials, all-purpose public figures, and limited-purpose public figures. Private figures, which are discussed later in this section, do not need to prove actual malice.”””
Malice is indeed a very difficult charge to get a conviction with. I really do hope Mann loses. But this move by Steyn doesn’t give me any confidence he has any idea how to defend himself. Remember, there are both sides in this case that need to present their cases in the strongest and most sound legal way possible. How many cases have we seen where one side lost, not because they should have lost, but because the case they presented to either prosecute or defend, was crap! I totally see that happening here.
In my opinion, Steyn, on principle, SHOULD prevail. But this is a court of law. He’d damned well better have his ducks in a row.

ba

edit: so contrary to integrity in science principles

FerdinandAkin

We can hope that one of the individuals who possess the password to the ClimateGate Emails make a private suggestion to Mr. Steyn. Somewhere in the archive is a concealed fact that reveals Dr. Mann’s public position is in contrast to what he knows to be true. Demonstrating a pattern of ‘Nobel Cause’ slanting of the facts by Dr. Mann would be one of the quickest ways to undermine his standing with the court.

boondoggle9945

Add a paypal account, so if someone wants to just make a donation they can do so.