Michael Mann's legal case caught in a quote fabrication fib

UPDATE: it seems the language was lifted from a “Skeptical Science” web page, see below.

Steve McIntyre had a busy day yesterday. While yesterday there was an incorrect story called Michael Mann Faces Bankruptcy as his Courtroom Climate Capers Collapse being pushed by John O’Sullivan at Principia Scientific International (aka PSI and The Slayers) claiming Dr. Tim Ball had defeated Mann’s lawsuit, Ball confirms through communications with McIntyre yesterday that while stalled, Mann’s lawsuit is still very much on. Also, for those who don’t know, we’ve heard that Dr. Mann’s legal bills are being paid by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, where we’ve been told there are some deep green pockets contributing, so he isn’t facing bankruptcy, at least not yet.

I find the name a bit of a misnomer, since AFAIK, no climate skeptic scientists are suing alarmist climate scientists, We have only Dr. Mann’s and Dr. Weaver’s lawsuit (also against Tim Ball). Perhaps it should be named the Climate Science Legal Offense Fund.

In a parallel Mann legal arena, Steve McIntyre now shows that in his legal reply to the NRO/Steyn lawsuit, Dr. Mann or his attorneys altered a quote from the Muir Russell inquiry that didn’t exist. Add this to the fake “Nobel Laureate” claim in Mann’s original lawsuit (a claim which he eventually removed in an amended complaint, on Facebook (before and after), and at RC without notice), and a pattern begins to emerge that might not be looked on too kindly by a presiding judge.

He writes:

In my most recent post, I showed that Mann’s claim to have been “exonerated” by the Oxburgh inquiry had no more validity than Mann’s claim to have won a Nobel prize. In today’s post, I’ll continue my series on the “investigations” by showing that Mann’s claim to have been “exonerated” by the Muir Russell inquiry is equally invalid.

In their memoranda supporting their original motions to dismiss, both National Review and CEI had observed (correctly) that the Muir Russell panel had limited their findings to “CRU scientists” and contested Mann’s assertion that the Muir Russell panel had made any findings regarding Mann himself, let alone “exonerated” him.

In Mann’s Reply Memorandum, he vociferously rejected the (correct) assertion that the Muir Russell had not exonerated Mann himself, describing such assertion as merely an attempt to “obfuscate and misrepresent”. Mann supported this bluster with an apparent quotation from the Muir Russell report, but the phrase within the quotation marks does not actually occur within the Muir Russell report. As shown below, Mann and/or his lawyers subtly altered the quotation to more supportive language.

Full story:  http://climateaudit.org/2014/02/21/mann-and-the-muir-russell-inquiry-1/

Manwhile: Steyn countersues Mann for 10 millon dollars (hilarious reading, highly recommended)

UPDATE: Shub Niggurath finds the apparent source of the language, he writes:

The doctored quote in Michael Mann’s legal reply brought to attention by Climateaudit is doing its rounds now.

Doctored quotes? Guess where my first reaction was to look.

Sure enough, this is what one finds on Skepticalscience:

Michael Mann scientists rigor

See his post here: http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/the-michael-mann-scientists-rigor-and-honesty-quote/

UPDATE2: Some language was updated and added in the Nobel Laureate paragraph for accuracy and broader citation.



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Ed, Mr. Jones

97% of D – Bags agree: “Mann is one of us”.

When we first attempt to deceive.
All down hill from there, all of them.
Lie based total.

Don Bennett

And don’t think Mark Steyn and crew won’t pounce on this.

Tim Walker

Subtly adjusting the facts to make your case better? Sounds like Mann is demonstrating a pattern. It would appear that he doesn’t think the facts matter.

Yet there will be different “Strokes” from some folks.


Shouldn’t the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund be paying Tim Ball’s defense?


It is an ethical violation to knowingly mislead the court. Altering published statements to appear more supportive than they really are probably qualifies as a violation, but this type of thing happens too often without significant consequences. But, as you noted, it will cut into their credibility with the court.


oops… shoulda read the whole thing :-[ nevermind.


Guess Mann has to amend his complaint. Again.

Only the law abiding abide the law. Good people ought to be armed as they will, with wits and guns and the Truth.


The following is a copy of a post I made in the previous thread because it has not obtained an answer perhaps because nobody can answer it or someone who can has not seen it.
richardscourtney says:
February 22, 2014 at 1:17 am
I write to ask a genuine question. I am not a lawyer and not an American so I have zero understanding of the US law and US legal system.
In the UK the ‘sides’ in a legal case going to trial each provide a bundle of documents to the judge who assesses those documents before the trial. Any difficulties and/or clarifications are requested by the judge as part of his/her preparations for the trial. Importantly, the bundles contain the evidence which the trial will assess, and the judge needs to agree any additional evidence if it is to presented in the trial. The judge will demand explanation if there are errors of fact in the bundles and – on the basis of the explanations – will permit corrections before the trial or will insist that the errors be put to the trial because the errors are material to the case.
Is this similar to the US legal system and if not in what way(s) does it differ?
I ask my question for two reasons. Firstly, the Mann vs Steyn case has importance beyond the US so I would like to understand the issues of the case. And, secondly, there does seem to be a clear error in the information provided by Mann (from his lawyers) in that a misquotation was provided and the reason, purpose and nature of the misquotation would seem to be pertinent to the case: if the misquotation is not pertinent then there would seem to be no reason to have not provided the correct (and full) quotation except incompetence by Mann’s lawyers.
With thanks in anticipation to anybody who can provide an answer to my question with explanation of the answer


I would not be surprised to read that funders of the “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund” include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Meteorological Society and American Institute of Physics (AIP). AGU’s participation would explain AGU’s fees increases (including membership fee) that started at the end of 2012! This year, AGU is doing away with the “complementary” subscription to the AIP “Physics Today.”

Elliott M. Althouse

Filing a false claim to a court is a serious crime. The attorney will have two choices: 1. Confess to the judge wherupon he will be disbarred and fined, or, 2. Throw Michael Mann under the bus and give him 100% credit for the inclusion of the altered quote. I vote for number 2 with quite a cascade of negative consequences rapidly following, the greatest of which will be the countersuit and subpeonas to both the University of Virginia and Mann to produce all that he is hiding. At this point, “I lost it” will not work, nor will delay, obfuscation and the like. As is always the case, the attempted coverup will ultimately do him in. Lastly, Mr. McIntyre doesn’t miss anything!

Peter Miller

There is a wonderful expression “being cavalier with the facts.”
Sounds like Mann is this both in his ‘research’ and his lawsuits.

Elliott M. Althouse

There is a difference between a “misquote” and one that is intentional. When the misquote takes a negative statement and makes it positive for the litigant, the judge will not see this as an accident, but an attempt to deceive the court and bad things follow. There is a difference between the opinion that the inquiry exonerated you and providing false evidence to support it.

Kevin Kilty

How can Mann’s legal bills be paid by the “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund”, when he is on the offensive in all instances, and just plain offensive otherwise?


This person – Michael Mann, I think his name is – certainly puts on an interesting show.


The name “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund” is appropriate. They’re defending against science.
richardscourtney – In U.S. court proceedings there is a “discovery” phase, during which evidence and documents are gathered and presented. This trial has not yet reached that phase.

D. B. Cooper

Facts, tree rings, at this point what difference does It make?
Both are soluable in the Mikey’s mind.

Hmmm … rather the “Climate Science Legal [strike]Defense[/strike] Offense Fund

Pete says February 22, 2014 at 8:59 am
This person – Michael Mann, I think his name is – certainly puts on an interesting show.

The dodging, the weaving, or the artful pirouetting* (‘spinning’) of the truth?
Wait til the kimono is fully opened …
* a rapid whirling about of the body; especially : a full turn on the toe or ball of one foot in ballet.
The elegant pirouettes of the prima ballerina.


The “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund” is actually part of PEER, which is a 501 c(3), and contributions to the fund are stated to be tax exempt, under 501 c(3) (Federal EIN 93-1102740)
Here’s their latest (2012) 990 form:
They spent $215,731 on legal and the fund received $222,375.
i thought for 501 c(3) you could not donate for a specific purpose, at least that’s how it was in the one I was involved in.
I wonder what their 1023 form says, it’s not obviously on their website..


Thankyou for your answer to my question which you provide at February 22, 2014 at 9:01 am.
Clearly, that is a fundamental difference which explains my puzzlement.

Gerald Machnee

fobdangerclose says:
February 22, 2014 at 8:20 am
Yet there will be different “Strokes” from some folks.
In the “nik” of time.

From the Climate Science Defense Fund Website:
“Climate researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers.”
This is very instructive into their thinking. Taxpayer’s freedom of information rights just don’t exist in their minds. If they think they don’t like working in the public sector under scrutiny, wait till they work in the private sector where results and accuracy matter! These guys wouldn’t last a week in the real world. At least not the one I work in.

Nigel S

Peter Miller says: February 22, 2014 at 8:45 am
Yes “Being economical with the truth” is another good one popular over here.

John Bills

Is this Mann for real?
“What do you think it’s going to take to get serious political action on climate change in the US?”
[–]MichaelEMannDistinguished Professor of Meteorology Penn State[S]:
“I’ve often said that we need our “Cuyahoga River moment” in the climate change debate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River). Many of us had hoped that Hurricane Sandy was that. But it is much more difficult now to galvanize attention in our highly fractured 24/7 new media environment. Even the worst climate-related disasters disappear from view in a few 24 hour media cycles…”

This is part of a continuing pattern. Mann changes his ‘facts’ to suit his objectives, as he did in claiming to be a Nobel Prize recipient. He earns the label of “fraud”. Because that is what fraudsters do, no?
There are so many instances of Mann doing similar things that I am truly surprised that his legal team doesn’t withdraw. But of course, there is big money here, and lawyers are not known for being highly ethical these days.
Regarding the tax-exempt status of donations, if they can do it, why can’t Steyn? I am sure he would receive many more contributions if they were deductible. Steyn should look into this, because what is sauce for the goose…

Alan Robertson


Karma coming!

Tim Clark

Posted here on The Blackboard:
I’ve been a juror on several “inquiries”. From my experience one thing is certain, jurors have no sympathy for pompous, condescending, know-it alls.

Richard D

@ richardscourtney
Richard, discovery includes written interrogatories, which are requests for information by both plaintiff and defendant lawyers. These questions can be pretty broad, intrusive and burdensome . They are expensive to produce. It’s the punishment side of a lawsuit intended to crush a defendant with work and also financially in addition to actual depositions which can become nasty. Note well the process can take years, even double what Dr. Ball has experienced, before trial. It’s insanely expensive. Nearly all civil litigation in the US is settled or dropped without trial. If insured, defendant’s insurer is usually most interested in minimizing costs/damages and NOT seeking justice for its client.


Shub Niggurath has found some interesting provenance of the quote:

R. Shearer

I’d also like to see the IRS 1023 form for the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. I don’t like the idea that donations to Mann’s defense, who is actually the plaintiff, are being subsidized by the U.S. government through the use of tax deductions via donors to the “cause.”

Mike Rossander

richardscourtney asks some questions at 8:34 above. First, it’s important to remember that the rules are different for civil as opposed to criminal matters. In criminal court, the principle is “innocent until proven guilty” and “preponderance of evidence”. In civil court, the two sides are assumed to cooperate to find the truth and the standard is 51% evidence in favor of one side over the other.
Regarding discovery, both sides have extensive rights to seek documents from each other to find that “truth”. Unlike in the UK, they provide the documents to each other, not to the judge. They are then allowed to ask each others’ witnesses questions (through depositions) and may be allowed to make a few follow-up questions about documents. The parties’ right to keep asking for more documents is (or at least, should be) limited by the judge. In theory, this prevents abuse and discovery extortion. In practice, well, it’s there is a proposal under consideration right now to rebalance the Federal discovery rules. And the exact balance varies a great deal by jurisdiction.
Regardless, it is the parties’ responsibility to ensure that the documents they have are complete enough to address all material issues and errors. If they fail to ask the right questions or if they don’t think to ask for the right documents, the judge will not override that decision. There are some exceptions but they are VERY rare. So to answer your question, if Mann’s lawyers made a misstatement or provided an incomplete quotation, it is the opposing lawyers’ job to find and raise the issue, not the judge’s.

Kevin Kilty

Whoops. I see that Anthony already noted that Mann was on the offense. No matter what comes first to my mind, someone else has already thought it.


Where have all the money gone……


I know nothing about the legal system apart from all the great films where the underdog wins.
This is pretty serious stuff involving Michael Mann, he has to be seen to win, and governments are pretty serious in getting the right message across, are they able to lean on the Judge to get the right result or have I watched to many films.


Richard D:
Sincere thanks for your additional information for me in your post at February 22, 2014 at 9:52 am.
I do not doubt what you say, and I will keep it in mind when following these matters. But to me – as both a non-lawyer and a Brit – the system you describe seems ridiculous. On face value its purpose seems to be to maximise legal costs at the expense of resolving grievances. And I thought our legal system is an “ass”!


Mike Rossander:
Thankyou for your spelling-out of the principles of your legal system which you provide for me at February 22, 2014 at 9:57 am .
I am especially grateful for your telling me

So to answer your question, if Mann’s lawyers made a misstatement or provided an incomplete quotation, it is the opposing lawyers’ job to find and raise the issue, not the judge’s.

This indicates a basic difference between the role of the judge in UK and US Courts as well as the different legal principles.
This series of answers has been very informative for me.


I left you an email note a few days ago about who is funding Mann’s legal bills.
This is a first hint. What needs to be uncovered ASAP is who are the “green deep pockets”?
There are plenty of them, some of them funding the blocking of Keystone and other [e.g. Packard Foundation] funding the green opposition in Canada against the Northern Gateway pipeline.
There must be a way of getting to the bottom of this.


Richaed D;
Richard, discovery includes written interrogatories, which are requests for information by both plaintiff and defendant lawyers. These questions can be pretty broad, intrusive and burdensome . They are expensive to produce.
True. But I wonder if the expense and burden may be very unbalanced in this case.
Mann’s case was provoked by what Steyn said in public. What is left to discover to support Mann’s case? Any information that Steyn has, or anything that he said in private is immaterial. For Mann, what’s left to discover? Perhaps he could go on rabbit hunt trying to find some private correspondence in which Steyn admits to knowing that his public accusations are unfounded, but seriously, does anyone including Mann think any such thing exists?
Steyn on the other hand has plenty to discover in regard to everything from Mann’s correspondence with colleagues, government officials, and most importantly, his actual research data and methods that produced his results.

Bill Illis

It’s only a legal submission to a court of law in which one is required to be 100% truthful.
Now assume it is only a climate science paper or a historical temperature record where any number of “tricks” can be used and are then met with praise from colleagues and copied.
When you see this over and over and over again, you can only conclude it is in their “nature”.


Deep green pockets indeed.
I am interested in the watermelons SLAPP against Dr. Ball. In the meantime the Canadian Revenue Agency is closing in on Weavers, um, backers for abuse of their so-called charitable status:
Weaver has managed to get himself elected as a provincial MLA and he probably thinks this gives him some degree of protection as the CRA and skeptics close in on him. He does have the local media in his pocket, so hard questions do not get asked – although the local paper have gone quite lately on most matters relating to the global warming catastrophe. Used to be every time Weavers “lab” ran a borrowed model and churned out tweaked numbers the local bird cage liner would breathlessly report the results on the editorial page. Never a word about Weavers SLAPP against a pensioner.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to make a donation to the Steyn attack fund…

James Strom

Nigel S says:
February 22, 2014 at 9:28 am
Yes “Being economical with the truth” is another good one popular over here.
Nigel, here’s the quote you’re looking for, from Mark Twain:
“Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”


Mike Rossander says:
“First, it’s important to remember that the rules are different for civil as opposed to criminal matters. In criminal court, the principle is “innocent until proven guilty” and “preponderance of evidence”.”
Mike, “preponderance of evidence” is the standard for a civil matter; for a criminal matter the higher standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies.

Mann will be speaking at UC Santa Cruz next week, I am sure he can answer everybody’s questions. For example he blogged on Huffpo in favor of global warming causing the polar vortex
Here is the announcement:
From Sheldon Kamieniecki Dean, Division of Social Sciences UC Santa Cruz
Subject: EVENT: Climate Science and Policy through the Looking Glass Conference
Date: January 27, 2014 at 8:14:15 AM PST
To: DANM Students <danm-students@ucsc.edu
I am pleased to invite you to attend a major conference on Climate Science and Policy through the Looking Glass, which will be held at the University of California, Santa Cruz on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014. The conference is being co-sponsored by the Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at UCSC.
The primary goal of the conference is to bring broad public attention to the challenges of climate change and provide compelling reasons why effective action is immediately required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of alternative sources of energy and other approaches.
As you can see from the attached program, a number of distinguished climate scientists, policymakers, and commentators will be speaking. There will be three panels during the day on Saturday, one on the current state of climate change research, another on how climate change can be mitigated, and a third on adapting to climate change.
Professor Susan Solomon (MIT) will be the Fred Keeley Lecturer on Friday. She was the first scientist to identify the cause of the ozone hole over Antarctica, and her work formed the basis of an international agreement to protect the ozone layer by regulating damaging chemicals. Since then she has continued her ground-breaking research on climate change, including serving as a contributing author and co-chair for the influential Assessment Reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Professor Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University) will be the keynote speaker on Saturday. He is the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and he has published two influential books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming; and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines. He is also a co-founder and regular contributor to the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.
I hope that you will be able to attend this important event.


Richard, UK judges, or any other judges for that matter, do not go out to ‘find and raise issues’.
You know, they are called judges, because that is what they do. They judge on the basis of the submissions made before them, i.e. the parties.

Richard Sharpe

I have to make a donation to the Steyn attack fund…

Where is this fund?

Richard D

@ richardscourtney
– the system you describe seems ridiculous. On face value its purpose seems to be to maximise legal costs at the expense of resolving grievances.
Lawyers bill roughly 10% of US GDP. They also make the laws as many legislators and congressman are lawyers. So it’s not surprising that laws and regulations are by design intended to increase work for lawyers. Bill and Hillary, lawyers both, although Bill was disbarred. President Obama, lawyer.
Something else to consider, If Steyn relies solely on his insurance carrier for providing for both defense and damages if any, the carrier can settle the suit without Steyn’s consent. Sometimes, defendants augment insurance provided lawyers with private lawyers (definitely a good idea). It’s possible Steyn fired his insurance carrier AND its lawyers, in which case he’s responsible for the cost of defense and possible damages.