Citing Mann's legal case against Steyn, Jacobsen throws in the towel on defamation case

Via the Volokh Conspiracy: Jacobson Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Against Other Scientists

After an initial hearing, Stanford’s Mark Jacobson thinks better of pursuing a scientific disagreement in court.

Jonathan H. Adler

Last fall, Stanford professor Mark Z. Jacobson sued several researchers and the National Academy of Sciences over the publication of a paper critical of his work. According to Jacobson, the NAS decision to publish a peer-reviewed critique of one of his co-authored papers in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was defamatory because the critique made what Jacobson asserted were false and misleading claims about his work in the process of dismissing his claim that 100 percent of the United States’ electricity needs may be met by renewable energy sources. (Additional background on the suit may be found here.)

Now it seems Jacobson has thought better about taking this dispute to court. Earlier this week, there was a court hearing on whether to dismiss the case. Here is one account of the proceedings (the only one I could find). [Note: Here’s a second account from EnergyWire (subscription required).]

Jacobson apparently had second thoughts after the hearing. Yesterday Jacobson voluntarily dismissed his suit.

Why did Jacobson change his mind? Here is the answer he provides in an FAQ document Jacobson posted on his website yesterday:

Q. Why did you dismiss the lawsuit on February 22, 2018?

A. It became clear, just like in the Mann case, which has been going on for 6 years, that it is possible there could be no end to this case for years, and both the time and cost would be enormous. Even if the motions for dismissal were defeated, the other side would appeal, and that alone would take 6-12 months if not more. Even if I won the appeal, that would be only the beginning. It would mean time-consuming discovery and depositions, followed by a trial. The result of the trial would likely be appealed, etc., etc.

Full story here:


The irony here is, Mann, the plaintiff, is the one who’s been dragging his feet. He doesn’t want to go to court, because he knows he will lose, and lose big, as I suspect Jacobsen finally realized. Mann’s lawsuit has always been about “the process is the punishment”, not winning.

In the meantime, Mark Steyn got his own punishment in in the form of this scathing and highly entertaining book, with illustrations by Josh. Highly recommended if you don’t have it already.a-disgrace-to-the-profession

Available on Amazon here


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Tom Halla

I would guess Jacobson could not find someone else to finance his lawsuit, or lawyers listing it as pro bono.

Bob Grise

It’s almost the month of March and I’m in southern Minnesota. I have almost 2 feet of snow in my yard. Where is that global warming I was promised?

Michael Kelley

I feel your pain. I live in Southern Montana, and this winter seems endless. Half the people I know have fallen on the ice this winter, and it’s still snowing. We had several nights of subzero last week with a -26 F.


I am in Porto, Portugal, and it is COLD! Rainy too. The camellias have been blighted and it goes down to 3 at night. What gives? I was promised global warming!


“Jacobsen”, with an E, in the title

Walter Sobchak

That’s easy for your spell checker to say.

Extreme Hiatus

How dare you spell his name wrong! Call your lawyer!
Wrong in the title, right in the text, at least according to Wiki:
“Mark Zachary Jacobson (born 1965) is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University…”

John Harmsworth

The guy can’t even write a convincing alias!


Jacobson. I suggest a civil engineer ought to know better. One would have to suspect his background is dominantly in politically-correct environmental studies than actual engineering. Otherwise he should have developed some actual common sense.

Non Nomen

‘e’ like evil.

Javert Chip

I know this is demonstrating a firm grasp of the obvious, but it is painful to watch the legal system being so obviously gamed like this (especially by the plaintiff).
You’d hope that after 6 years of this crap, a judge would step in to “purify” the process, either expediting the trial or dismissing the case.

Javert Chip

in reference to Mann v Steyn


In this case it was scientist vs. scientist. It was easy to see the anti-SLAPP law designed precisely to stop this kind of attempt to silence debate.
And the interesting thing to note from the RetractionWatch article:
“At one point, [the Judge] Wingo probed Thaler on whether Clack’s statements were actually defamatory.
She (the Judge) said: “The Mann case says, flatly, that criticizing ideas is not defamation.”
Anyone hearing that from the judge in pre-trial would know that she was almost certainly going to grant the Defendents’ Motions to Dismiss.

I hope you’re right. Alas, even if the judge comes to his senses this year, it will be too late to spare the author of the following IPCC-worthy false prediction the embarrassment of a retraction. Some poor sod of a skeptic, when writing the future history of the climate debate, actually expected this to happen:
2017: Science loses another Scopes trial
Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg beat Michael Mann’s defamation suit, pushing “legal system” to the top of Tom Friedman’s favorite things about China.
Dr Mann’s courtroom loss provokes Naomi Klein to become an American citizen, burn her US passport and move to Canada in protest.
The verdict is decried as a death knell for free speech.
“Open season has now been declared on scientists like us, who will have to think twice before speaking our hearts for fear of being teased by bullies like Messrs Simberg and Steyn,” in the words of an open letter to the NY Times whose authors are too scared to sign it.


Being teased will result in the loss of free speech????
On the other hand, suing someone for saying something you disagree with is apparently defending free speech.

sy computing
Alan Tomalty

youshould have said Mark Steyn “exacted” his own punishment. What happens when the AGW crowd invades the judiciary and takes over the courts?


Alan, I Agree. It read wrong to me too.
Anthony, please correct the language.

D. J. Hawkins

I observe with some interest that Steyn’s book is presented as “Volume 1”. If I were Mann, scanning the horizon for “Volume 2” would give me the shakes.

Indeed. And you can bet he is “scanning the horizon.” Like all crybaby herbivores at the bottom of the food chain, a perennial Serengeti victim like Mann has been endowed by evolution with excellent peripheral vision (at the expense of the stereoscopy required to see what’s in front of his nose in 3 dimensions).

John Harmsworth

I would have said Mann has been scamming the horizon (as in future ).

Mark - Helsinki

History has the correct place for Mann, a void. He won’t even be a footnote. Just an obscure reference in some future journal about the effects of the limbic system on humans


Google scholar says MBH98 has been cited over 2,000 times.

perhaps you didn’t get the memo: the Hockey Stick is a sideshow, a footnote and an afterthought. It’s only denihilists who are obsessed with it, grossly inflating its actual importance.
This point is explained at great length in Mann’s book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, which is all about the irrelevance of the Hockey Stick.

D. J. Hawkins

@Brad Keyes;
Yes, because nothing makes your point like saying there’s no point to be made.


Nonetheless, his infamy is lasting, and hardly as a footnote, rather as a hockey stick.

It’s a sad commentary on the human condition when non-scientists like Steyn and Simberg are allowed to prolong the legal excruciation of a legitimate researcher like Michael Mann for SIX YEARS, tearing him away from his groundbreaking efforts to rediscover the hockey stick (which was, in an unrelated event, discredited by a work of “pure scientific fraud”).
Distinguished Professor Mann faces disclosure of his valuable secret methods if he wants to pursue remedies for being called a “pure scientific fraud.”
And all Steyn and Simberg have to do to get off scot-free is be innocent.
The law truly is an @$$ or other animal that performs useful work for mankind.


Mann is a fraud!!!

Ed Zuiderwijk

Charity, charity!
Mann is either a fraud or a quack.
So, that sounds much more balanced.

“Mann is either a f___d or a quack.”
We can eliminate the second option via the Lewandowsky Rule, which forbids the defamation of ducks.


Duck, goose, duck, goose…… please, just a urinal, no latex, thanks.

I imagine Jacobson saw Steyn’s countersuit and realized if that were to happen to him…
Were it not for a dysfunctional DC Court system Steyn would already be a richer Mann on paper at least.


The irony here is, Mann, the plaintiff, is the one who’s been dragging his feet.
Really, as I understand it the appeals court ruled about a year ago and National Review and CEI immediately filed an appeal of some sort, the court then asked for a response from Mann which he filed almost a year ago. Since then nothing from the court so I don’t see how that constitutes Mann dragging his feet.


How quickly did Steyn produce Manns requested discovery? How many years now and Mann has not done the same for Steyn’s discovery.

There has been no court-ordered discovery. In fact, the defence, including Steyn, applied to the court for an enforced stay of discovery. Their motion is here.


Not exactly, Mr Stokes. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, and by action of law, they are thereby protected from enforced discovery (“enforced stay of discovery”) until such time as that motion is denied. They did not file for a stay of discovery.
I must admit that it has been very hard to follow the chronology of the original suit and the counter-suit, and which motions have been filed in which courts, and what the status is of the various motions.

“they are thereby protected from enforced discovery”
They did file a motion; I linked to it above. It was titled “MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER ENFORCING STAY OF DISCOVERY” It’s true that it was basically to clarify, and it was not opposed. But it certainly proves that it isn’t the plaintiff obstructing discovery.

Nick, that document to which you linked has been overcome by events. It’s dated from 2013, before Steyn split his suit from the National Review’s and CEI and filed his own countersuit against Mann. In 2014 Steyn countersued Mann, and later wrote “I want to get to court as soon as possible, and put Michael E Mann, PhD (Doctor of Phraudology) on the stand under oath. I haven’t wasted two years on this guy to be denied my moment in court. That’s one reason I’ve countersued Mann. He thinks the DC Superior Court is competent to litigate his fraudulent “hockey stick”. Fine, let’s get it to a jury – before the sclerotic DC “justice” system’s procedural delays go on as long as the global-warming “pause”.
I don’t know if anyone is stonewalling on discovery or not, but it’s obvious that Steyn wants this trial to move forward, so I doubt strongly he would be the one to do so.

Curious George

“not the plaintiff obstructing discovery.” Not alone.


Typical race hoarsing.

Nat Rev et al separated from Steyn. Mann has failed to comply with discovery in the Steyn case.

joe - the non climate scientist

Rob – “Nat Rev et al separated from Steyn. Mann has failed to comply with discovery in the Steyn case.”
a little more clarification in order.
Prior to the NR/ Steyn split, the 4 defendants filed motion to stay discovery (as our nemesis Nick S correctly notes). After the NR/Steyn split and after Steyn severed himself from the appeal, Steyn sought to continue the litigation and moved for discovery. At that point in time, the was a ruling to suspend discovery for all 4 defendants and plaintiffs pending resolution of the CA appeal – currently pending a ruling on whether to have an en banc hearing. (note that since march 2017, we are awaiting a vote by the judges as to whether to even grant en banc review.
My apologies for not being the specific order suspending Steyn motion to compel discovery along with my apologies for any incorrect terms in summarizing the status of the discovery.


Just out of curiosity,what would Mann and his lawyers be doing in the 12 months since filing material to progress his case in circumstances where there has been “ nothing from the court”?


Herbert February 23, 2018 at 7:31 pm
Just out of curiosity,what would Mann and his lawyers be doing in the 12 months since filing material to progress his case in circumstances where there has been “ nothing from the court”?

No idea, making sure they have all their ducks in line should the original ruling be confirmed and the case goes ahead I assume.

“No idea, making sure they have all their ducks in line should the original ruling be confirmed and the case goes ahead I assume.”
All non-collinear ducks were safely consigned to the CENSORED folder that no climate scientist leaves home without, and their inconvenient quacks would never be heard again.

“National Review and CEI immediately filed an appeal of some sort”
Yes. Almost the entire period of the case has been taken up with defence motions to dismiss, mid-case appeals, and then, when that didn’t work, a further request for a re-hearing en banc, which has been mulled over for the best part of a year, and is where it currently sits. There is a recent summary here.

Reg Nelson

The article you linked isn’t about the Steyn case. It’s an update on the other case.
“Steyn having gone his own way in the litigation”


Yes, they tried to get it dismissed under the anti-SLAAP statutes in D.C. This should have happened but IMO the judge screwed the pooch on this one. Steyn in his own suit has pushed to move to the discovery phase but Mann’s lawyer’s I believe have not been as eager. The most interesting thing about the case is that when Friend of the Court (Amicus curiae) briefs were provided for both sides, not a single human or organization on earth filed on Mann’s behalf, while dozens of organizations, newspapers, and journals filed on Steyn’s and National Review’s behalf including the ACLU and the NY Times. This shows that Mann is clearly in the wrong and this case should have been thrown out at any and all stages of the proceedings. If it ever makes it to the Supreme Court (God forbid it drags out that long), it will probably be a unanimous decision in favor of the 1st Amendment. Mann is a celebrity, Steyn is a satirist, and the statements were made in a clear context and tongue in cheek on Steyn’s part. Even the NR article, had a basis for it’s criticisms and was not slander/libel under US law.

Phil. is right. There is a recent summary of the state of where it stands here.


Nick Stokes is a troll.

Nigel S

‘Climate policy activists have generally supported Mann’s litigation, …’ (from the link)
Not one amicus brief in support of Mann however so the level of support is practically homeopathic.
(Mark Steyn mentioned a recent development (22nd February), no details so far)

Paul Courtney

Mr. Stokes and Phil have a gift for stating one fact while ignoring others. No denying all Defendants sought SLAPP dismissal. SLAPP laws are designed to permit early dismissal, sparing the expense of things like discovery. So you can point to that and say “delay is due to Defendants” and imply that includes Steyn. This ignores the Steyn maneuver when he declined further appeal and demanded to move forward. Mann refused, so you are cherry-picking by ignoring Mann’s delay. Sure, sure, it’s not “efficient” to go fwd with only one Defendant, but Mann’s reputation has been and continues to be damaged (as he sees it), so your boy is choosing delay over exoneration and vindication. Mann could have shown the world several yrs ago, by taking up Steyn. His case is so strong (don’t you think?), he could have won vs. Steyn and forced the other 3 to drop their appeal and settle; and more importantly (supposedly to “the cause”) Climate Science gets big court victory and skeptics get black eye. Why would Mann delay, rather than produce Steyn’s discovery and pull up a chair? Why indeed. No need to reply, we know you know.

“This ignores the Steyn maneuver when he declined further appeal and demanded to move forward.”
This is just a stunt. There is no way any court proceedings could happen with the appeal pending, even if Mann agreed. Suppose the appeal succeeded. Do you think Steyn would still insist that the case move forward?


This is just a stunt. There is no way any court proceedings could happen with the appeal pending, even if Mann agreed. Suppose the appeal succeeded. Do you think Steyn would still insist that the case move forward?


Reg Nelson

Nick Stokes February 24, 2018 at 8:17 am
“This ignores the Steyn maneuver when he declined further appeal and demanded to move forward.”
This is just a stunt. There is no way any court proceedings could happen with the appeal pending, even if Mann agreed. Suppose the appeal succeeded. Do you think Steyn would still insist that the case move forward?
Steyn isn’t appealing anything. The appeal is in a totally different case. You don’t seem to get that.
Steyn is counter-suing Mann. Mann has refused to allow the discovery that Steyn attorneys have sought. Steyn has supplied the discovery that Mann’s legal team has requested.
Mann tried to bully Steyn to silence him and other critics. Steyn called his bluff and counter sued. Whatever the outcome of the case, Mann is now forced to supply all of his hidden emails and will have to testify in court under oath.

“The appeal is in a totally different case. You don’t seem to get that.”
It isn’t true. I asked you for evidence – none provided. There is no different case involving Steyn and Mann. There is only one case, Case No. 2012 CA 008263 B, in the Superior Court, and a couple of appeals (NRO and CEI have different numbers but are heard together).
The SC court judge dealt with this issue in what I think was his last ruling before handing jurisdiction over to the Appeal Court (my bold):
“A continuing stay of discovery will impose the burdens of additional delay on all parties, but particularly on Plaintiff and Defendant Steyn, who has distanced himself from the other Defendants and expressed his desire to proceed expeditiously, even if that means the case would go forward only on Plaintiff’s claims against Steyn and Steyn’s counterclaim, with the other Defendants left behind. Nonetheless, it would be costly, inefficient, and duplicative to have two rounds of discovery: one round between Plaintiff and Defendant Steyn, and a second round between Plaintiff and the other Defendants. 2 The court is unwilling to sever Mr. Steyn’s case from the other Defendants to accommodate his desire to go it alone. If it is not dismissed, there is no compelling reason to try this case more than once. The parties’ interests are diverse and irreconcilable, in part because of the way they have chosen to exercise their legitimate procedural rights.”
And his ruling was:
“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 <b<ll proceedings in this case are stayed pending the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on the Defendants’ interlocutory appeals. “

Paul Courtney

Mr. Stokes: Nice try, but the quoted ruling does not address your “even if Mann agreed” remark, because he did not agree, in fact he joined in NR’s motion, didn’t he? We won’t know what the Court would do if Mann agreed. Nothing prevented the Court from going forward, which Mann would be most anxious to do if he believed in his suit. Nothing prevented Mann from joining Steyn’s motion, instead he chose to join in the delay. So yes, defense motions are causing delay, but so is Mann.

Paul C,
“he did not agree, in fact he joined in NR’s motion, didn’t he?”
Well, no. There is an interesting footnote to the judges most recent ruling that I quoted and linked above:
“2 Plaintiff opposes the motion to stay discovery and argues that, at a minimum, the court should permit him to proceed with discovery against Defendant Steyn. However, his idea of discovery against Steyn includes the right to take what he chooses to call “third party discovery” from the other three Defendants as it relates to Plaintiff’s claims against Steyn. Beyond that, Plaintiff takes the ironic – albeit legally correct – position that he should be able to proceed with discovery against Steyn, but Steyn should be precluded from taking discovery on his counterclaim because Plaintiff’s anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss the counterclaim triggers an automatic statutory stay.”
But the reality is expressed in that judgement, and I quote:
“all proceedings in this case are stayed pending the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on the Defendants’ interlocutory appeals”
No action, including motions and discovery, in the Superior Court until the appeal is resolved. The only alternative is to have two trials, two juries and two verdicts. The judge said no.


We know we know we know we know
You know you know you know you know.


One theme is now becoming abundantly clear. Everyday citizens the world over are now laughing at these Charletons of Science, like Jacobson above, or ‘Dr’. Andrew Weaver of BC Green Party fame just having his lawsuit thrown out of Court.
Distinguished Poser Michael Mann can probably count on the same destiny as these other ignoramuses of science. Or at least the way they practiced science. And politics. Their names will be remembered in history forever as Charletons of Science…the decievers who cost the world a lot of grief for nothing.
As for loser Al Gore, well there is a special place in Hell for him just 35-40 miles below the surface of the earth where it is 2 million degrees. What a sad pathetic joke this climate fr@ud has been. We must be very diligent to ensure when it is the Skeptics turn to influence policy and politics, that we don’t repeat some of these same mistakes and attitudes that these idiots fostered upon the world.


Recently-discovered footage of the Charlestons of Climate Science, circa 1921…
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist)


97% of readers will not know what on Earth a “flapper” is.

Tom Halla

A reference from Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, repeated as a commentary on then current politics by Robert Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land, as a mocking reference to political staffers.

Donna K. Becker

“Charlestons,” or is it charlatans?

Gunga Din

97% of readers will not know what on Earth a “flapper” is.

I know!
My Grandma was one!

Correct spelling is Charlatan not “charletan”


Yeah, but when they sue me for defamation, my defence will be I can’t even spell the word correctly, therefore I will not be found guilty for calling them a Charletan. I think some of you got it. A Charletan is a Charle with a tan and a disgrace to the scientific method. Ok..enough with those of you with no sense of humour. Oh sorry, that would be humor.


Mann never figured Steyn would stay the course and now he’s got to be sweating. He can’t delay the inevitable (discovery) forever no matter how deep the pockets are backing him. BTW proceeds from Marks book help fund his legal fees. I bought two copies when it first came out and gave one away.

Murphy Slaw

The only problem with Josh is ……..he is not funny!

peanut gallery

Well, he is working with one of the most vapid and boring people on the planet as a topic. Piltdown Mann. Previously, one of the most notorious Frauds in science.


You mean too true to be funny, I assume?


Hmmm…. how very Dickensian this has all become. The Jamdyce family had a perpetual suit going on in ‘Bleak House’, for such a long time that while it was over who owned a rocking horse, no one could really remember what it was all about. It became generational, I think.
Perhaps Mr. Mann will find a way to perpetuate his presence in court in another, more verbose way.

Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce was the endless family estate case at the center of Dickens’ last novel Bleak House. I forget the legal issues being contested. The value of the estate is largely consumed by the costs of endless motions, hearings, court dates, document copy, and legal fees, a metaphor for “justice delayed is justice denied” as well as the ludicrous complexity of the legal system for inheritance cases in the 19th C Great British. A separate branch from criminal law. The only beneficiaries are the lawyers themselves, who smile and laugh at its conclusion, knowing full well all along what the ultimate outcome would be.
John Jarndyce, the last of the family line, has no interest in the case, as a bachelor, never married, childless, becomes a benefactor, foster parent, care taker and guardian of two central characters, one of whom studies the law to carry on the litigation, and loses his physical and mental well being, health and eventually his life in its pursuit falsely believing it will lead to his fortune. The title itself is a Dickensian metaphor for London’s cityscape and the state of English society as a whole at the time; but the novel ends on a distinctly up beat note. Lessons aplenty for modern America.


The defendants should counter sue for malicious prosecution. It’s their civic duty. Misuse of the legal system needs to be punished so others don’t contemplate the same. I would sue Jacobsen’s attorney. Malpractice insurance equals deep pockets and an attorney, as an officer of the court, has an affirmative duty not to file malicious lawsuits that lack probable cause. No matter how badly his client wants it. Having a judgment in the record will prevent further misuse by like minded a-holes.


Mr Mann is currently in New Zealand, spreading the news about climate change, at the conference on said subject.
He was also interviewed on a local and well respected radio station, by one of our ‘best’ interviewers, Kim Hill.
In the run up to the interview itself, she outlined that he was ‘associated’ or ‘connected’ to the climategate affair, but was “exonerated, every single time” of any suggestion of wrong doing.
Now my question is….REALLY?
Surely my failing memory, has me thinking this was not the outcome.
Please, oh please, tell me my recollection of his involvement, wasn’t that he was cleared on all counts of the misdeeds!!


Thanks for that information, D B H.
No, Mann has not been vindicated. There were some hearings in the Britain at the time, that whitewashed the Climategate Conspi@cy, but everyone, except for maybe Kim Hill, sees it for what it is. Certainly on the skeptic side of the issue. The Climategate conspir@cy and its goal of promoting CAGW is an establised fact from the skeptic point of view.
This current lawsuit is taking much too long. The way it has been handled deserves to be investigated, imo.


Mann’s university hired an investigator to look into the allegations.
The investigator proceeded to interview Mann, then produced a report stating that Mann denies all charges.


Of course Mann was exonerated of all his Climategate crimes.
Mann is the Jerry Sandusky of Climate Science. And just like the real Sandusky, Mann was found innocent by Penn State by virtue of making them a lot of money.


Never underestimate the fear of knowing you’re wrong.

michael hart

Exactly. And in the Steyn vs Mann saga some people make vague or dubious claims about the legal technicalities to try and shore up Mann’s PR position. It is easy to distill what Steyn thinks the truth is, by his actions. Specifically, his publishing actions:

“A disgrace to the Profession.” Part 1

about Mann, of course. Clearly the actions of a man, Steyn, who is neither afraid of the truth being revealed in court nor afraid of the outcome of these seemingly-stalled legal proceedings.
I just hope that the longer the delays, the greater Steyn’s book sales are. That in itself is a serious blow to Mann’s sheltering ego.

“The irony here is, Mann, the plaintiff, is the one who’s been dragging his feet.”
In fact, the defence has caused the delay. Almost the whole period has been taken up with defence motions to dismiss (Jan 2013). When that first failed in the lower court, an unusual appeal mid-case (Aug 2014) took until Dec 2016. Here is a recent summary. There has been no further progress while the defence seeks an en banc re-hearing by the Appeal Court.

Defensive motions to dismiss hardly constitutes “dragging your feet,” since its purpose is to force a decision, nor does it exonerate the obvious foot dragging on the part of Mann. Mann’s case was a known loser from the word go and was pursued for alternative reasons,i.e. to bully and THAT was the reason for Mann’s obvious foot dragging, which had no other purpose. Extending the case and causing financial pain was the obvious reason for Mann’s foot dragging. Get real, people.

Nigel S

SLAPP and anti-SLAPP apparently, Steyn is in for the long haul and deserves support.


Nick, your link is not about the Steyn case. Its about the other defendants in what has become a quite separate and independent case.
I believe, without looking up the details again, that Mann has failed to comply with discovery in the Steyn case.
What is going on with the NR etc is irrelevant to the Steyn case.
Are you saying that Steyn has failed to comply with discovery in his case? What’s your reference for that?

“Are you saying that Steyn has failed to comply with discovery in his case?”
There is no separate case. It’s true that most of the time has been consumed by a defence appeal against the failure of the motion to dismiss. Steyn was a party to that motion, but did not join the appeal, or the request for a re-hearing. But the case still cannot proceed until that appeal is resolved. And Steyn does have a counter-suit, but that cannot proceed independently of the main case. There has been no court-ordered discovery; on the contrary, the motion for a protective order enforcing stay of discovery, advanced by Steyn and the other defendants, succeeded and is still in effect. So no-one has “failed to comply with discovery”.

Nick, there is a separate case. Steyn split his defense from the NR’s back in 2013, and then filed a coutersuit against Mann. By my count, there are now three separate cases: the original Steyn-NR-CEI suit, the now Steyn-alone suit, and the Steyn countersuit.
And the foot-dragging has been done by the DC courts, not the defendants. What’s going on here is a travesty of a “speedy” trial as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Reg Nelson

Nick, the WaPo article links you posted says this:
“Steyn having gone his own way in the litigation”
Do you even read the links you post?

Steyn has declined to join in the other defendants’ appeal and the request for a rehearing. That does not create a separate case. A defendant can’t unilaterally withdraw from a case. If you think there is a separate case, please give details (eg case number).


No Nick, the defense is defending the case.
Not delaying anything.
Mann picked a notoriously corrupt court, filed a suit that should have been tossed out under the law, and was shocked when Steyn counter sued.
Your asperger’s syndrome obsessive and pernicious deconstruction is just bulldust, as usual

Greg Cavanagh

Please don’t disparage Asperger’s people in such a way, some are very sensible and nice people. You are generalising and smearing the whole, unfairly.


Bangin’ his horse’s head.

Pure sophistry. A motion to dismiss is not dragging your feet.
A simple question – has Mann allowed full discovery in either case?
Another simple question – can a trial go ahead without discovery?
See if you can spin those.


To go through discovery is to expose. For Mann, that is not a good thing. It is his and the agendas only option at this point. Trial by fire is avoided again. Next!


Does he really expect anybody to believe his reason?
He specifically mentions the Mann case, so when he filed his case he already knew “that it is possible there could be no end to this case for years, and both the time and cost would be enormous.” So if he obviously already knew that then either he is an idiot for filing OR he filed it hoping the defendants would role over and cave to his whining. Which is exactly the reason for SLAPP laws


I don’t think he expected the nearly universal kickback and disapproval he received from the science community and beyond. Comments on Twitter were rather brutal. It became pretty much obvious that he had run his reputation into the ground, single-handedly.


Good points, icisil.


The comments to his tweet about dropping the lawsuit give a taste of the negative blowback. Click on the date for comments. He apparently blocks anyone who disagrees with him, and someone said somewhere that he’s blocked half of the internet.

joe - the non climate scientist

Icisil –
Thanks to the link to Jacobson –
he has 5 links to studies supporting his theory –
3 of the links are dead ends ie not valid links
1 link is to an activists website listing other “100% renewable road maps”
1 link is to his own study –
lastly – Jacobson cites the DC court of appeals decision in which a motion for an en banc hearing has be filed by the defendants (though the DC Court of appeals has yet to vote on granting the en banc review). Jacobson apparently seems unaware of the multitude of errors both factual and procedurally made by the DC
of Appeals.

He’s lying. Who in the US doesn’t know the problems with the legal system? And what, his lawyer didn’t explain it to him before he filed?
Just another narcissist who can’t take criticism.

old construction worker

I think I’ll buy a couple more copies.

old construction worker

And a mug or two.


“Now it seems that Jacobson has thought better of taking this case to court”
Are you suggesting that Jacobson can actually think?
That would be a first for a climate “science”.


Steyn’s ‘volume 1’ barb always tickled me. Brutal.


Faced with criticism of those who can do calculations, Jacobsen just chose a time to stop the debate before the results would have damaged his Machiavellian stance.


If you withdraw a suit, does that leave you vulnerable to the other side demanding you pay their legal fees?
After all, by withdrawing, you have admitted that your case wasn’t worth filing in the first place.


The normal outcome of civil cases is that the lawyers on both sides agree on a settlement. As you point out, just wandering into court and dropping the case would be crazy.
If it comes to a judge issuing a judgment, we get to find out the details. If the parties agree to a settlement, the details can remain secret. That’s really annoying.
For years the settlement in the case UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc. remained secret. During that time there was a copyright cloud over BSD (a version of UNIX) and Linux (also very UNIX-like). On the other hand, there is some opinion that Linux may have benefitted thereby.


Mann will NEVER “show his work” like my 4th grade daughter is made to do by her Common Core education rules. LIARS never “show their work”


Nick Stokes is a troll.

Paul Courtney

Bitter: Please stop with this. State your disagreement with him- he often replies with substance, which is clear indication he is not a tr0ll. He is a competent thread-puller, and draws fire for that; and has deflected when his own thread has been unraveled. But better to explain a point if you’ve got one, I can tell you pulling the thread is more rewarding.

The other Phil



Agree, it’s quite a spectacle, the lathering, though.

Bitter&twisted, as Paul said in his reply, Mr. Stokes is no troll. Trolls are trolls merely because they have an opposing view point. With or without substance to his arguments, Mr. Stoke has the privilege granted him by Anthony Watts and his moderators to speak his opinion, just like you. Please do not continue dragging debates into the gutter by making character assassinations of the people whose opinions you disagree with. Put simply: assume the best in a person, even if you disagree with their viewpoint.

*Trolls are NOT trolls merely because they have an opposing viewpoint.

Robert Herron

Mann is having his legal bills paid by AGW/Green Climate groups. Steyn is paying his own bills (now well past $1 million) for his case, which because a specific judge on the current appeal issue has dragged on for years with no end in sight.
Buy his books to help support his fight with the fraudster.

Non Nomen

Steyn might be better off if there were editions of “A Disgrace…” available in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, and Scandinavian languages. The 10th anniversary of his lawsuit is just around the corner, and still limping strong :=)


Great book curated by Steyn.


As far as I am aware, Einstein had better things to do than sue the 100 German Physicists who disagreed with him.

Gunga Din

These lawsuits aren’t about science.
They are about pride and politics. Mostly politics. “Pride” is just Mann’s button they pushed to get him to sue in the first place.
He’s cannon fodder.
When his political usefulness is gone, so will his “green”.

Non Nomen

Einstein was a man of common sense, intelligence and wit. With Mann, I am not so sure.


Your support of a charlatan the likes of Michael Mann strips you of any and all credibility that you might have in matters of the climate. Hell, you probably still think MM won the Nobel Peace Prize…

As often, I am just trying to get the simple facts right. When you have the facts, then you can decide what you think of him.


You may be right. It is not what I understood to be the situation, but I’ll try to find time to look at it carefully.
People need to stop with the mindless abuse. Nick’s account is plausible, in that certainly one defendant cannot split off from the others and make it into a standalone case.
It also makes sense in that Steyn’s countersuit would depend on the original motion being heard, whether Steyn participates in that or not.
It would be nice if someone with a legal background could comment further, but I suspect I had got the wrong impression and that Nick may be right.


In general, you do not try to get the simple facts right. You nitpick, such that you are then able to internally further your rationalizations.
Physically, look in the mirror, and see if you can tell yourself it ain’t so.

Joel Snider

‘As often, I am just trying to get the simple facts right. When you have the facts, then you can decide what you think of him.’
I’m sure Nick is doing the same thing over at all the alarmist sites – ‘getting the simple facts straight.’


Nick bangs the facts, no question, or the table, whichever is sturdier.


“Thursday morning the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that Michael Mann’s defamation suit against Rand Simberg, Mark Steyn, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute over blog posts written by Simberg and Steyn may proceed.”
This, from Washington Post, supports Nick’s account.


The WaPoo is not an unbiased source. Quite the opposite.

“The WaPoo is not an unbiased source”
The law prof, Jonathan Adler, who wrote that article, did feel it necessary to disclose an interest. He is a contributing editor at National Review Online, one of the defendants, and has worked for CEI, another defendant. He has however given a straightforward and legally informed account of the state of play.


Yes, I think Nick was correct. The ruling was that the suit against all four defendants, including Steyn, may go ahead. Steyn has withdrawn from the application made by the other three. He has also got a countersuit that is held in abeyance pending resolution of the application made by the other three.
At this point it is up to anyone thinking differently to produce a case number and documentation of any separate case in which Steyn is being sued by Mann as a separate suit from the original 2012 suit against all four.
I had not recalled correctly, probably had not understood at the time, that what Steyn withdrew from was the application the other three made. But this did not make Mann’s case into a separate and new action. The only case Mann is bringing seems to be the original one against the original four defendants.
It is completely mad that it is taking this long to get to trial.


Here is a more recent update on the Mann cases by the same author that Nick keeps citing ad nauseum. It notes quite definitively that Steyn has gone his own way in the litigation. I doubt that Nick will cease conflating the two cases.

“It notes quite definitively that Steyn has gone his own way in the litigation”
He’s referring to the outcome (for now) of the appeal, which Steyn did not join. That does not create a separate case. As I challenged a while ago, you could produce something substantive about this supposed separate case. A case number, a complaint – any doc at all that talks of Steyn vs Mann. The judge certainly doesn’t think there is such a case; as I quoted here:
“The court is unwilling to sever Mr. Steyn’s case from the other Defendants to accommodate his desire to go it alone”
Your update is simply a reprint of the one I discussed here.


I found the coverage of this topic at Retraction Watch very useful. This for example:
“RW: There are lots of people who think that science and the court system should stay as separate as possible and that any attempt bring science into the courts is wrong. What would you say to them?”
“MJ: A scientific issue is whether or not it’s possible to build as many hydropower turbines as we proposed. I agree that’s not something that should be resolved by any court. Any fool can see that’s not what we’re doing. We’re not asking to rule whether Clack said something mean about the possibility that we can add a lot of hydropower turbines. The issue in the case was, what was our assumption? Clack knew what our assumption was, and then lied about it.
That is subject to the court if it results in defamation. It did, he damaged my reputation. I do computer modeling, that’s my profession. He says I made modeling errors when I don’t.”
I liked that last bit about the infallibility of computer modellers.

Joel Snider

Possibly, in the current political climate, he figured he might not get the preferential treatment that would have been afforded to him under Obama.


There’s a hard rein gonna fall.

Man Bear Pig

Good lord, we cant have “time consuming discovery now, can we”