More commentary on the upcoming trial of the century: In The Federalist, Ross Kaminsky connects Nobel fantasist Michael E Mann's behavior to the broader campaign to silence dissent. Meanwhile, Barry Bickmore, having fallen silent for some weeks, now returns with a somewhat earnest fantasy of me as a stripper "writhing around on the table". I'm flattered, Barry, but those better not be singles you're tucking in my garter.
~Back at the courthouse, as readers may have surmised, National Review and I have come to different and irreconcilable views over Dr Mann's defamation suit against us. NR are in the early stages of a leisurely DC appeal - I forgot what for; I think they're appealing the amended denial of the amended motion to amendedly dismiss the amended appeal of the amended complaint, or some such. Whatever it is, it'll string things out for another four or five months. I, on the other hand, having responded some weeks ago to Dr Mann's discovery requests of me, am looking forward to him returning the favor and getting this thing into court.
So today NR, against my advice (for whatever that's worth), moved to "stay discovery pending appeal". You can read the whole thing here. But the takeaway is that, apparently, it's all my fault:
On January 30, 2014, Plaintiff renewed his discovery requests against National Review. National Review responded by e-mail on February 7, reminding Plaintiff's counsel that this Court had already ruled that discovery should be stayed until its Anti-SLAPP motion could be finally resolved in the Court of Appeals. In response, Plaintiff's counsel indicated that while he did not agree with National Review's position, he would not press the issue of discovery for the time being. A few weeks later, however, on March 6, Plaintiff's counsel called National Review's counsel to renew his discovery requests yet again. Plaintiff's counsel explained that he felt obliged to renew discovery because National Review's co-defendant, Mark Steyn, had decided not to pursue an appeal, and had instead indicated his desire to proceed with discovery against Plaintiff. Thus, according to Plaintiff's counsel, it would be impracticable to proceed with discovery between himself and Steyn without the involvement of the other co-Defendants.
Putting aside the bizarre posture of National Review, now standing athwart the DC court calendar yelling "Stop!", we should not overlook the real significance of this document. Ever since this wretched case began a year-and-a-half ago, those who know Dr Mann have been saying that he would obstruct discovery, as he's currently doing in court in Vancouver and Virginia. Today's filing marks the first confirmation that such is the case.
What is so "impracticable" about proceeding with discovery between me and him? There are four defendants, so Mann has served four separate requests for discovery. I've returned mine; National Review, CEI and Rand Simberg are sitting on theirs. The four defendants will in turn submit, collectively, four requests for discovery upon Dr Mann. Why is responding to mine ahead of NR's any more "impracticable" than me responding to his ahead of NR's response? What's so difficult about that? Where, indeed, is there even a smidgeonette of "impracticability"?
There are four defendants and one plaintiff. Of the five of us, I seem to be the only one anxious to exercise his right to a speedy trial. Furthermore, NR's pleadings make a basic error:
If National Review's appeal succeeds, then the claims against Steyn will almost certainly need to be dismissed as well, thus vitiating the need for any discovery at all.
Not so. I've countersued Dr Mann for $30 million. So, even if NR's appeal succeeds, Mann and I will still be headed to trial. He claimed to want his day in court, and I took him at his word and have determined to give him it.
One other possibility is that NR's counsel, Michael Carvin, misunderstood Dr Mann's counsel, John Williams, in that March 6th phone call, and that in reality Dr Mann would be happy to proceed with discovery between me and him. To that end, I'm proposing to Counselor Williams that he drop from the suit National Review, whose hearts do not seem to be in the fight, and that way Mann and I can proceed mano a Manno.
Ken White at Popehat concedes that "the system is broken". After a year and a half ensnared by poisonous fecal tendrils in the unpumped toxic septic tank of DC "justice", I don't think "broken" quite covers it. To any non-American, this system is utterly repulsive. In England, trial by jury replaced trial by ordeal. Somehow America has managed to turn trial by jury into a mere postscript to trial by ordeal. I think it ought to be possible to litigate a 270-word blog post in under 270 weeks. So let's get on with it.
~Kind readers continue to ask about my "legal defense fund". I don't have one, in part because I'm now on legal offense. Aside from my stripper tips, I'm attempting to fund the pushback against Mann via sales of exclusive commemorative merchandise or our SteynOnline gift certificates, or my free-speech book. So do feel free to swing by the Steyn bookstore.