Breaking as-it-happens news about a trial that isn't happening any day soon, or any half-decade soon. Previously on Mann vs Steyn et al, National Review had filed a motion asking for yet another stay in discovery pending the appeals court's ruling on their appeal - or, indeed, the appeals court's ruling on whether they're allowed to appeal. Whatever. I'm bored by all this procedural flimflam and am anxious to proceed with discovery and go to trial, as I could have done by now in almost any functioning jurisdiction. So I filed an objection. Michael Mann eventually filed an objection, too. He also wants to proceed with discovery but only against me, not against him. A voyage of one-way discovery.
Anyway, yesterday Judge Weisberg announced his decision:
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 all proceedings in this case are stayed pending the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on the Defendants' interlocutory appeals.
So we're on hold for a while, again. I intend to use this period for trial preparation, including my investigation of Mann and my counterclaims against him. I've been immensely touched by the generosity of readers who understand how costly in time and money a campaign of this nature can be, and have supported the Steyn store to a degree I never expected.
Nevertheless, I explained in my objection why I was anxious to get on with it:
3. The charge that a man is a defamer is a serious one and profoundly damaging. With criminal charges, this nation provides a constitutional right to a speedy trial. It offers no such protections in civil court, even though to be accused as a defamer is certainly as damaging to one's reputation and honor as all but the most serious criminal charges. For an independent writer such as Defendant Steyn, this is especially so: His livelihood depends entirely on his reputation, and as long as this charge stains his character without being answered he is being damaged. As the accused, he asserts his right to confront his accuser in open court in a timely manner.
4. Likewise, the Plaintiff is owed the courtesy of being received straightway without delay. As this Court noted in its Order of January 22nd, the allegedly defamatory statements "go to the heart of scientific integrity", and thus to the heart of the Plaintiff's character. If the Court truly believes that, then Dr Mann is entitled to a timely trial that settles the truth of the matter wheresoever it be.
Judge Weisberg acknowledged the unfairness of this in his ruling:
To be sure, there has been too much procedural delay already in this case... 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. 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. A stay of discovery preserves the status quo long enough for the Court of Appeals to rule on the jurisdictional issue.
If you say so. Still, I like this footnote:
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.
What's "legally correct" in this system isn't "ironic", it's tragic. That said, after the slapdash and incompetent Natalia Combs Greene, I regard a judge who sees Mann's discovery-for-me-but-not-for-thee stance as "ironic" as a positive development.
~One reason I filed Paragraph Three above is that the dreariest aspect of being mired in a half-decade law suit is the indestructibility of certain obvious falsehoods that are passed on by lazy hacks from one piece of recycled bilge to another. A recent example was a chap I mentioned the other day, loyal Mann-child Rick Cohen writing in something called The Non-Profit Quarterly:
If seven separate investigations proved Mann innocent of the charges that he had faked his research findings, one would think that Simberg and Steyn should have known, if only from osmosis, that to publish what they did might be seen as intentionally promoting a malicious falsehood about the Penn State professor.
There are no "seven separate investigations" that "prove Mann innocent" , as has been noted here, here, here, here and here - and all wrapped up in one court filing here.
Why would Rick Cohen say such a thing to his readers? Why wouldn't he actually read the reports? Well, he himself got it from some other hack too lazy to read the reports who got it from a similarly lazy hack who got it from another, and so it's passed down the chain like syphilis in that song from Candide. Somewhere along the way someone may even have got it from a careless reading of Mann's press release:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and seven other organizations have conducted investigations into Dr. Mann's work...
And some climate alarmist was in a bit of hurry with his rewriting and those "seven other organizations" became "seven organizations". But, whether seven or nine, they have all "proved Mann innocent". In fact, there has only been one investigation of Michael E Mann - the one that was the subject of my original "defamatory" post; the joke investigation by Penn State set up by a now disgraced college president currently facing 30 years in the slammer for obstruction of justice. That's the only investigation. Yet somewhere along the way Mann grasped that, as with his non-existent Nobel Prize, if he simply declared himself "investigated" and "exonerated" by multiple bodies on both sides of the Atlantic, most of the people in his Climate Bubble would never bother checking.
~I was trying to think what this reminded me of when the name popped into my head: M Larry Lawrence. Back in the Nineties, Mr Lawrence was Clinton's ambassador to Switzerland, and, when he died in harness, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I wrote about Larry in my anthology Mark Steyn From Head To Toe, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available, etc, etc.
Mr Lawrence gave generously to Bill Clinton, who enjoyed playing a round with Shelia, the attractive fourth Mrs Lawrence and, for a while, a frequent golf partner of the President's. But Larry wasn't just a businessman and political donor, he'd had an amazing life doing all kinds of things. After graduating from the University of Arizona, he'd played professional football, and been vice-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize nominating commission, and all this while coping with the head injury he'd sustained after being torpedoed off the coast of Murmansk in 1945.
Which was the reason they buried him at Arlington. Larry didn't like to talk about his heroism that day. As he told Senator Harlan Matthews during his nomination hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"I was 18 years old and I was on board the SS Horace Bushnell in a convoy to Murmansk, which was an all-volunteer run known as the 'Suicide Mission.' We were torpedoed 15 miles off Murmansk. I was just coming out of the hole, and everybody down below was killed. I was thrown clear. I am told - - I have no memory of what happened -- that thereafter I suffered a serious concussion and was taken in a coma, subsequently, after going in the water, to Murmansk, then Scotland, and back to New York and home. It is something I do not particularly relish remembering for the record, Senator. You know. You were there. I told them to mail me the medal, but my wife insisted that we have the ceremony."
He was so modest and retiring about what he'd done in the dark frigid waters off Murmansk on that "suicide mission" that Dianne Feinstein had to finish the story and tell how he had ignored his own grave wounds to rescue his wounded comrades. Senator Feinstein pronounced him a hero.
No wonder they buried him at Arlington.
The only problem was none of it was true. He'd never graduated from the University of Arizona, never played professional football, never been torpedoed off Murmansk, or indeed served in the military at all. And he'd never been vice-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize nominating commission.
When it all came out, and the fulsome obituaries were replaced by the emptysome rewrites, they dug him up from Arlington in the dead of night and shipped him back to San Diego, to be buried near his merry widow's country club.
How could such a thing happen? A serial liar had aced the State Department "background check". Shouldn't that be a bit more difficult to fake your way through? Well, as anonymous State officials tried to explain, they'd asked Lawrence's eminent and respectable friends, and the eminent and respectable friends had all said the same things about him. It was, in effect, all hearsay evidence - and they'd all heard it from Larry the Liar. But the geniuses at State never twigged.
That's how it goes with the seven or nine "separate investigations" that "prove Mann innocent". Everyone in the Climate Bubble knows that Mann has been exonerated in multiple investigations on both sides of the Atlantic - and, because everyone knows it, no one has bothered to read the actual reports. Once again, it's all hearsay evidence - and the person they heard it from was Michael E Mann.
I'm using "hearsay evidence" as a figure of speech here. But, of course, it's a legal concept, too. So it's depressing to report that, like his groupies, Combs Greene swallowed the Mann line, too:
The Court finds that these statement [the "fraudulence" of the hockey stick] taken in context must be viewed as more than honest commentary — particularly when investigations have found otherwise.
My emphasis. Judge Combs Greene never bothered to read those reports.
I have read them. Michael Mann has played fast and loose with the facts for years, always pushing them "beyond where we know is right" - in the revealing words of Mann's fellow warm-monger Keith Briffa, quoted in one of those reports no-one bothers to read. He can't do that in court.
Like Larry Lawrence's rotting corpse, his Nobel Prize has already been exhumed from the pantheon in Oslo and returned to the Kinko he photocopied it at. In court, if we ever get there, the same will happen to his false claims to have been exonerated by the University of East Anglia and NOAA and the House of Commons and all the rest.
Back when he was pretending to be vice-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize nominating commission, did M Larry Lawrence nominate Mann for a pretend Nobel Prize? Just a thought.
Comment on this item (members only)
Viewing and submission of reader comments is restricted to Mark Steyn Club members only. If you are not yet a member, please click here to join. If you are already a member, please log in here: