Will $10 million be enough?

From Andrew Bolt we learn Mark Steyn has decided that attack is the best form of defence and has decided to countersue Michael Mann for $10 million!::

As a result of Plaintiff’s campaign to silence those who disagree with him on a highly controversial issue of great public importance, wrongful action and violation of the Anti-SLAPP Act, Steyn has been damaged and is entitled to damages, including but not limited to his costs and the attorneys’ fees he has incurred and will incur in the future in defending this action, all in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million, plus punitive damages in the amount of $5 million.

And if you have any doubts about what it costs to defend an action in the US, you should see the court document Steyn has had to lodge – DEFENDANT STEYN’S ANSWER AND COUNTERCLAIMS TO AMENDED COMPLAINT – where the only people who might come out ahead are the lawyers. This is the first page of detailed rebuttal after which there are another 32:

Defendant Mark Steyn, for his Answer to the Amended Complaint:

1. Denies the allegations in Paragraph One of the Amended Complaint.
2. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Two of the Amended Complaint, except admits that Dr Mann self-identifies as a “climate scientist” and promotes theories about “global warming” and “climate change”.
3. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Three of the Amended Complaint, except admits that Defendant Steyn is a critic of Plaintiff’s theories.
4. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Four of the Amended Complaint.
5. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Five of the Amended Complaint.
6. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Six of the Amended Complaint.
7. Denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in Paragraph Seven of the Amended Complaint.
8. Admits the allegations in Paragraph Eight of the Amended Complaint and that Plaintiff purports to base jurisdiction on the statute alleged.
9. Denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in Paragraph Nine of the Amended Complaint.
10. Denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in Paragraph Ten of the Amended Complaint.
11. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Eleven of the Amended Complaint.

Free Speech is apparently not all that free. As they say in the US, if there’s only one lawyer in a town he drives a Ford but if there are two they both drive Cadillacs.

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31 Responses to Will $10 million be enough?

  1. dan

    Can I encourage everyone to head to mark’s website and buy a t-shirt or book, he needs your help. I’m buying a couple more for my lefty friends.

  2. Honesty

    Without a counter claim Mann can withdraw at any time at no cost. This is how the left use the media to attack those that disagree and threaten via a law suit. Now Mann cannot withdraw without Styen being included in any judgement so it is an initial expensive tactical battle.

    Mann has form in doing this, a previous action where he refused to release his raw data for the tree rings and then after three years just pulled the pin on the action. Thus giving himself the threat of the law suit as a weapon of silence plus the high moral ground. He has taken on the wrong guy this time they want the data and to lock Mann in. Read the comments of the posts in Biship Hill and WUWT they explain it all very well.

  3. JMH

    Beautiful move by Mark Steyn as only he could probably accomplish. Let’s face it, anyone who has bothered to conduct their own basic research into the AGW farce must have formed an opinion the man of trees is nothing more than a pretentious prat.

    Go you good thing, Mark Steyn!

  4. Ant

    The other thing he’s got to hope for is that the assigned judge isn’t a politically appointed hack.

  5. johanna

    It’s a tongue in cheek exercise, as Deadman identified last night, as I posted at Bishop Hill:

    “My fellow commenter at Catallaxy Files, the distinguished Deadman, has also drawn attention to Para. 111. He tells us that it reads:

    ” Denies the allegations in Paragraph One-Hundred-And- Eleven of the Amended Complaint, and feels Plaintiff is going round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, like the circles that you find in the tree-rings of your mind.”

    Of course, if Steyn really wanted to ramp it up, it could have been 666. But prolixity for its own sake is a grievous literary error.”

    It’s great fun.

    Warmistas don’t do jokes.

  6. Though I’ve already quoted it in the open thread, paragraph 111 of Steyn’s claim is a good one:

    Denies the allegations in Paragraph One-Hundred-And- Eleven of the Amended Complaint, and feels Plaintiff is going round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, like the circles that you find in the tree-rings of your mind.

  7. Another good point by Steyn, though not so droll, is the Eighth Affirmative Defense:

    121.  The statements at issue made by Defendant Steyn were made in the unique electronic format of the Internet, not print media. By its very nature, the Internet is immediate and global with a wider-ranging and less mediated public discourse than that of print newspapers, and therefore in order to function is entitled to the very broadest definition of free expression.

  8. John Comnenus

    Hopefully this will be the first massive hole in the hull of the SS Global Warming. It will take more to sink the ship, but the public got off the vessel a year or two ago. Should be fun watching people like Flannery and Steffen become figures of fun before they are ignored. The public will not forgive the scientists and politicians for this when the religion of AGW implodes.

  9. John Comnenus

    And no, given the damage done to economies, companies and jobs $10 billion wouldn’t be enough. I wonder if there will be class actions?

  10. Tel

    Whatever did happen to Tim Ball’s case in Canada?

    Seems to have sunk into perpetual legal obscurity.

  11. Tel, Michael Mann’s suit against Tim Ball collapsed: the 3-Year time limit expired because of Mann’s failure to disclose his “hockey stick” data. Mann’s refusal to continue his against Ball was, for Steyn, sufficient evidence that Mann’s suit was part of a general policy of using expensive court actions as a way of intimidating people and silencing dissent. The lapse of the suit against Ball might have been the impetus for Steyn to launch his counter-attack.
    See “Michael Mann faces bankruptcy as his courtroom climate capers collapse”.

  12. coz

    The legal system does not exist to deliver justice, it is a Mint.

  13. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Tel, it was, I suspect, Mann’s refusal to provide his research data to the court (which inaction collapsed his case re Tim Ball), which gave Steyn his opening.

    Ball won the case by default, thus proving that Mann’s case was never about what he claimed. Therefore, his litigation is vexatious.

    I think Steyn will destroy Mann over this, using teh Ball case as the great big hammer.

  14. Steve McIntyre (http://climateaudit.org/) has launched into an attack on Mann’s claims, which show he has a very loose grasp of the truth (for legal matters, but obviously it was good enough for climate science circles). Finally the bell tolls.

  15. MikeS

    Interesting commentary over at Lucia’s The Blackboard. Two threads including much alarmist team angst and complementary balloon rupturing by Steve McIntyre:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/the-meaning-of-r2-in-pictures-mann-v-steynsimbergceinro/

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/comments-on-mann-continued/

    Also some fascinating rug-from-under-removal of Mann’s claims of exoneration at Climate Audit:

  16. Here, by the way, are Steyn’s own words on the Ball suit:

    130 Plaintiff [Mann] has engaged in a pattern of abusive litigation designed to chill freedom of speech and to stifle legitimate criticism of Plaintiff’s work. He is currently suing Dr Tim Ball in British Columbia over a hoary bit of word play (“should be in the state pen, not Penn State”) applied to innumerable Pennsylvanians over the years. Having initiated the suit, Dr Mann then stalled the discovery process, so that the BC suit is now entering its third year – Mann’s object being to use the process as a punishment, rather than any eventual trial and conviction. See Mann vs Ball et al, British Columbia VLC-S-S-111913 (2011) (exhibit attached).
    131. At the other end of the spectrum, Plaintiff and his Counsel have issued demands that have no basis in law, as they well know – including the preposterous assertion, in response to a parody video by “Minnesotans for Global Warming”, that “Professor Mann’s likeness” is protected from parody and satire. (See attached letter from Plaintiff’s counsel.) Plaintiff has engaged in serial misrepresentation and false claims to authority, including (in his original Complaint against Defendant Steyn) purporting to be a Nobel Laureate and (in his current Complaint and elsewhere) purporting to have been exonerated by multiple investigations and by fellow scientists who have, in fact, pronounced Mann and his work “inappropriate”, “exaggerated”, “non-robust” and his defense of it “incorrect”. There is a smell to the hockey stick that, in Lady Macbeth’s words, “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten” – nor all the investigations. And so Dr Mann has determined to sue it into respectability.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    Deadman – John O’Sullivan’s report is very encouraging, especially since Weaver also didn’t stump up his data.

    But that does ring an alarm bell for me…they may have done this on purpose with the expectation of going to a higher court on some supposed inviolability of the release of data – similar to what Mann did in the Cucinelli case.

    Since almost certainly both suits were intended to be punitive, getting an appeal to a higher court would be in character. I don’t know law so I don’t know whether such expired cases could be amenable to that.

  18. Just read Steyn’s counterclaim. Obviously defending himself. A lawyer would never write this:

    “There is a smell to the hockey stick that, in Lady Macbeth’s words,
    “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten” – nor all the
    investigations. And so Dr Mann has determined to sue it into
    respectability. ”

    A passionate defense of free speech that stirs the blood. Non-noble laureate – I fart in your general direction!

  19. Andrew

    That’s what pleadings look like in EVERY jurisdiction. I’ve seen a few, mostly as indept expert. The detailed stuff saves money arguing the facts that are admitted.

  20. Somerville

    Ant

    #1199065, posted on February 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    The other thing he’s got to hope for is that the assigned judge isn’t a politically appointed hack.

    That’s what will happen. The Obama Justice Department will see this as an opportunity to take down a conservative critic.

  21. val majkus

    Deadman – John O’Sullivan’s report is very encouraging, especially since Weaver also didn’t stump up his data.

    Ive made a comment on the open thread:

    I don’t know if anyone noticed this:

    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.

    So it seems that the Mannsuit against Dr Ball continues – though at the pace of a globally frozen snail
    the link is to WUWT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/22/michael-manns-legal-case-caught-in-a-quote-fabrication-fib/#commentshttp://

  22. Cold-Hands

    In Val’s link, Steve McIntyre has also caught a doctored quote in Mann’s submission which appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the court.

  23. Crossie

    The public will not forgive the scientists and politicians for this when the religion of AGW implodes.

    The public has already turned off and tuned out and AGW is not the only issue. Take butter for example: it’s bad for you and margarine is good, then margarine is bad and butter is good and then back again. People in my social circle are definitely no longer in awe of scientists.

    Admittedly, most of this is due to lefty media who have seized on dubious claims and run with them to the detriment of all.

  24. Bruce of Newcastle

    Yes, Val, Mr Watts is also of the opinion that John O’Sullivan was premature in his victory claim.

    On the other hand if Mann and Weaver have not provided disclosure in approaching 3 years of legal wrangling it suggests they are playing for time, rather like the farcical FWA investigation of Craig Thomson.

    Stringing out legal action to make your opponent suffer is immoral and unjust. What does that say about the personal character of Michael Mann and Andrew Weaver? Why should anyone believe people who behave like this?

  25. val majkus

    I wonder if Dr Ball could make an application to dismiss for want of prosecution

    A case may be dismissed for want of prosecution (DWOP)on failure of any party seeking affirmative relief to appear for any hearing or trial, or failing to take certain specified actions of which the party had notice. Once signed, the DWOP dismissal order has the effect of closing the case. It constitutes a final order disposing of all claims. The dismissal for want of prosecution is without prejudice, meaning that the case can be refiled and res judicata will not be a viable defense. It is also referred to as a judgment of non-prosecution

    Don’t know if that remedy is available in Canada but surely there must be some avenue if a plaintiff is dragging the chain

  26. Fred Lenin

    All this legal nonsense would vanish if funding for these dubious “scientists” was withdrawn ,they would vanish without trace! This of course wont happen if Stupid Proffessional Party Hacks of all sides hold the purse strings! The term “whatever it takes “springs to mind we got to protect our jobs ,we will never get another this good!

  27. egg_

    The public will not forgive the scientists and politicians for this when the religion of AGW implodes.

    Not unrelated*, probably hence the betraying silence by too many for far too long, letting the lay folk do the hard yards – and in a religious sense, ultimately bad Karma.

    *The test of any theory/Prophet is their predictive ability.

  28. egg_

    Robyn 100m Williams in (High) priest-like garb during TGGWS Debate.

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