This below sent to me by John O. Sullivan on behalf of Dr. Tim Ball. Like with the Sydney rally I posted on earlier, I have no dog in the fight. I’m just passing this on for interested readers with this comment: While the allegedly libelous phrase at issue is not repeated here, I find it amazing and ironic that Dr. Michael Mann is making the effort to sue about it.
Due to the extra attention Dr. Mann has attracted with the lawsuit, the exposure of the phrase is now far and above what it was when originally posted on the Canadian website. I didn’t even know of it until the lawsuit was announced. I’ve had far worse things said about me in this climate debate turned ugly, and the best legal advice I’ve seen given to public figures in the news business is that they generally are not successful when suing for alleged slander/libel, especially for something that is a critical opinion piece with what appears to be a satirical joke line. Criticism and satire in an opinion piece are generally hard to challenge legally in the USA, though it is different in Canada. In Canada, the law is broader. Even so, I don’t think Dr. Mann or his attorney are going to be prepared for the demands of discovery on this one, nor do I think he will prevail in his lawsuit, based on similar failed actions I’ve seen against anchors and reporters in the TV news business when challenged by a public figure. Whether Dr. Mann realizes it or not, he is probably the most well known public figure in climate science next to Al Gore and Dr. James Hansen.
But, buy popcorn, and if so inclined, there’s a link to help out Dr. Ball. (more…)