Last week on October 2, 2013 the Superior Court of D.C. entered an order staying Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Review, Inc. and others, pending a decision on the appeals taken by those defendants of the Court’s earlier orders denying their Motions To Dismiss the case.

Michael Mann is a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University. Mann was a lead author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001. He is one of the coauthors of the “Hockey Stick Graph” which represents the global or hemispherical mean temperature record of the past 500 to 2000 years. The graph has been used by the IPCC and others. 

And given the new assessment by the IPCC was just released on September 27, 2013, it is a good time to check in on the status of Mann’s lawsuit against those who attacked his reputation .

Michael Mann commenced his defamation lawsuit on October 22, 2012. Defamation is commonly defined as the offense of injuring a person’s character, fame, or reputation by false and malicious statements. It includes both libel and slander.

His defamation suit survived two efforts to have it dismissed and the Court’s August 30, 2013 order denied the defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s July 19, 2013 order, which had denied a Motion to Dismiss, allowing Mann to proceed with his defamation lawsuit. Excerpts from that order provide some great context:

"The Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits".

“As the Court also said in its previous Order, the .. Defendants’ reference to Plaintiff “as the man behind the fraudulent climate change ‘hockey stick’ graph” was essentially an allegation of fraud by Plaintiff”.

"There is sufficient evidence before the Court to indicate ‘actual malice.’”

“To place the Plaintiff’s name in the same sentence with Sandusky (a convicted pedophile) is clearly outrageous.”

The complete August 30, 2013 order is here. Green Building Law Update will continue to monitor the case as the appeal of that August 30th order proceeds.