Monday, July 22, 2013

Hooray: Prof. Mann's Defamation Suit Against National Review Online & CEI Wins Major Judicial Order

Winning a defamation suit is difficult, especially for anyone who is a "public figure."  The legal standard applied in such cases protects speech and not reputation. To win a defamation suit, if one is a public figure, the facts must establish by a preponderance of the evidence both false statement and "actual malice."

Despite the high hurdle, Professor Michael Mann just may be on the way to winning his defamation suit against National Review Online and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  The trial judge ruled against NRO and CEI's motion to dismiss Mann's lawsuit, and the language of the judge in her order should give the defendants real concern.

Think Progress highlighted a key section of the judge's decision:

There is sufficient evidence presented that is indicative of “actual malice. The CEI Defendants have consistently accused Plaintiff of fraud and inaccurate theories, despite Plaintiff’s work having been investigated several times and found to be proper. The CEI Defendants’ persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies’ conclusion that Plaintiff’s work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements. Thus, given the evidence presented the Court finds that Plaintiff could prove “actual malice.”

You can read the judge's full decision here:

Prof. Mann has been targeted for professional destruction by some of his critics and many attacks on his reputation have been false and reckless.  To me, some critics and attacks evidenced "actual malice" against Professor Mann.

Hooray for the judge denying the defendants' motion to dismiss Mann's defamation suit.  Good luck to him at trial.

No comments:

Post a Comment