Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Trial, and Error
Posted on 01/23/2014 4:06:01 PM PST by feralcat
On Tuesday morning, January 21st, I filed a motion with respect to Dr Michael Mann's defamation suit against me, National Review, Rand Simberg, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I did so because I felt the procedural fiasco the case has been reduced to since last July 10th thanks to the incompetence of the previous judge, Natalia Combs Greene, required what I called "an act of jurisprudential hygiene" from the new judge, Frederick Weisberg. Unfortunately, the DC Superior Court seems disinclined to clean up its act. I appreciate that, to those who followed the fun and frolics of my free speech battles in Canada five years ago, the tedious procedural codswallop of the Mann case has been eye-glazing and butt-numbing. But that's apparently how they do things in America. Still, at the risk of rendering even the loyalist reader comatose, let me précis the most recent developments:
(Excerpt) Read more at steynonline.com ...
"As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don't-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice."
I hope his finances survive this grave injustice.
National Review has been reduced to insipid lifestyle pages for the RINO set.
Buckley must be turning in his grave.
Adios, NRO. Steyn left, and me too.
Praise GOD that Steyn has the courage and the resources to fight this good fight.
>> Adios, NRO.
Manhattan/Beltway neocons. I got burned out on them towards the end of the Bush era. They have an agenda and I discovered that it’s not the same as mine.
I guess my naivete makes me wonder why you need to spend 500K....so far, on a lawyer to defend an opinion writer in a lawsuit about freedom of speech?.....and it hasn’t even gotten to trial.
I would defend myself and if I lose, appeal the decision and then spend the money on the appeal if the judgment warranted it.
Think about it....500k at 500 bucks an hour is a very good lawyer working full time, 40 hours a week for 6 straight months.... working on nothing but your case. This doesn’t seem logical. Yes, I realize there are expenses and fees, but 500K?
20 years ago, I paid a lawyer 300 bucks to handle my divorce....including doc prep, and the EX walked away with less than I originally offered ....after she hired a lawyer for $150 per hour.....3K final bill.
I don’t get it.
even Steyn’s legal filings are a joy to read!
If you defended yourself, then it’s quite probable that there would be no appeal. Meanwhile, there’s a lot at risk.
Mark Steyn ping.
Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.
Thanks for the ping Slings and Arrows.
It is not a black and white proposition, it is not right or wrong, it is just the law.
Part of this appears to be that there are at least 4 parties among the defendants. Each of which would normally require its own attorney to make sure his personal interests are defended, while they would as a group presumably retain a firm with expertise in the particular issue. All of these attorneys would have to have lots and lots of conferences to thrash out differences in POV and generate a common defense strategy.
This has fairly obviously been exacerbated by Steyn, who, regardless of the merits of his position on free speech grounds as such, does not apparently play well with others in the American legal sandbox. As others have pointed out, wittily skewering the judge in public may make for great copy, but is unlikely to help you win your case. It is also almost certain to make your own and allied attorneys very, very nervous. Especially once they realize they don’t have a clue what you might say next.
Skimmed through Steyn’s motion to vacate. It is pretty obvious it was written largely by Steyn. American attorneys just don’t talk that way to and about judges and cases.
The legal system would be a lot more entertaining if they did. Our legal system, like our newspapers and our political rhetoric, appears to have had all life and wit surgically removed.
Steyn may not win his case, since it is not about whether free speech exists, but rather about where its edges are. An opinion columnist is not licensed to libel another person, so the case is entirely about whether Steyn and his co-defendants crossed the libel line.
The next year or two should be a lot more entertaining with Steyn having jumped the American legal folderol fence. If it gets to a jury, I can pretty much guarantee the jury will enjoy Steyn’s defense a lot.
But, if it gets to a jury in D.C., the jury may not be entertained and will certainly vote him "guilty" of all charges.
All Mann's attorney will need to do is establish that Steyn is, yuck, a "conservative"!
Recall the foreman of the Scooter Libby jury saying that they all wanted to punish Dick Cheney, but they had to settle for Scooter's hide.
A very good point.
Steyn appears to want to win the argument, while the other parties want to win the case.
Mann has no chance of winning, he just wants to force Steyn to spand a ton of money.
Who is financing Mann?
FOLLOW THE MONEY
A good way of putting it.
pinging for later - THANKS, JLS!
This should go on t-shirts and billboards. And the Goodyear blimp. And anyplace else where it might be seen. Lawyers can't protect our rights. By the time they get involved, the fight is already more than half over.
Steyn responded to your criticism today:
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