Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Decision in Mann v Ball

There has apparently been a decision in Michael Mann's court case against Tim Ball.

I've yet to see anything that's even semi-official, but the two sides are posting their own versions of what happened.

Tim Ball, a prominent climate denier, says
“Michael Mann’s Case Against Me Was Dismissed This Morning By The BC Supreme Court And They Awarded Me [Court] Costs.”
Ball was sue by Mann in a Canadian court on March 25, 2011, for Ball’s allegedly libelous statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State.”

I've never seen any papers by Ball that supported his claim, or any evidence from him that the hockey stick is fraudulent or in any way false. (Indeed, it has been verified a few dozen times by how, most recently by PAGES 2K last month.) Ball isn't a scientist or an expert, which was admitted in an earlier court case by The Calgary Herald, who had contracted for his writing. (Their admissions were pretty brutal.)

Mann seems to have a completely different version of events, which he published on Facebook:


David in Cal said...

As best I understand, Mann lost the case because his lawyer committed to the judge produce the full work underlying the hockey stick by a certain date and then failed to do so. Dr. Ball wrote: "Michael Mann moved for an adjournment of the trial scheduled for February 20, 2017. We had little choice because Canadian courts always grant adjournments before a trial in their belief that an out of court settlement is preferable. We agreed to an adjournment with conditions. The major one was that he [Mann] produce all documents including computer codes by February 20th, 2017. He failed to meet the deadline.”

Like David, I have never seen evidence that Mann's work was fraudulent. I've seen people who say it was incorrect, but not any who could point to anything fraudulent. I am not a lawyer, but one thing feels strange to me. The burden of proof shifted somehow. Instead of Ball being required to prove that Mann's work was fraudulent, Mann was required to prove that it wasn't.

One point Mann didn't address in his statement was his refusal to make public his entire work. Apparently Mann has refused to release the entire work because he has proprietary rights. IMHO Mann should have released his entire work. This is too important to be kept secret. It may be significant that he refused to release his work, even at the cost of losing this suit.


Marco said...

DiC, see
More than a year old information: according to Mann's lawyer, there never was a legal request from Ball, and definitely not a court order, for any data!

I've not seen any of the legal documents, so it is possible that McConchie is misrepresenting them...but how likely is it that a lawyer would misunderstand legal documents vs Tim Ball misunderstanding legal documents?

David in Cal said...

Thanks for that link, Marco. The difference between the two sides in what happened in what happened in court is amazing. Until we see the judge's written ruling we can't know for sure which description is accurate. However, the fact that Mann lost his case suggests that Roger D. McConchie's description is the inaccurate one.

BTW I was struck by that last sentence about vindicating Trump's perspective. That shouldn't be relevant to the judge's decision.


Marco said...

DiC, we will indeed have to wait for the written ruling for the exact details. I dare to put my head on the block, however, in saying that Mann did not violate any court orders to provide data, because he could do that within seconds (it's available on Mann's university website).

Ten times more likely: it is just a simple example of a "want of prosecution" application by Ball, which got granted (hence the "due to delay").

David in Cal said...

"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."

Marco -- which "failure to appear" or which "specified actions" do you think led to the case being dismissed? If it wasn't Mann's failure produce all documents including computer codes, then what do you think it was?


Anonymous said...

Dude, you lost your case because you wouldn't reveal your "scientific methods".