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Mann v. National Review, Inc.

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20203
Nos. 2012 CA 008263, (D.C. Sup. Ct., 08/30/2013)

A D.C. court denied a conservative publication's motion for reconsideration of the court's earlier decision denying the publication's motion to dismiss a climate scientist defamation suit against it. There is sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that the scientist is likely to succeed on the merits. The publication's reference to the scientist as the "man behind the fraudulent climate-change 'hockey stick' graph" was essentially an allegation of fraud. The scientist is a member of the scholarly academy, and it is obvious that allegations of fraud could lead to the demise of his profession and tarnish his character and standing in the community. While the court realized that some members involved in climate change discussions and debates may use harsh words, there is a line between rhetorical hyperbole and defamation.