Posts Tagged ‘legal defense’
“After years of attacks, I am thrilled that there is a world class litigator whose full time job is to stand up for scientists.” –Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is excited to announce the hiring of Lauren Kurtz as its first Executive Director. Lauren Kurtz is joining CSLDF from Dechert LLP, a top tier law firm where she was a litigator. There she served as project manager on a high-profile $3 billion litigation initiative and she represented commercial and individual clients on cases involving FOIA requests and litigation over FOIA requests, discovery disputes, and defamation claims. Prior to working at Dechert, she held legal and policy positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a master’s in Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Kurtz was hired by the board of directors after a widely publicized summer fundraising campaign to grow CSLDF from an all-volunteer organization to one with a full time professional staff. CSLDF was started to help scientists cope with the barrage of politically motivated attacks. Early successes included a victory for Dr. Michael Mann at the Virginia Supreme Court, legal clinics at major scientific conferences and a legal education campaign.
Ms. Kurtz will be based in NYC working in an office generously provided by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.
For Press Inquiries:
This Lawyer’s New Job Is Defending Climate Scientists From Political Attacks by Emily Atkin at Think Progress
The Weekend Wonk: Lauren Kurtz of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, and Why Good Scientists Sometimes Need a Good Lawyer by Peter Sinclair of Climate Denial Crock of the Week
Back in 2011, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) came together in response to the mounting legal bills of Dr. Michael Mann in protecting his email correspondence. The litigation has been ongoing for the last several years and on Thursday April 17, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Dr. Mann’s favor. His emails and the emails that colleagues from around the world included him on will be protected from groups whose only purpose is to distract from legitimate scientific discussions. For more on the ruling see this Washington Post article.
A second reason to celebrate is that through CSLDF’s winter fundraiser, CSLDF has raised enough money to hire its first executive director. CSLDF is proud of the work done by volunteers in their kitchens. CSLDF is prouder that the efforts of its supporters, volunteers and donors have reached a point where there will be a full time position created whose sole charge is to defend scientists. CSLDF is still working on the next steps so please check back for additional updates in the coming weeks.
Joshua Wolfe and I send our deepest thanks to everyone that made both of these reasons to celebrate possible.
Thanks to everyone who has supported our growth and development to date. We have had great successes in our first year and half and we hope to continue to build on those. To continue our programing through the end of the year we need to raise $35,000 this summer and need your help to reach our goal. The money will go to two projects of ours. First, it will retire the debt owed by Dr. Michael Mann for attorney’s fees in the FOIA case over his UVA emails. Read more about the case here and here.
The money will also go towards continuing our program of sending attorneys to scientific meetings. There we offer confidential pro-bono meetings for members of the scientific community. After meeting with an attorney at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference last December, one scientist wrote us:
I was glad to be able to talk to an attorney who deeply cared about the integrity of the science and helping individual scientists. I am very grateful to the CSLDF for arranging for these sessions.
We feel that legal defense does not just include blockbuster cases like Dr. Mann’s, but making sure that scientists have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a legal expert before an issue becomes a problem.
Please consider donating to our summer fundraising drive to make these two programs possible. Donate at http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/. International donors can send a PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org (Be sure to put “CSLDF” in the memo box.) You can also receive a t-shirt with your donation by going to: http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/feature/buy-stuff/
Going to the AGU 2013 Fall Conference? If so mark your calendars for Thursday December 12 between 12:30 – 1:30. CSLDF and AGU will be hosting a special brown bag lunch event titled Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories featuring a panel discussion with Drs. Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe, Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, Ben Santer, and Kevin Trenberth, along with a few legal experts.
More details will be posted as the conference approaches.
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Summer Fundraiser – CSLDF Blog
Global warming games – playing the man not the ball – Skeptical Science
Want to Help Our Climate Scientists? It’s Simple: Here’s How – Climate Progress
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) has a large presence this year at the American Geophysical Union’s 2012 Fall Meeting. Please mark your calendars:
Legal Duties to Preserve and Disclose Scientific Data and Personal Communications
Mon Dec. 3 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Salon 10
Join us for a brown bag lunch with Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
Michael will discuss the increasing number of Freedom of Information Act requests and subpoenas that scientists are facing, and what kinds of documents scientists are required to disclose and to whom. Special attention will be devoted to e-mail and social media. Michael will leave ample time to answer your questions at this event.
The Law for Government Scientists
Tuesday Dec. 4 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Salon 1055
Please join us for this brown bag lunch with Kathryn (Kit) Douglass, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) staff counsel. PEER is a nonprofit service organization assisting public agency scientists, attorneys, and other specialists working on environmental issues.
Everyday PEER helps government scientists with a wide range of legal issues. Learn about legal provisions that affect you as a government scientist at this event. Kit will leave ample time to answer your questions.
An Inside Look at the Michael Mann Case
5 December 2012 from 12:30 – 1:30PM
Moscone South: Mezzanine – Room 226
Join us for a brown bag lunch with Peter Fontaine, counsel to Michael Mann and a leader of Cozen O’Connor’s Brownfield Development and Climate Change practices.
Peter will use examples from recent Freedom of Information Act litigation American Tradition Institute v. University of Virginia to discuss the application of state public records acts to researcher electronic correspondence, the interplay between the Federal FOIA and state laws, practical issues related to document review, potential exemptions to protect correspondence from disclosure, and other legal theories for the protection of correspondence, such as the First Amendment and Academic Freedom, and emerging trends in this dynamic intersection between science and the law.
One-On-One Time With a Lawyer (Have a question? Talk to a lawyer in private – no fees.)
Moscone South: Mezzanine – Room 264
Exhibit Hall Booth #140 Tuesday-Friday (Come visit the CSLDF booth and learn more about our mission.)
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has expanded our communication outreach by offering a Face Book page and a Twitter feed. Please “like” and “follow” us and, as always, keep spreading the word to all. We have received a tremendous amount of support already in the first 24 hours. Thank you, eveybody.
Climate Science Legel Defense Fund Face Book page
@ClimSciDefense on Twitter
Joshua Wolfe and I are very pleased to announce the official launch of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) home page. CSLDF is now a project of the non-profit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The official press release announcing this strategic alliance can be read here and here as well as in this post below.
Please spread the word to all so that CSLDF can grow its support base. Cross-post the press release, FaceBook it, Tweet it, e-mail it, etc. to all of your contacts and tell them to do the same. Let us send a strong message to those that have harrassed and attacked our scientific experts and dissuaded countless others from entering the field of climate science.
Read on for the press release…
Some very good news regarding Mike Mann’s legal case:
Mike Mann spoke with John Abraham yesterday and stated:
“ATI could not convince the court that he (Mike Mann) did not have legal standing. The court has allowed him legal standing so he can be a party in the settlement.
Second, the court allowed that there was reason for UVA to reopen the protective order before the court. The original protective order would have allowed ATI to review the emails themselves. That court order is now invalid. ATI will not see the exempt emails.
The only matter to be resolved is the process by which ATI can challenge the exempt emails. Now, a neutral party will be able to see the emails, not ATI. The neutral party must be agreed upon by all parties in the good.
The broader message is that this is a major victory and a huge setback for ATI. ATI might appeal this to the Supreme Court…“
Mike could not have achieved this victory without the generous support of those that have contributed to his legal defense. Mike sent me the letter below thanking his supporters.
There is still a long road ahead so please keep the contributions coming. Click the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Logo on the upper-right of this blog to contribute.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is nearing the point where tax-deductible funds will be accepted through a unique web site (hopefully before the end of the year). In the short-term there is an immediate need to help Mike with his case so please continue to use the Pay Pal button posted here or personal checks sent via postal mail.
For more background on this case please read SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Who’s behind the ‘information attacks’ on climate scientists?
My previous posts regarding this case:
Others reporting on this case:
Climate Scientist Wins A Round for America (Huffington Post)
Climate scientist wins his day in court (Nature.com)
An Important Victory for Climate Science (Greg Laden’s Blog)
Mike Mann Wins one for the Planet (Climate Denial Crock of the Week)
Judge Approves Request to Protect Scientists’ Private Emails from Disclosure to Special Interest Group (Union of Conerned Scientists)
ATI & UVa: Reopening the review of exempted material (Climate Science FOI report)