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National Review to Michael Mann: You owe us $1 Million for your ‘frivolous lawsuits’ against free speech

On Monday, National Review filed a motion in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia to recover a portion of the legal fees that Michael Mann’s frivolous lawsuits have forced us to spend over the last twelve years. We cannot recover the time and effort that Mann has wasted, but we can recover more than a million of the dollars that we have lost defending our unalienable right to free speech.

The legal ins and outs are complicated, but the bottom line is that National Review’s Special Motion to Dismiss prevailed in large part in May of 2019. Dismissing both Mann’s libel claim based on Lowry’s “Get Lost” post, and the broader intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against National Review, the court confirmed that Lowry’s post was an “expression of opinion protected by the First Amendment” and was thus precisely the sort of speech that the anti-SLAPP Act had been passed to shield. Unfortunately, the court did not dismiss the defamation claim based on Mark Steyn’s blog post, which dragged on and on and on — even after, in 2021, National Review fully prevailed. Last month, the last vestiges of the case were resolved — disgracefully — when Steyn was ordered to pay Mann $1 million in punitive damages.

Despite National Review having succeeded with its Special Motion to Dismiss back in 2019, we have thus far been unable to recoup the “costs of litigation” that D.C.’s Anti-SLAPP Act allows any “party who prevails, in whole or in part” to seek. Now that, at long last, the case has been decided, that has changed for the better. With this week’s move, we seek to recover $1,037,248.41 in legal costs from Mann.