Climate Scientist Prevails in FOI Battle at UVA

Climate scientist Michael Mann reported Monday that he and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville have prevailed in a court case against the conservative American Tradition Institute (ATI), which had sought access to emails he wrote while serving as a professor at the school from 1999-2005.

Now at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Mann says the ruling supports the University of Virginia’s argument than an exemption to the state’s freedom-of-information law “applies to faculty communications in furtherance of their work”. The Prince William County Circuit Court ruling came directly from the bench in and was not immediately available online.

“This finding is a potentially important precedent, as ATI and other industry-backed front groups continue to press their attacks on climate scientist through the abuse of public records and FOIA laws and the issuing of frivolous and vexatious demands for internal scholarly deliberations and personal correspondences,” Mann said in an announcement on his Facebook page.

The University of Virginia initially signed an agreement with ATI that would have granted ATI officials access to the emails, but at a contentious hearing in November 2011 university officials changed course and decided to fight. At the same hearing, Mann prevailed in his effort to formally join the lawsuit and defend himself alongside the university (see Climate scientist wins his day in court).

More here.

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