Judge delays ATI case after hearing
Prince William County Court Judge Gaylord Finch delayed arguments in the American Tradition Institute's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the University Friday because of the potential precedent-setting implications of the case.
Following a brief hearing about a Motion to Intervene - a petition to the court by an outside party requesting to join the case because of interest in the subject matter - filed on behalf of former University Environmental Sciences Prof. Michael Mann, Finch said he wanted to schedule a longer, two-hour hearing to hear arguments about the decision, according to a statement released by ATI.\nMann, who now works at Pennsylvania State University, is the author of climate change research desired by ATI.
"Dr. Mann has a clear interest in the subject matter of this litigation, and his interest is not currently being adequately protected," the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed on behalf of Mann states. "The Protective Order, as it currently stands, simply does not protect Dr. Mann's privacy and personal interests. Dr. Mann seeks leave to join this action so that he may seek to prohibit the improper production of his private e-mail correspondence."
ATI agreed with Finch's decision.
"If it wasn't clear before, it should now be clear to everybody," David Schnare, ATI Environmental Law Center director, said in the statement. "This is an extremely important case, and we appreciate Judge Finch's careful attention to detail as we proceed."
Finch also granted a sur reply to ATI, allowing the institute to submit supplementary information and materials to the court. The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.
-compiled by Michelle Davis