...Interpolating for Mann v. Steyn an accurate jury instruction might go like this:1700. Defamation per se—Essential Factual Elements (Public Officer/Figure and Limited Public Figure)Michael Mann claims that Mark Steyn harmed him by making the following statement: “Michael Mann’s hockey stick is fraudulent”
To establish this claim, Michael Mann must prove that all of the following are more likely true than not true:
That Mark Steyn made the statement to a person other than Michael Mann;
That this person reasonably understood that the Statement was about Michael Mann;
That this person reasonably understood the statement to mean that Michael Mann had used falsified or improperly selected data and computer programs in creating his hockey stick graph;
In addition, Michael Mann must prove by clear and convincing evidence that Mark Steyn knew the statement was false or had serious doubts about the truth of the statement.
So Michael Mann has a heavy burden to shoulder in order to win. He (not Mark Steyn) has the burden of proving that the statements are false AND he has to prove that Mark Steyn , at the time Steyn made the statements, believed them to be false or entertained serious doubts about the truth of the statement...
h/t Mark Steyn