On December 9, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division 4, issued a published opinion (241 Cal.App.4th 70) in favor of Prem Bikkina, Ph.d. and against his former doctoral advisor, Jagen Mahadevan, Ph.d.  Mr. Bikkina is represented by the Law Offices of Edward C. Casey Jr in Oakland, California.  The appellate decision clears the way for Bikkina to proceed with his defamation case against Mahadevan for statements he made to other members of the scientific community that Bikkina had falsified data in two published articles on the topic of “carbon sequestration.”  Mahadevan argued that since “carbon sequestration” could potentially help solve climate change, his statements about Bikkina’s publications were constitutionally protected and Bikkina’s lawsuit against him should be dismissed.  In it published opinion, however, the Court of Appeals found, among other things, that Mahadevan’s statements did not concern a matter of “public interest” and, therefore, were not protected free speech under the First Amendment.  Bikkina’s case against Mahadevan is now pending in the trial court. (Alameda Superior Court Case No.: RG14 717654)