Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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Michael Schmidt was at Max Kane trial

By The Bovine

Here’s an excerpt from a report on the trial proceedings, from David E. Gumpert of the Complete Patient blog:

Max Kane hears the judge's decision. Complete Patient blog photo by David E. Gumpert.

“At the end of a nearly two-hour court session, state judge M.J. Rosbrough gave Max Kane the news that he would lose on all counts, But the judge did so in a nearly professorial, kindly way.

The raw milk issue “has become a big deal,” the judge told the defendant. “By my estimate, you have 100 citizens here as your supporters on raw milk. But this court is not here to decide that issue.”
The fact that Max Kane decided at the last minute to discharge his lawyer and represent himself turned the judge against him.”I appreciate the way you have conducted yourself,” he told the 32-year-old head of Belles Lunchbox buyers club. “But a lawyer would not be questioning a judge about the constitution…Your arguments about why these regulations are unconstitutional are primitive and undeveloped.”

Max Kane will need to submit to questioning by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The fact that he was given a second chance, a re-do if you will, stemmed from the state’s failure to properly place the previous proceedings, where Kane refused to answer questions, properly on the record.

If Kane in the next go-round refuses to answer their questions? “You could ultimately go to jail–that certainly is a possibility,” the judge said. “A remedial order could be entered that you would go to jail until you answer the questions.”

For more than ninety minutes before the judge rendered his decision, Max Kane debated Phillip Ferris, an assistant attorney general for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, about the circumstances and legality of DTCP’s efforts to question the buyers club owner about his customers. Kane argued that he could incriminate himself and, even if he was granted immunity, he could be prosecuted by the state of Illinois and the federal government. Ferris argued that legal precedent showed that the grant of immunity would need to be respected by other authorities, though Kane could be prosecuted based on separate evidence unrelated to his testimony.

The proceedings were notable in how low key and peaceful they were, especially in contrast to a boisterious rally outside the courthouse attended by nearly 200 people. It was led by Scott Trautman and Mark McAfee, and included brief talks by Mark Kastle of Cornucopia, Michael Schmidt of Canadian raw milk fame, Max Kane’s three brothers, and yours truly….”

Read the rest on The Complete Patient blog

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