CaveatLector Posted October 11, 2012 Report Share Posted October 11, 2012 (edited) Well, I went and here are my impressions. McQueen's counsel, Chartier, wasn't bad. Made good points, is well-spoken, clearly knew the law and put a ton of time into her case. She easily withstood questioning from the Justices but I didn't like seeing her conceding points. If I remember correctly she did concede a point that had to do with interpretation regarding the definite article, "the." The Isabella County Prosecutor did, frankly, a poor job. There was a lot of her telling the Justices what the act meant (transfer in particular) where her interpretations were clearly too narrow. The Solictor General, Bursch, even though he looked like he was 12 years old and Orville Redenbacher's grandson to boot, is a fantastic orator. That guy was extremely well-spoken and well-prepared. It was clear that, he too, had a good grasp on the law. I don't believe I've seen a better advocate in any courtroom. He was phenomenal. With that said, his arguments weren't as convincing to me but it is easy to see how a good advocate can sell sand in a desert. As for the legal arguments, we've been through them all here and there is no use rehashing. However, several of the Justices seemed to favor the state. That, or they were just playing devil's advocate. If I had to predict I would say Markman, Hathaway, and Zahra will all vote in favor of the state. Probably Young will as well but I don't know--he seemed to be asking questions in more of a devil's advocate sort of way. However, he did make it a point to pursue the idea that medical use must be done to alleviate "the" patient's medical condition. He reasoned that a caregiver to cg transfer is not directly doing that and hinted that such a transfer wouldn't be legal. Chartier did bring up the idea that patient to patient transfers WERE being made to alleviate THE patient's (the tranferor's) condition in that participation in the locker box program gave them access to other strains so the transfer DID help them. I don't know that the Justices bought that. I think they are thinking that such a transfer's benefit is too attentuated to be considered alleviating the medical condition by the transferor. I expect to see some discussion of proximate and but-for cause in the opinion in regard to medical purpose as it relates to these transfers. They didn't discuss those issues in the courtroom but that's where I think their minds were going. As for the other 3 Justices, who knows. They didn't ask many, if any, questions. We shall see. Interestingly, Bursch basically asked the court to make another appendix to the opinion like they did in King/Kolanek. I don't know if they will address all transfers, as all transfers are not before them as issues. However, I think they will at least hint at answers to those questions. The Bylsma case pretty much focused on the term "possession" and whether the building owner possessed the plants in the collective. Unfortunately I don't feel that Bylsma's attorney did a great job advocating. However, the prosecutor did an equally poor job if not worse. But, Bursch made a re-appearance in that case and he was just as good as in McQueen. I can't predict how that case will go. The Justices were a hard read there but, for the most part, seemed to favor the state. If I had to guess I would say they will rule that compensation is allowed only for a pt to a connected cg. I would further guess that they will say that no other transfers, with or without remuneration, are allowed. That's if they choose to make a broad ruling. Technically those issues aren't all before them but they could make a ruling of what IS allowed and, by virtue of that, answer the pt to pt question and incidentally put the brakes on all other transfers without ruling on them in particular. Anyway, all a bunch of guesses of course. Could go either way. It's just my read of the demeanor, etc. Edited October 11, 2012 by CaveatLector Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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