October 24, 2011

"Musician suing for age bias says his 88-year-old judge is too old to preside..."

Violinist Martin Stoner knows "it sounds kind of like hypocrisy," but Judge Robert Patterson is, he says, "slow-witted and unable to function." The federal judge is 88. Stoner, who is 60, is suing the Young Concert Artist for excluding him from a their competition which is for... young concert artists (apparently capped at age 20).
Patterson refused to comment, but his defenders claim he's sharp as a tack. When another judge fell ill two years ago, Patterson stepped in midtrial, ripped through a 2,282-page legal transcript in a single weekend and handled the case with aplomb, Manhattan Federal Court Chief Judge Loretta Preska told the New York Law Journal.
Stoner — are you surprised to hear? — is representing himself in this lawsuit.


Scott M said...

"They say a man who represents himself has a fool for a client. As God is my witness, I am that fool!" - Gomez Addams

Tank said...

Thank God it's not one of us attorneys making that argument, or filing that suit.

virgil xenophon said...


purplepenquin said...

Given the changes being desired by the State GOP, we're gonna see a lot more people in WI representing themselves in court.

And it doesn't always turn out badly...after a lawyer turned my case down, I still managed get a 5-year marriage legally annulled while representing myself.

Michael said...

purplepenquin: Wisconsin continues to surprise. I had no idea they permitted minors to marry.

EDH said...

A youth competition, not employment?

Conversely, is there any greater bastion of age discrimination in actual employment at the entry level than at Big Law?

And I mean anywhere.

Scott M said...

I had no idea they permitted minors to marry.

What difference does the level of baseball you play matter?

Surfed said...

It would be juvenile and unbecoming to riff on the man's name - Stoner. So I won't. But he does come from my era/time frame. Maybe it's just projection on my part. Maybe I'm the juvenile. I probably should just get back to work...

Surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

He's a Stoner! No shit!

Age discrimination is almost the foundation of the music biz in every one of its genres.

In the classical biz, finding proteges is an ancient obsession.

In the popular biz, separating generation from generation is the very essence of what musicians do.

So, the question becomes, should courts attempt to legislate away the entire traditional structure of the music biz?

My answer... damned if I know.

The music biz as it now stands is a hopeless pile of shit. However, there's always the possibility that it could be made worse by judicial legislation.

Scott M said...

So, the question becomes, should courts attempt to legislate away the entire traditional structure of the music biz?

My answer... damned if I know.

From my days in radio, the ass-end of popular music, I know for a fact that there are three rules in the music industry. The problem is that nobody knows what those rules are.

t-man said...

I'm a little curious as to what legislative changes would lead to more people representing themselves in court. Does Wisconsin provide publicly funded lawyers for civil cases?

BigFire said...

The judge should conclude this case by having Stoner pay for the court cost and attorney fee (for the defendant). This is a waste of time.

Gabriel Hanna said...

The point at issue in an age discrimination case is, is this person too old to do the job?

Stoner is arguing, "I am not too old to do this job". He is not arguing "no person is ever too old to do ANY job". And so there is no hypocrisy.

60 is too old to be an NFL lineman, it's not too old to be a judge, and it's evidently not too old to be a musician judging by the aging Boomers I see are still performing. 80 or 90 might be too old for all of those things.

edutcher said...

Having been one of the nasty people who once did the license photos in my wild and misspent youth, I can readily believe Mr Stoner.

I once had a man of 90 before me who needed two of his sons with him, each holding him up under one arm. And he was as feeble mentally as physically.

To be fair, however, I also took the photo of a very alert 92 year old lady who asked how long the process took. When I answered 5 minutes, she said, "Good, because I want to get down to the Y so I can swim my 40 laps for today".

David said...

I bet Judge Patterson still knows bullshit when he sees it.

Surfed said...

I was involved in the music business for years as a producer for an independent studio here in Florida. It's a losey - goosey business where you can lose your shirt or obtain great wealth and sometimes both (at the same time). The only hard and fast rule I could ever discern from the business was that an artist needed a semblance of talent, a work ethic, and good luck. Luck being the most important of the three. If you don't have luck, you aint got squat.

Oligonicella said...

Gabriel Hanna --

"The point at issue in an age discrimination case is, is this person too old to do the job?"

First, it's not a job, it's a contest. Therefore, your point simply doesn't apply.

Second, the prize is offered to the best judged *young* performer and he, by definition, fails.

What you're saying is that some selfish old bastard has the right to overturn *someone else's* contest because he just wants to.

Should he then be allowed to enter himself in a Little Miss contest just because he's feeling 'pretty' that week?

Screw him, not every damned event in life is open to all. That's not discrimination, that's just life.

Deal, you pissy old bastard.

Chip S. said...

Idiotic lawsuit, for sure. But on the age-competence question, Stoner should have simply argued that competence is a strictly decreasing function of age. At least he wouldn't have looked like a hypocrite as well as an ass.

Carol_Herman said...

It seems in our legal system, "somebody is always agreived." AND, they can sue!

Unlike sports, however, there are no records of "hits batted in." Errors. And, losses.

Since our 60 year old "stoner" ... is above the age of 20. He has no case. So he bangs the table.

The judge can be 103. And, "stoner" has to be smoking powerful stuff to take on the "black wonders."

He won't win, now.

He will never win in the future, either.

Most people NEVER make this mistake! Even though he's representing himself, and you'd think his costs to sue were minimal.

Next, does "stoner" ask for a jury trial?

Clyde said...

What's next? Suing Playboy because they won't let him be a Playmate? That's sexual discrimination AND age discrimination!

Seems just as logical...

Clyde said...

One of my favorite names that I've spotted in the mail is Max Stoner. Sounds like some kind of superhero, doesn't it?

On a somewhat related note, there's a sign I pass every so often that denotes a certain area as a "Weed and Seed Community." Not sinsemilla! Cracks me up every time.