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OFF BEAT: Man suing for age bias wants younger judge


A musician who is suing alleging age bias is complaining about the advanced age of the judge hearing his case.

Martin Stoner, 60, refiled his case after it was dismissed in March, in the hope of getting a new judge, but wound up with the same one he had criticized for being too old and having “mental and physical limitations,” according to the New York Daily News.

The focus of Mr. Stoner’s litigation is a contest by New York-based Young Concert Artists Inc., which offers a prize—three years of management services, publicity, promotional materials and career guidance—valued at about $75,000 in a contest that is limited to musicians younger than 26.

According to a March ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Patterson, 88, after Mr. Stoner protested to the young musician organization about its age policy, it did allow him to audition, but he failed to advance to the semifinal round.

Mr. Stoner, who had played for 25 years in the New York City Ballet before losing his job last year, sued and also asked Judge Patterson to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the organization from holding the final round of auditions until legal proceedings were concluded.

The judge denied the injunction and dismissed Mr. Stoner’s lawsuit, stating the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction.

“I’ve criticized him and now he’s going to judge me,” Mr. Stoner said of the new suit filed Oct. 17. “Well, that doesn’t make me feel that good in terms of fairness.

“You’d want to at least level the playing field,” he said.

Perhaps Mr. Stoner now regrets not thinking twice before he criticized the judge.

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