A musician who is suing a youth orchestra for placing age restrictions on a competition has officially complained about the judge handling his case - because he says he is too old.
Violinist Martin Stone, 60, launched legal action against not-for-profit Young Concert Artists after it rejected him from entering a competition as it set the limit for musicians aged between 19 to 26.
But in a bizarre twist, Stone is now opening himself up for ridicule - and being labelled a hypocrite - by describing 88-year-old Manhattan Federal Judge Robert Patterson as 'slow-witted and unable to function'.
He wrote in a judicial complaint, obtained by the New York Daily News: 'Judge Patterson could barely see unless he put his face almost on top of a document.
'Judge Patterson should be removed from the bench, both because of his mental and physical limitations. With all due respect, he may have been a very learned jurist in his day.'
Mr Stoner admitted he sounded like a hypocrite, but added that his fight against ageism was too important to allow the judge, who wears a hearing aid, to mess up.
He filed his complaint after Judge Patterson threw out his legal case after finding several mistakes in Mr Stoner's court papers. In re-filing the case, he asked for a new judge.
Mr Stoner added: 'I know it sounds kind of like hypocrisy. I asked the judge to recuse himself on the grounds that he's too old. Isn't that ironic?'
The musician, who lost his job with the New York City Ballet Orchestra last year after more than 25 years, filed a suit against YCA in March.
His complaint stemmed from being rejected from taking part in a competition which was only open to musicians a third of his age.
After losing his job, he decided to take part in the competition - which offers $75,000 worth of career support and management to several winners.
He was allowed to perform with 277 others in the preliminary auditions only after he threatened to sue and filed age-discrimination complaints with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state Office of Civil Rights.
Despite the Young Concert Artists competition's focus on budding musicians, director Susan Wadsworth said she allowed Stoner to play in the first round, thinking she might recommend him to another agency.
But she added that his performance was 'less than stellar'
Judge Patterson, who graduated from Columbia Law School a year before Mr Stoner was born, declined to comment on the complaint.
But his supporters say he is as 'sharp as a tack', despite wearing a hearing aid and ordering lawyers to speak up as he cups a hand to his ear.
In 2009 he stepped in mid-trial when a judge fell ill.
He 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.
Article from Daily Mail