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Robert Patterson

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Robert Patteron
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #12T
Station:   New York, NY
Service:
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   10/6/1988-12/30/1998
Senior:   12/31/1998-Present
Preceded by:   Percy Knapp
Succeeded by:   George Daniels
Personal History
Born:   1923
Hometown:   New York, NY
Undergraduate:   Harvard, 1947
Law School:   Columbia Law, 1950
Military service:   U.S. Army, 1942-1956

Robert Porter Patterson, Jr. is a federal judge on senior status with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He joined the court in 1988 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.[1]

Early life and education

Patterson graduated from Harvard with his bachelor's degree in 1947 and later graduated from Columbia Law with his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1950.[1]

Military service

Patterson also served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1956.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Southern District of New York

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Moynihan, Patterson was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on June 14, 1988, to the seat vacated by Judge Percy Knapp. Patterson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 1988, and received commission on October 6, 1988. Patterson assumed senior status on December 31, 1998.[1]

Notable cases

Musical age discrimination case (2011)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Martin Stoner launched a lawsuit in March 2011 against Young Concert Artists, a not-for-profit organization that identifies young musical talent partly through sponsoring competitions. Stoner, who was 60 in 2011, alleges that the Young Concert Artists engaged in age discrimination when it did not allow Stoner to participate in a competition because of his age. The case was assigned to Judge Patterson. Patterson dismissed the case on October 7, 2011, citing fatal irregularities in the brief. After Patterson dismissed Stoner's lawsuit, Stoner struck back by filing a complaint with the federal courts saying that Patterson should not have been allowed to hear the age discrimination lawsuit because Patterson is too old to hear cases.[2]

Juror threats in the Joseph Collins case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
On July 9, 2009, Judge Patterson received a letter from an juror stating: "Although I appreciate your efforts to control the frequent insults I have endured, the threats of bodily harm brings this abuse to a whole new level." Jurors in the fraud trial of Joseph Collins were in the sixth day of emotionally charged deliberations. The former attorney for Refco, Inc. were accused of hiding the brokerage firm's bad debts from investors.[3]

The letter written by the juror to Judge Patterson stated: "Specifically, in a loud and belligerent manner (the juror) threatened to cut off my finger," the letter-writer said, adding that the female fellow juror told him: "I will have my husband take care of you." "I would not allow such threats and intimidation to alter my vote. I am concerned, however, these threats may affect other jurors," the juror also wrote.[3]

Judge Patterson's response to the letters was a simple note to the jury instructing them "to get them back into rational thinking and not to let anger prevail."[4]

Courtroom observers have found out that jury room debates have been so loud and heated that a court officer has had to tell the jurors to settle down. Judge Patterson turned down a defense motion for a mistrial and sent the jurors back to wrap up deliberations.[3] Ultimately, Joseph Collins was found guilty and sentenced to one year and a day in prison and two years of probation.[5]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Percy Knapp
Southern District of New York
1988–1998
Succeeded by:
George Daniels


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