Anne Vladeck

Note that Mr. & Mrs. Met have an old-fashioned, traditional marriage just like the front office wants.

Mets. Incompetent? Sexist? Both?

These are the questions asked in a new lawsuit filed yesterday in the Eastern District of New York. In fairness, the first question shouldn’t really be a question assuming a passing understanding of baseball since, say, 1986. I guess there was the year that the NL sent them up to get hammered into submission by the Yankees (who let them win a game!), but no one writes epic songs about cannon fodder. If you haven’t been following the ongoing train wreck of the damned that is the New York Mets, don’t fret, this new complaint can bring you up to speed.

Because the best part of the complaint is its blistering account of just how bad the Mets are at the whole “baseball” thing.

A former Mets executive, Leigh Castergine, is suing the Mets and Jeff Wilpon, the Chief Operating Officer for discrimination, retaliation, and a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Castergine was charged with boosting ticket sales, so a substantial question surrounding her dismissal will be whether she was a failure at her job or whether she was set up to fail.

It’s not shocking to believe that any obstacles she encountered stemmed from incompetence in the front office and on the field.

What is shocking are the allegations detailing the verbal and emotional abuse Castergine took from Wilpon and those acting under his management….

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Patricia A. Martone

“You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit.”

— Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (affiliate link)

Take this famous line and replace “man” with “law firm partner,” and you’ve captured the gist of the lawsuit against Ropes & Gray brought by Patricia Martone, who alleges age and sex discrimination by her former firm. (Martone, a former IP litigation partner at Ropes, is now a Morrison & Foerster partner.)

When I broke the news of this lawsuit back in 2011, I expected a speedy settlement. Would Ropes really want to go toe to toe with a pair of high-powered litigatrices, namely, Martone and her formidable employment lawyer, Anne Vladeck?

But here we are, two years later, and the battle rages on. Ropes has hired a third leading litigatrix to defend itself. Let’s learn the latest news….

(Note the multiple UPDATES at the end of this post.)

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On Tuesday, Ropes & Gray was sued in Manhattan federal court by a former partner, Patricia A. Martone. Martone’s lawsuit claims age discrimination, sex discrimination, retaliation, and interference with protected retirement benefits in violation of ERISA (the basis for federal jurisdiction in the S.D.N.Y.).

As you might expect from an ex-Ropes partner, Martone has some high-powered counsel: Anne Vladeck, one of New York’s top labor and employment lawyers, widely regarded as the queen of employment discrimination law. Vladeck famously (and successfully) represented Anucha Browne Sanders in her sexual harassment lawsuit against Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.

Patricia Martone is a veteran intellectual-property litigatrix, a specialist in patent litigation, with almost 40 years of practice under her belt. She made partner at Fish & Neave, the well-known patent law firm, in 1983, and then became a Ropes partner in 2005, when Ropes absorbed Fish. She’s now a partner at Morrison & Foerster, which she joined in October 2010.

Why did she leave Ropes? Let’s have a look at Patricia Martone, and her lawsuit….

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