Earlier, I reported here about the sad events surrounding the end of the life of former Kings County Civil  Court Judge John L. Phillips. Justice Phillips was a well-known and well-loved jurist whose last years were spent in a general decline. Ultimately it was necessary for a guardian to appointed to oversee his affairs. Several different judges and attorneys were appointed to handle that responsibility until the appointment of Emani Taylor Esq. in 2002.


Unfortunately, Ms. Taylor saw the Judge’s assets as an invitation and not a responsibility. It appears that she helped herself to hundreds of thousands of dollars of his assets. Now, as reported in the July 7 New York Law Journal, Justice Michael A. Ambrosino has directed the former attorney to repay $403,000 to the late judge’s estate. Justice Ambrosino’s lengthy decision is a classic recounting of "how not to do it". It underscores the need for constant vigilance where the assets of mentally incompetent persons are at stake. If a respected, capable and successful man of Judge Phillips’ caliber could be so terribly victimized, the need for the highest level of scrutiny of incompetents’ estates should be obvious.