Hon. Philip Cortese

Judge Cortese's Average Overall Review:

1 Stars

Based on 10 reviews

  (518) 853-8133

  Unknown (fax)

  Unknown email address

Judicial offices

  • Judge, Family Court, Elected, Montgomery County, 2003 to 2012


  • J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center, 1981
  • MPA, Syracuse University, 1976
  • BA, Georgetown University, 1974

Bar admission

  • NYS, Appellate Division, Third Department, 1982
  • Northern District of New York, Federal Court, 1984

Professional experience

  • Private law practice, Self, 1989 to 2003
  • City of Amsterdam, New York, Corporation Counsel, 1996 to 2003
  • City of Amsterdam, New York, Corporation Counsel, 1988 to 1992
  • Judge Howard Aison, Law Clerk, 1987 to 1988
  • Law Office of Paul Wolllman, Attorney, 1987 to 1989
  • Horigan, Horigan, Pennock & Lombardo, Attorney, 1981 to 1987



2481. party to case (pro se)

I have no problem being accountable and responsible for what I say about this judge because each and every allegation is true. He is evil. The last posting I wrote was seeking some legal advice for my situation on a forum. It was taken down after I was harassed and belittled by a "moderator" on lawyers.com being very unprofessional by saying my story is too long and nobody cares. I was; needless to say; disgusted. I went to this forum for legal help; not more abuse. A few months later; the Department of Childrens Services launches a full blown investigation on me. (My doctor at the time told me confidentially sometimes judges do this if they can't evoke a reaction from one of the parties). I would say this was heresay, if this judge did not let me know he was in fact, at least monitoring doctor /patient confidentiality by repeating a few key things I told my doctor in confidence right in court. My phone, computers, and devices were so tampered with illegally by computer trespass they are rendered useless.I will tell you I know that my online activity was being tracked because of my fear of violations such as this I had a program on my computer that monitored for every MAC address and device on my wifi that was not authorized.So; No. No paranoia here! My private, password protected wifi. I have every make, model, MAC address proving these illegal entries. It could be a coincidence, bad luck, I doubt this though. Every account I owned; hacked. My apartment was trespassed upon and wires and cables were cut. CPS by this time has visited me 42 times. Each and every time I was found innocent and not responsible for abuse or neglect.I even had to take a drug and urine test and bloodwork taken by a CPS worker on an allegation I was a prostitute and smoking crack!! That's all it took was another false allegation. The father on the other hand was charged with neglect and abuse. Yet this judge feels a 50/50 visitation is acceptable!! I was mortified... I still am. I have had not one; but two incidents where my life was threatened to a degree I no longer felt safe leaving my apartment. Its been this way for four years. I am not even in this courts ruling or juridiction. I want someone to make this judge accountable for the hundreds if not thousands of lives he has affected negatively.


6720. witness

I was a witness in this courtroom in support of my fiance. This was clearly another world and another set of rules that were made up as the hearings proceeded in Montgomery County Family Court. I was so terrified at what I witnessed and that my fiance was going to be put in handcuffs for doing nothing other then being truthful. It was like a movie in front of my eyes. I had to leave the room to gather myself. Philip Cortese denied her a lie detector test she offered to take by saying she knew it was not admissible. She is not an attorney, so how would she know? It was more or less for his peace of mind she offered. He abused her for years terribly, tried to make her cry, but she would not give in. I believe this angered him. Over the course of years of abuse I witnessed I started to lose faith in the legal system. I talked to outside sources about this who told me this is not how the normal family court works. I didn't know- it was my first experience. My fiance was so used to being abused she accepted this as normal as well. This judge called her names, a liar, perjurer,spiteful all of which were untrue. He treated the father a criminal drug abuser like he was the boss of Cosa Nostra. The judge treated his parents likewise who were there fighting my fiance on the fathers behalf. They made ridiculous requests in which he granted. Also, a guardian ad litem was appointed yet the children were not involved in the social service or foster care system. These questions were never answered. The jurisdiction of this court she did not even live in? My fiance was told to shut up. I saw this man deny her an attorney and he questioned her without a lawyer present. She asked three times and he said " No. Too bad you are not getting one" also the state police served her notice to appear with 24 hours notice initiated by the in laws. The in-laws wanted to take her son on a trip she already declined. We spent at least four times monthly in this court over repetitive, redundant, and frivolous issues. My fiance was almost left homeless. As any source of income she tried to generate was sabotaged or accused of being criminal. Over the course of several years she was investigated by multiple state and federal agencies as if she were a terrorist or spy. She was almost killed twice, she was the victim of abusive gang stalking, CPS was at her home more then she was. She was sent to a neuropsychologist despite no evidence of her being mentally ill. She was tested for STD's and blood work and urine was taken forcefully. She could not leave her home. Nobody would or could give an answer. I got a lot of facial expressions but no words were ever spoken. There were unusual people invited in the court room who we did not know nor were they identified. The few lawyers that were appointed were terrified to make this judge angry it seemed to me. Her rights were literally handed to him. The Constitution was burned in front of my eyes. She wrote in excess of twenty five agencies that could not confirm or deny anything at all. Her emails were monitored and her cell phone was as well. She was followed as daily routine. So much more happened I can write a book, which I may someday but it's not over yet...


2480. party to case (pro se)

No words to describe the sheer madness and hell I have gone through in this court. This town for one is just like Mayberry. Its a scary thing. Its like Deliverance right in historic Montgomery County, NY. I have been victimized over and over repeatedly by this judge. He has no empathy at all for children and women alike. If you are a domestic abuse survivor don't go to this court because you have to walk through a ring of fire to get an Order of Protection let alone even have this gavel banger listen to anything relevant you may say. He accused me of perjury when it was very simple for him to make a two minute phone call to verify true facts, he let's grandparents have complete authority to supersede primary custodian wishes, he will not make the father pay child support... He won't even bother asking, he says he knows a party but clearly has no clue... And his methods of getting to know a party is to flat out deny them council when they only had 24 hours notice of a court hearing and then abuse them while he smiles and cross examines them. Everything he does and says is some type of cryptic morse code you have to figure out on your own. Nothing is ever clear but the fact he cares more about the fathers mental illness and alcoholism and feels bad for the father as he takes risks with childrens lives; my childs life. Its sick and not right. You can not uphold the law when you condone breaking the law at the same time. And my childs law guardian? Ha!! He has not met my child once in 4 years; neither has this judge. If he did he may see he had a real chance in life if he just granted my request 4 years ago seeking custody. Instead my pro bono lawyer tells me 4 years ago 5 minutes before we are to appear she has a change of heart and its not a good idea to seek custody. We had all the facts and evidence to support extreme abuse. We even had a written confession detailing some of it. At that time I was not confident enough to just say I don't care we are asking for custody being someone who just came out of an abusive situation...you put all your trust in your lawyer. Since then more than enough has happened to warrant no custodial rights for the father and this judge will not do a damn thing! I am indigent; I had to borrow a lot of cash from my father for a lawyer for legal bills that arose from ridiculous summons from the father and he is not even making him accountable to pay or at least help pay for these fees. Soon enough I will be unfit and lose custody when I am drowning in debt from the ongoing circus antics in this court. I am sick. Everyday.


3831. witness

Judge Cortese has consistently shown a pattern of ruling in a manner preventing one from receiving full, fair, or impartial treatment. I have witnessed evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe they are prevented from receiving all of the above. How he handles the poor and unrepresented is deplorable. Mr. Cortese faihfully does not adhere to the oath he took for office nor does he pursue justice. The problem here is nobody will stand up to him publicly or they are put at great risk if they ever have to appear in front of him again. Bad judges exist and this guy is astoundingly untouched. This judges ability is seriously impaired. Cortese denies basic procedural rights guaranteed by the US Constitution which I have seen. Do Montgomery County, Fonda Ny a favor and go into full retirement. If a judges criminal negligence causes someone permanent damage I feel they should be disbarred at the very least. If someone opened up Mr. Cortese's family to the danger he allows, this would not be tolerated.Wanton negligence and just a dirty dirty judge. One of the most corrupt judges I have ever seen. With the tactics this judge employs you would think he has local connections to the mafia. Big bribes are being paid in this small town boy town. "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke


7385. other

Judge Cortese presided over my divorce case, he knew my ex personally. After 25 years of being married I lost my home pensions and annuities and most of my possessions. Whoever says the woman gets the most should study law. Judge Cortese should have stepped down because of the conflict of interest in knowing my ex. It's left me the wife who is disabled living in poverty while my X buys new cars and a condo in Florida.


8331. party to case (pro se)

It is probably hard to understand all the negative reviews against Judge Cortese when you are the party he favors. He favors with a vengeance and clear bias. Why do you think he needed a recusal? Obviously because he could not act fairly or impartially. Fair and wise? *cough* *eyeroll* Judge Cortese is not the type of judge or man who recuses himself... I am certain the opposing Counsel made a motion for him to recuse himself, he refused, then he made a sua sponte motion because he was threatened to be turned into the bar. I prayed and begged for Judge Cortese to recuse himself from my case. He may have the bar association, office of the aging, and Montgomery County fooled but not the lawyers or litigants in his courtroom.


8631. other

Does anyone here know of a judge that would let a child's father, who paid another child, to threaten to kill and slit his own sons neck so he could get custody...because his son is now too fearful to live with his mother? Look no further... this judge would!


8939. other

Philip V. Cortese Montgomery County, NY judge loves RAPISTS!!!! This judge gives carte blanche access and custody rights to rapists as well as not ordering them to pay child support!!


7795. party to case (with attorney)

I don't understand all the negative reviews against Judge Cortese. I found quite the opposite. When he was our judge he listened to both sides very carefully, looked at the evidence and I felt was very fair and excellent at seeing through people's lies. I found him to be a very wise and fair judge. Unfortunately, he had to recuse himself because he had to report opposing counsel to the bar association. Since then I'm in a living nightmare with another judge (I wont name) who seems to ignore ALL evidence and has been so unfair that everyone is telling me to look into advocacy groups because there's clear evidence of discrimination. I'm just not sure I have any fight left in me but I would give anything to get the Honorable Judge Cortese back.


8369. party to case (with attorney)

I had this judge too. He was literally a nightmare. I see others feel the same. Case #7385 why didn't your counsel ask him to recuse himself? That is a direct conflict of interest.

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