Forgive Jeffrey S. Maurer if he's not in the mood to celebrate his 25th anniversary with U.S. Trust Corp. These days Mr. Maurer, U.S. Trust's president, finds himself defending its handling of the $1.2 billion estate of tobacco heiress Doris Duke.

Last month a Manhattan judge dismissed U.S. Trust as preliminary co- executor of the Duke estate, arguing that the bank failed to properly police the other co-executive - Ms. Duke's high-living Irish butler, Bernard Lafferty.

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