Karen DelPonte, Cameron & Mittleman LLP partner

COMMUNITY-BASED: Karen G. DelPonte, founding partner of Cameron & Mittleman LLP, dedicates more than 10 hours a month volunteering legal services for nonprofits such as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Providence Public Library. / PBN PHOTO/DAVID HANSEN
COMMUNITY-BASED: Karen G. DelPonte, founding partner of Cameron & Mittleman LLP, dedicates more than 10 hours a month volunteering legal services for nonprofits such as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Providence Public Library. / PBN PHOTO/DAVID HANSEN

Leaders & Achievers 2022
KAREN G. DELPONTE
Founding partner, Cameron & Mittleman LLP


KAREN G. DELPONTE, founding partner of Cameron & Mittleman LLP’s estate planning practice group in Providence, said she sometimes felt like the Lucy character from the “Peanuts” comic during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a closed office and a crush of sudden client demands to get wills and estate documents finalized, masked team members witnessed and notarized documents in the parking lot.

“In bad weather, one of us would hold an umbrella over the other” signing paperwork as clients stayed in their cars, DelPonte said.

“COVID-19 forced people to realize that they may be healthy one day and then on a ventilator the next day,” she said.

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The department’s six attorneys and four paralegals pulled together during unprecedented times. It solidified an appreciation for her team.

A graduate of Wellesley College and Boston College Law School, DelPonte’s love of the field began when she took a trust and estates class.

“People think of estate planning as being something boring, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s part tax law – with ever-changing complexities – and part soap opera,” DelPonte said. “I’ve been asked before if I need to have a degree in psychology to deal with cases such as four siblings fighting over Christmas ornaments.”

‘I’ve been asked before if I need to have a degree in psychology to deal with cases such as four siblings fighting over Christmas ornaments.’

Add in third parties trying to interject themselves into proceedings, and no case is identical.

The nature of her work creates ongoing relationships with families, with referrals carrying from generation to generation.

Clients for whom she has great respect are those who lost immediate family members but use their assets to help others in the form of charitable giving. “I am honored to work with people like that,” DelPonte said.

She dedicates more than 10 hours a month volunteering legal services for nonprofits such as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Providence Public Library, assisting with donors who name the charities in their life insurance. DelPonte has fond memories of taking a bus to the library after school and spending hours among the stacks, and she feels fortunate to give back in this way, in a career she loves.

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