A Long Island lawyer alleged to have misused client funds has been disbarred after offering her resignation. Alice Phillips Belmonte of Wading River resigned, acknowledging she could not successfully defend herself on the merits relating to four complaints based on notices from the Lawyer's Fund for Client Protection about six dishonored escrow checks.
The dishonored checks, dated between December 2011 and March 2012, totalled just over $4.5 million, according to Timothy O'Sullivan, executive director of the fund. In her resignation, Belmonte also acknowledged she could not successfully fight another four matters under investigation alleging misuse of funds in her attorney escrow account.
As a result of the resignation, the Appellate Division, Second Department, disbarred Belmonte on Feb. 27. A graduate of Fordham University School of Law admitted to the bar in 1992 as Alice Marie Phillips, Belmonte represented herself in the proceedings. Presiding Justice Randall Eng (See Profile) and Justices William Mastro (See Profile), Reinaldo Rivera (See Profile), Peter Skelos (See Profile) and Plummer Lott (See Profile) sat on the panel. Matter of Belmonte, 2012-10689.