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Government may appeal Conour’s 10-year sentence

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Federal prosecutors who argued for tougher punishment may appeal the 10-year sentence imposed in October for former attorney William Conour who pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

The notice of appeal was docketed last week in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the government will have until Jan. 6 to file pleadings or request more time to argue that Conour’s sentence was too lenient. The case on appeal is USA v. William Conour, 13-3643.

Whether prosecutors will proceed with a rare sentencing appeal is uncertain, but the notice was filed ahead of a deadline that preserves the government’s right to appeal.

Federal public defender Michael Donahoe represented Conour before Chief Judge Richard Young and said he was surprised to see the appeal notice filed. He said federal prosecutors told him no final decision had been made on whether the appeal would proceed, and he characterized the filing as a “placeholder” in case U.S. attorneys chose to appeal the sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Bohm argued before sentencing that Conour, 66, should receive the maximum 20 years for stealing settlement proceeds from more than 30 former clients he represented in wrongful-death and personal-injury cases. Conour’s sentence also calls for him to make restitution of more than $6.5 million.

Victims said they were disappointed by the 10-year sentence, but Young said the sentence sent a deterrent message while also providing some hope that Conour might be able to make restitution. Young’s sentence was adjusted downward from the advisory sentencing range of 14 to 17.5 years calculated in a presentencing report prepared by the court's federal probation department.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Conour’s projected release date is in March 2022.
 

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  • Sentencing
    Think the only reason he shows any sign of remorse is he got caught. I don't believe once he's freed that he 'll make any attempt to pay his victims' back. He'll probably just try and disappear.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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