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Attorney facing fraud charges dropping lawyers

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Lawyers for a high-profile Indianapolis attorney accused of misappropriating $4.5 million in client funds are requesting to withdraw as his defense counsel just a month before his trial date.

Richard Kammen and Dorie Maryan have represented William F. Conour, 65, since May, about a month after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against him. But their relationship seems to have soured to the point that the two are asking to be removed from the case, per Conour’s request, according to court documents.

Judge Richard L. Young of the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis is set to hear their motion to withdraw Thursday.

Reached by phone Monday morning, Kammen declined to comment on Conour’s request.

A two-page court filing, though, alludes to the rift between Conour and his lawyers. Conour has made it “clear that the relationship between counsel and the defendant is so impaired that withdrawal is appropriate,” Kammen said in the filing.

Conour’s case is set to be heard by a federal jury Oct. 22.

Kammen and Maryan already are Conour’s second defense counsel. He first hired prominent Indianapolis defense lawyer Jim Voyles, who withdrew in May just a month after Conour’s arrest. Court documents did not provide a reason for his withdrawal.

According to a criminal complaint filed in April, Conour is accused of engaging in a scheme from December 2000 to March 2012 to defraud his clients, using money obtained from new settlement funds to pay for old settlements and debts. Prosecutors charge he kept clients’ settlement proceeds for his own use.

In July, Conour relinquished his law license to the Indiana bar. Under Indiana law, he will have to wait five years if he wishes to petition for reinstatement to the bar. Conour was admitted to the bar in 1974 and had no previous disciplinary history.

For years, he had been among the highest-profile attorneys in Indiana, representing individuals seriously injured or killed in construction accidents.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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