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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. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

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  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

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