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Conour fraud trial set for September

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A federal judge Friday morning set a new trial date of Sept. 9 for an Indianapolis high-profile lawyer accused of misappropriating millions in client funds.

William F. Conour, 65, appeared at the hearing at U.S. District Court in Indianapolis with his new counsel, federal public defender Michael Donahoe.

Judge Richard L. Young postponed Conour’s original trial date in October after lawyers Richard Kammen and Dorie Maryan withdrew from the case in September.

The two had represented Conour since May, about a month after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against him. But their relationship soured to the point that the two asked to be removed from the case, per Conour’s request, according to court documents.

Young appointed the public defender to represent Conour after he told the judge that his only income is $2,000 in monthly Social Security checks and he faces foreclosure on his home.

The court previously had released $35,000 from Conour’s frozen accounts to allow him to retain new counsel. But Conour instead sought out a public defender and spent $15,000 on living expenses, he told the judge.

Young ordered him to return the remaining $20,000 within the next week after federal prosecutors argued that the money should be used for restitution to help repay alleged victims.

“Those funds were released, at least in my mind, to establish a retainer [for a lawyer],” Young told Conour. “Since that’s not going to be the case here, we’ll have that money returned to a trust account.”

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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  • Bill Conour
    Not the man I knew years ago while we both worked for the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. I'm very disappointed in Bill.

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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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