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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. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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