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Disciplinary Commission investigates Conour

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The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is recommending the justices discipline Indianapolis attorney William Conour for allegedly settling a client’s case without the client’s knowledge and depositing the settlement into his trust account.

Conour is accused by federal authorities of stealing more than $2.5 million from clients and faces a charge of wire fraud. The April 27 criminal complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana alleges that he defrauded clients by using money from new settlements to pay for old settlements and debts. That federal complaint mentioned an instance where Conour didn’t tell a client that a settlement had been accepted, took the money on the client’s behalf and never sent the settlement to the client.

That settlement dispute is at the heart of the Disciplinary Commission’s verified complaint for disciplinary action, filed May 24. According to the verified complaint, an Indiana resident was severely injured on a construction project in Delaware in July 2010 and hired Conour and his law firm to represent him in a personal injury action. Conour allegedly settled the case without that client’s consent or knowledge for $450,000 and deposited the money into his trust account. The check contains a signature purporting to be the client's, but he maintains he didn’t sign the check.

G. Michael Witte, executive secretary of the Disciplinary Commission, wrote that based on this conduct, Conour violated Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(a) by not getting the client’s consent and approval before settling; 1.4(a)(1) by failing to promptly inform the client about the settlement, the amount and the deposit of the settlement funds without first receiving the client’s informed consent; 1.4(b) by failing to explain the settlement terms and amount to the client to the extent reasonably necessary to allow the client to make an informed decision about it; and 1.15(a) for not safeguarding the client’s settlement proceeds.

It will be up to the Indiana justices to decide what, if any, discipline Conour will receive. Conour has no history of discipline and is currently listed as in good standing with the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. He was admitted to practice in 1974.
 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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