ILNews

ISBA awards money for former attorney's actions

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A South Bend man is receiving $15,000 from the Indiana State Bar Association to compensate for losses he suffered from the dishonest acts of a former attorney.

Darious E. Easton received the money as a result of actions by former attorney Paul Bruno Kusbach, who resigned in 2002. Kusbach was sentenced in April 2004 to federal prison for four years and nine months for stealing money from clients; he was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to 26 separate clients.

This was the maximum amount that could be awarded by the Clients' Financial Assistance Fund, which has been around since 1962 and helps uphold the integrity of the Indiana Legal Profession by covering some losses suffered by clients of dishonest Hoosier attorneys. Money was last awarded in March to three individuals - each award was less than $5,000, meaning the board of governors did not have to approve the amounts.

Fund Committee Chair Jon Pactor, a sole practitioner in Indianapolis, describes this fund as a method not very well known throughout the Indiana legal community.

"These acts are often theft-related and don't happen very often so aren't on attorneys' radar screens," he said. "This is a way to help restore dignity to the bar or collectively say, 'This is wrong,' and it's a last effort to get compensation for someone. We recognize our professional obligation to do that."
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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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