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Judge asks public defender about Conour money

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A federal judge has ordered the Office of the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Indiana to disclose whether it is holding any property belonging to William Conour, the former attorney who was represented by a public court-appointed lawyer from the agency.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Thursday issued a writ of garnishment  giving the federal defender’s office 10 days to answer “whether or not you have in your custody, control or possession, any property in which the defendant has a substantial non-exempt interest.”

Conour pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted to government allegations that he stole more than $6.5 million in settlement proceeds from more than 30 wrongful death and personal-injury clients.

Last month, Conour claimed he had made full restitution and was owed $184,214.26 after paying restitution of just over $634,000. He reasoned he was required to make restitution only to the one victim identified in the wire fraud charge, who was defrauded of $450,000.

In the writ of garnishment, Young rejects that logic, holding that the balance due on the judgment as of April 25 is $5,931,152.06.

When Conour filed the pro se pleading seeking to excuse himself from the remaining restitution, he also acknowledged the federal defender’s office held $2,512, “representing the remaining balance of an investment account Defendant had with Reliance Financial Services.”

Conour sought to have those funds transferred to his commissary at the Federal Correctional Institute at Morgantown, W.Va., where he is serving a 10-year sentence. Conour “denies … (the government) is entitled to garnish these funds.”

Young ordered the defender’s office to describe “the value and property in which the defendant has an interest that is in your possession, custody or control.”

“You are required to withhold and retain pending further Order of this court any property in which the defendant has a substantial non-exempt interest for which you are now, or may in the future, become indebted to the defendant,” Young wrote.

Officials at the federal defender agency could not be reached for comment Friday.



 
 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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