« Ind. Law - The Indiana Law Blog's Legislative Research Shortcuts | Main | Ind. Law - Indianapolis native, attorney Richard M. Fairbanks, III has died »

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ind. Courts - "He took money from orphans, from widows, from people whose lives were devastated"

That is a quote from a lengthy, front-page story today in the Indianapolis Star, reported by Tim Evans. The headline is "Once wealthy, powerful lawyer's fate now rests in hands of a public defender," and the subject is William F. Conour. Mr Conour resigned from the Indiana bar the end of June - see this ILB entry. Here is a list of related ILB posts.

Here is a sample from today's story:

"He was the construction injury attorney in the state of Indiana. And highly, highly respected," [Timothy F. Devereux, who worked for Conour from 2008 to 2011] said. "That's why I felt comfortable when I joined the firm, because everybody said, 'Oh yeah, this guy, he's a god.' He had the atrium of the law school named after him!"

Conour's sterling reputation didn't stop Daly from reporting him to the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission in 2008.

But it would be nearly four years before the commission initiated action to suspend his law license and the criminal charge was filed.

[John P. Daly, who worked with Conour from 2005 to 2008] said he became concerned because Conour, who always handled the distribution of settlements, was slow in getting money to clients.

"It was taking longer than I liked," he explained, "and Bill was not at all receptive to questions about that."

After he split from Conour, Daly said he filed the complaint because he feared Conour would not pay a settlement they won for a woman in a nursing home.

"No one knew she had not been paid," he said, "but Bill and me."

Daly said the woman died in January -- without receiving her money. There was no money for her burial.

"It was absolutely horrible," he said.

Daly said he is frustrated it took so long for authorities to reign in [sic] Conour.

"Bill did a lot of mayhem between the time I made the complaint and the time he was formally charged," he said. "It was disappointing that it apparently wasn't a priority."

Kathryn Dolan, the Supreme Court's public information officer, said details about specific complaints and investigations are confidential.

"Each case is reviewed based on its own merits," she said. "Depending on the nature of a complaint, the length of an investigation can vary. ... As you can imagine, complicated investigations make it more difficult to quickly resolve a complaint."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 10, 2013 09:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts