Bill Conour Goes to Jail: Requiem for a Heavy Weight

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Bill Conour Goes to Jail: Requiem for a Heavy Weight.

Two of the smartest lawyers I have met are in jail at the moment, Bill Conour and Tim Durham. I worked for Conour from 2005 through 2007 and went to Law School with Durham. Both are far more intelligent than I could ever hope to be, and both have ruined their lives. The Question is why? Greed is an easy answer, but neither are misers, instead both were masters of conspicuous consumption, with more cars than they could drive and more house than they could fill. I think the answer is a pathological need to impress, to show by having more than everyone else, they would somehow be better than everyone and immune from criticism. The flaw in that thinking, of course, is that the most attractive trait is honesty, and both suffer from a truth deficit, I suspect even with themselves.

I turned Conour into the Indiana Disciplinary Commission because he refused to pay a mutual client in a nursing home her settlement money. From there, the Commission hired a forensic accountant who unraveled the scheme that led to his being charged by the FBI for a $2.5 Ponzi type scheme involving clients’ settlement money. I am sure others have been more helpful to the investigation than I, but I am proud of my role.

Conour is currently in the Decatur County Jail after failing to appear for a hearing to Show Cause on where the money is for a child’s settlement. He apparently had the judge approve the settlement on the same day he was surrendering to the authorities on his Ponzi scheme charge. Why the DC let him practice up to a few weeks ago remains a mystery. With his properties foreclosed, his wife divorcing him and a potential life sentence ahead of him the “why” remains a question only he can answer.

I do know that no one is wholly good or bad, and Bill Conour could be as generous as he was greedy. I don’t pretend to understand that, no more than I can understand how he could be taking money from widows and orphans while getting his Masters Degree in Divinity. The rich may be different than you and I, possibly because they are crazy.

Perhaps Conour and Durham will end up in the same federal prison, where they can talk about the Colts and IU basketball. Maybe both will be found innocent. Certainly both ruined their lives.

The law school in Indianapolis has a large central hall named the Conour Atruim. I am sure they will change the name, but maybe they shouldn’t as a reminder to each graduating class that being a lawyer is a sacred trust, you hold families and people’s fortunes in your hands, that success can lead to excess, and excess to ruin.

God have mercy on them both.