Mine Host was offered and accepted a deal, due to vendor intransigence this deal was not consumated.
However Mine Host had paid a deposit. Due to the hurried nature of the prospective deal, a law firm in one of Queensland's large coastal cities had been engaged for the purpose.
The firm was headed by one of the leading legal figures in the city.
The deposit on the deal amounted to $40,000 and was to be held in the firm's trust account.
When the deal went pear shaped (as Mine Host had presumed it would) Mine Host dropped around to the law firm & asked to see Mr. Respected Eagle.
The receptionist informed that Mr. Eagle was "out".
"That's okay, perhaps you can help me, I'm only here to pick up the deposit lodged in the trust account."
"Of course sir! We'll certainly have that ready for you when Mr. Eagle gets back in, I'll just find the entry for the deposit" She produced a large ledger and commenced perusing it.
Shortly she asked just when it was that Mine Host had said he had lodged the deposit with the firm, as she couldn't seem to find the entry.
Mine Host referred her to the (now collapsed) contract, in which was carefully listed the location and procedures associated with the deposit.
Puzzled, she perused the ledger again.
"I'm afraid there is no entry for your deposit sir"
"Let me see that!" Mine Host obtained the ledger and quickly ascertained that his contract deposit had not been placed into the firm's trust account.
The receptionist went quite pale.
She began rationalising.
Mine Host cut her short, said he would be back shortly, at which time Mr. Respected Eagle would be waiting with a cheque for the full amount of the returned deposit.
When Mine Host returned Mr. Respected Eagle was waiting with a cheque drawn for the full amount. No words were exchanged.
Mine Host walked the cheque accross to his bank, deposited it and had the branch confirm the cheque had cleared.
Mr. Respected Eagle continued to be a respected pillar of the legal profession in that city. Mine Host often wondered if there was ever a client who had retained the firm for a shorter time than he.
Over time, by the manner in which the firm Respected & Respected were referred to, Mine Host gathered that his experience of Mr. Respected Eagle was far from unique, and that the firm's respected position was due more to no mud having stuck, rather than impeccable ethics.
The firm Respected & Respected, now in the hands of the next generation, has nothing to be proud of in their recent past.
No bill was ever sent for the small amount of work Mr. Respected Eagle had performed on the flopped deal.