The Problems of Attorney Michael A. Eddings
I have followed with great interest the recent Ledger-Enquirer news stories on Lawyer Michael A. Eddings. Because the Ledger-Enquirer continues to hide their articles after a short duration, I am forced to find alternative links that have a longer self life.
It began with an article on November 2, 2011 which caught many people off-guard. It then continued with a follow-up article on November 8, 2011 and then finally the latest one on February 5, 2012.
I found this story very interesting for a number of reasons.
- I know how the real estate settlement process works especially as it relates to escrow accounts. There are strict guidelines to how you handle and maintain those accounts that contain other people’s money. I knew that this was very serious no matter what Michael Eddings may have said.
- I immediately suspected that mortgages were not being paid off because that is the lion’s share of the monies in an escrow account where one lender provides funding so that they can pay off another lender. The remainder gets disbursed to the sellers (if any), vendors, agents, and other parties that receive fees from the settlement.
- I heard of Michael Eddings shortly after he got his practice off the ground around the mid-2000’s and found it interesting and surprising how he went from a newbie lawyer to this well-established, well-connected lawyer in a relatively short time. It appeared to me he was “working it” very hard with Columbus high society.
- It struck me as he was “too involved” and entangled with Columbus high society. It struck me that he went out of his way to be part of “high society” in Columbus. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that came with a huge social pressure to continue “looking good”. The social price was very high. He could not afford to “look bad” in high society. He was socially dependent in that world and struck to me as socially trapped.
- Like many in high society, the image and trappings of material success have to be in display. It means the cars you drive, the close you wear, the cell phone you carry, the jewelry you wear, the neighborhood and home you live in, the restaurants you eat at, the business offices you rent, and the functions you are expected to attend. For most of the middle-class NOT in high society, people cut back dramatically and outwardly. It was no secret and no secret was trying to be kept that many were having tough times. But to be in the Eddings shoes, it seemed they had nowhere to run. There might have been very few outward things they could give up without causing suspicion or harm to their public image.
I have not met the Eddings so I don’t have an axe to grind with them. What I am very interested in is how his story affects the tapestry of Columbus high society. And the lessons that can be learned from those who achieved success but then experience a major setback. How do you handle this? How do you carry yourself? How do you recover and move on? I suspect he has become a social pariah.
Their dishonesty of their financial problems led to this. Instead of paying a smaller price by downsizing and taking the hits, it now seems Michael Eddings bar license is now at stake and bankruptcy is a cold hard reality in the near future. It will be a very hard recovery for them. The rest of us need to learn the lessons especially those sitting in high society. It is always a pay me now, pay me later situation.
I did an in-depth analysis of the First American Title Insurance lawsuit against the Eddings and it provides quite a bit of insight what happened during the last 4 years behind closed doors.