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Bauer Pitman Bauer PLLC
Phone: (360) 754-1976 1235 4th Ave E Ste 200, Olympia, WA 98506 View Additional Email Addresses
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This company offers estate planning, medicaid planning, wills and probate, small family business, community property estate law, and trust administration.
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This business is not BBB accredited.
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Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Bauer Pitman Bauer PLLC include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||0|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Type of Entity
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Business ManagementMs. Katharine Bauer, Owner Mrs. Lauren Pitman, Attorney
Attorneys & Lawyers - Wills, Trust & Probate Attorneys & Lawyers - Estate Planning Attorneys & Lawyers Attorneys & Lawyers - Elder Law
Method(s) of PaymentCash and Check
Alternate Business NamesBauer Pitman Lifetime Legal PLLC
THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED
1235 4th Ave E Ste 200
Olympia, WA 98506 (360) 754-1976 Directions
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Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
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|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: I used this company to write my will - complete land trust, etc. Although I wasn't happy with their minute by minute billing the overall fees seemed fair. I called in July or August of 2014 to ask IF they could complete paper work (agent agreement, etc.) for a house I own in Phoenix, Az but am renting. I specifically told the paralegal NOT to do any work on my behalf - only to find out if they could help me. I received a phone call back saying that it was best if I found someone in Arizona. Subsequently I received a bill for $50.00. Apparently at this firm even asking a question regarding IF they can do something results in a charge. Since I specifically asked them only to tell me if they could help I believe the charge was totally unacceptable.
Desired Settlement: Return of my fee - $50.00
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 6, 2014/12/19) */ I am in receipt of your correspondence dated December 12, 2014. I have been working with Ms. *********** as her estate planning attorney since April 17, 2014. Although I am bound by attorney-client privilege, and therefore unable to release all facts and circumstances, as Ms. *********** has contacted you, and thus waived her right to confidence, I am happy to provide general information to help clarify this situation. To review, on August 22, 2014, my office was contacted by Ms. *********** requesting information as to whether an appointment of a fiduciary was required to manage real property located in another state. On August 25, 2014, Ms. *********** emailed a message to my paralegal with specific information about her situation and a contract, for me to review. Ms. ***********' message stated she needed a particular document executed "no later than mid-September and hopefully sooner." As Ms. *********** had been a client for several months, I spent time reviewing the contract she provided, as well as the applicable laws in the state where the property was located. I then discussed some options which might be available to Ms. *********** with my paralegal. Ultimately, I determined it would be best for Ms. *********** to obtain an attorney in the state in which the real property was located, for specific advice regarding her situation. My paralegal then contacted Ms. *********** with my recommendation, and my evaluation of the contract she had provided. In the email and telephone communication between my paralegal and Ms. *********** that followed the advice to obtain counsel in another state, Ms. *********** stated she still wanted me to prepare a particular legal document, and requested an estimate of cost for doing so. In anticipation of preparing the document and evaluating the time required, I reviewed the situation again with my paralegal and estimated the time for the document preparation to be one hour and fifteen minutes. We did not receive a response to the email regarding the estimated cost, and another follow up email was also ignored. Again, although I and my staff had spent at least 90 minutes at Ms. ***********' request for necessary review, I only charged her for twelve minutes of my time for reviewing and evaluating the contract she provided; a small portion of the actual time spent. As an attorney, I charge for time spent researching and reviewing documents, in addition to providing legal advice and preparing legal documents; this is how I cover costs and pay my staff. However, I only charged Ms. *********** for two-tenths of an hour, when actual time spent far exceeded that. At the beginning of my representation of *** *******, she received a letter from me which outlined by billing practices and billable rate. What Ms. *********** refers to as "minute by minute" billing is not only the standard of practice in the legal field, but results in fair and equitable charges to clients for actual time spent (as opposed to "flat fee" billing, in which a fee is charged for a particular service or document regardless of the time required for preparation). Although I spent a significant amount of time reviewing the information, applicable laws, circumstances, as well as a contract Ms. *********** provided, Ms. *********** was only charged a total of 12 minutes of my time. In addition, my paralegal spent considerable time exchanging telephone calls and numerous emails with Ms. ***********, and Ms. *********** was not charged for any of that time. At no time did Ms. *********** express dissatisfaction with my work, the advice I provided, or the bill she received. Nor did she contact my office or my staff, or answer the emails sent to her regarding the bill and the estimate she had requested. Although our billing statement was ignored for several months, the first indication I had that Ms. *********** was unhappy was a post-it note from her which said, "I am paying this but I am not happy about it" and a check for $50.99. Immediately upon receipt of this note, and prior to my knowledge that a complaint had been filed with the Better Business Bureau, I instructed my bookkeeper to contact her and return the check she had provided for payment. The check was mailed to Ms. *********** on December 9, 2014. As an attorney, I bill for my time, and this includes research done at the request of clients. As Ms. *********** was a long term client, I did not charge her for much of the research I did regarding her situation. Unfortunately, Ms. *********** did not provide me with feedback or an opportunity to resolve this matter prior to filing a complaint with your office. My relationships with clients are built on mutual trust, and client satisfaction is extremely important to me. It is not uncommon for me to "write-off" a significant portion of my time spent, as I did for Ms. ***********. I am disappointed Ms. *********** would take retaliatory action without first discussing her concerns with me. Please call me if you have any questions regarding this matter, or if I can provide further information.