Posted by anonymous
I had a VERY complex legal issue that started out poorly and kept getting worse. I couldnt find anyone to help me even file documents, let alone assist me. When I called Micheal, he was out of town, but still made it a point to get a hold of me to discuss my legal situation. In less than 45 mins of speaking to him, I learned more, and got better guidance than I did in the previous 4 months of calling over 40 lawyers, the Courts, Advocacy groups, and even the Washington Bar Assn itself! He gave me guidance on the procedural issues lawyers usually take for granted, and even provided me with rules, statutes and some case law that I previously had no idea could help me. He made no promises that I would win or lose, just that I would at least stand a fighting chance, and to be heard was all I really ever asked for. This may sound like exactly what one should expect from their lawyer, but that is why I am taking the time to review this man...I wasnt even his client! In the first 5 mins of the phone call, it was clear that my financial position, and the progression of the case so far, that he wouldnt be able to provide me with representation, yet over the next 45 mins, he helped me, and prepared me as if he had already been on retainer! Every other lawyer I spoke to had hung up the phone on me the second they concluded that I wasnt financially "worth helping". The opposing party has one of the largest firms in Washington representing them, yet thanks to Micheal, my fear and anxiety has literally become hope and confidence... I wonder what position I would be in right now, had I been able to hire him from the beginning!
Posted by Calvin
I really never had a reason to hire a lawyer until my divorce which began in the middle of 2005. After searching I thought I had found a good attorney through multiple recommendations. I hired him and after paying him through the course of my divorce more than $30,000 and I still have a balance owing. What a mistake. I have been in business for 32 years and deal with customers every day and have always tried to treat them as I would like to be treated. Well, after awhile it was obvious he had too many cases going on and huge overhead. Since mine had turned into something more than a simple divorce he really never put out the effort to put together a real case for me. I feel this contributed to my divorce turning into a real mess.
After having him working on my divorce for 3 years, this attorney on the phone actually said: “have you ever thought of reconciling with her?” Ouch! At that point I tried to hire another attorney but after giving a little history of my case, they all bowed out. I really felt stuck. I ended up getting divorced February 2009 and signed a bad settlement agreement that I thought I could handle to make it happen, and my lawyer encouraged me to sign. I was wrong. The attorney wasn’t in my corner, and he did not explain to me what would happen if I signed the papers. He just caved in to the other attorney. I was stuck with a lot of debt and maintenance to pay my ex wife. My attorney bailed on me after the divorce was final. I had to represent myself at a couple of hearings after that, and that was really stressful. My ex wife kept taking me back to court and piling on attorney fees that I had to pay to her or her attorney. I felt like I was all alone and that I had no one to help me.
Michael came into my situation with the encouragement of a mutual friend. I was getting dragged back into court for contempt for third time since the divorce, and I really needed help. Representing myself was not working for me. After he heard some history of what I had been dealing with and knowing he was getting into a mess, he still agreed to represent me. Right after the first meeting with him, I had a good feeling that he was the person that was going to get me out of this mess. We started working together, and I found him to be very energetic at putting together the best case possible for our hearings (there were several). He is very thorough, researching and finding case law, and talking to colleagues. I felt he did everything to present the best case in court. At one court appearance, the Court Commissioner used the financial documents Michael presented, and recalculated and modified what she had previously ordered, so it was even more in my favor. There were so many hurdles to overcome with the mess I was in, and Michael was there for me. He always returned my calls promptly and I could also communicate with him by email or in person, and sometimes by text message. If somebody is in need of legal help I recommend him whole heartedly. In fact, now my brother now needs some help and I want the best for him: Michael Pratum.
Posted by Toby
I didnt know what to do since the summons we recieved happened a year after we had moved out of state. I searched the internet and found Mr.Pratum who practiced in the same city where the simmons came from. I did see that years earlier he had made some mistakes but so had my son so who better to be on your side. Mr. Pratum was responsive and acted on our behalf quickly and effectively. He was able to move the date for our apperance toalater date and then was able to work out a reduced sentence that we were very happy with. He is honest and kept us in the loop with lots of e-mails of what was happening. He made sure every T was crossed and every I recieved a dot. I would highly recommend him.
Posted by Michael
I am a 62 yr. old family man who has been married for 40 yrs. and have three adult children. I have owned and operated a small business for 33 yrs. Throughout my life I have used several attorneys. I met Michael Pratum many years ago as one of my customers. Shortly after that I had a need for legal advice on a business matter concerning a cell phone tower. He handled that quickly and competently as he has with other business matters. When I needed help because my son incurred severe injuries in a serious auto accident, thankfully Mr. Pratum was again there for us. He always returns our calls quickly and he knows what he is talking about. He is a powerful advocate for us. He treats us as a friend would, not just a customer. I really appreciate that he does not charge us for every minute. His upbeat attitude, hardworking, compassionate and caring traits are appreciated. He is an attorney I enjoy recommending to friends, family, customers and other business owners. I get a happy and appreciated thank you response from them.
Posted by Sky
Michael has been an attorney for me for almost ten years. From helping with a severe car accident in 2000 to helping me with a false arrest currently. He also has been always available to answer my questions. If he doesn't answer the phone he calls RIGHT back. In my opinion he is honest, trustworthy, and truly cares, not just about my case but myself and my family's well being as well. I have dealt with several other attorneys here or there for minor questions and paperwork etc. At this point I would use no one other than Mr. Pratum and would absolutely refer him to anyone who needed legal assistance. Also very important to mention is that Mr. Pratum is very quick and is always on the ball. I couldn't think of someone who even comes in second to his abilities and personal attention.
Posted by Deana
In July of 2009 I was arrested for two offenses that had very serious possible consequences. I had never been in trouble with the law before and I felt lost, humiliated and afraid. I didn’t know where to turn.
I have worked in the legal field for almost 15 years so I know a few things about attorneys and the court system. However, I have never had to personally be involved with either. In fact I now recruit attorneys for the law firm I work at so I am pretty confident in my ability to recognize good qualities in attorneys.
I happened to know Mike from his volunteer work in my community. I asked him if he could meet with me and answer some questions I had about my situation. After our meeting was the first time that I could see some light at the end of the tunnel. I felt like one way or another everything would be okay. He explained to me the type of cases he was handling at present time and gave me some names of people in the industry that I could talk to if I decided to go a different direction with my case.
I researched Mike’s license status on the WSBA website and learned that there was some disciplinary action taken a while back. After reading the narrative (what WSBA decided to include) I decided that this is a man who made a mistake, didn’t run from it, made amends, has learned from it and is going on with his life and career a better person from it. Those are characteristics that I truly admire; characteristics that I could relate to.
I interviewed a few other attorneys, did an alcohol evaluation with a treatment professional and did some soul searching. I decided that I was going to do a deferred prosecution and that Mike was the attorney for me. He had the most knowledge, the right price and the compassion that so many in the legal field are lacking these days.
As far as the legal proceedings are concerned, they couldn’t have gone smoother. Mike kept the lines of communication wide open and responded in a very timely manner to all of my inquiries, either emails or phone calls. Mike explained everything and told me what to expect before each hearing. He worked well with the prosecution and in my opinion, got me the best deal I could get. Both charges were combined and deferred and I am now able to focus on my recovery.
It is my opinion that Mike Pratum is an excellent attorney. I highly recommend him to anyone.
Posted by Wilson
My family had a tough case that needed professional advice. I've never hired a lawyer before and this wasn't your typical case. It was a very sensitive matter on both a personal and financial level.
I'm pretty much skeptical of lawyers but really anyone I hire who's a lot more knowledgeable in an area than me, so there's always some hesitation of whether the lawyer is truly interested in the case and wants to help or whether he wants to just get paid. Fortunately, we got a lawyer who truly cared about the case, about those involved, and also wanted to see justice served. From our first phone call, I felt pretty sure I found the lawyer for us.
However, I still felt the need to check the lawyer out and we found the citation that Mike had. I'm sure that some of you are probably saying there's no way we are hiring this guy...that certainly crossed our mind. I mentioned it to Mike and he understood the reason why it gave us paused, he offered to explain the situation, and if we felt afterwards that we wanted a different lawyer, he would gladly refer us to some other other lawyers.
We figured there was no harm in hearing him out and we really needed to find a lawyer and I hadn't had much luck in finding one I liked (other than Mike initially). I won't go into details about the citation, you can find that out yourself, but I also encourage you to let Mike explain the situation. The one thing I would say is any citation is a big deal, so don't get me wrong, but after taking in what we read online and Mike's account, the whole family agreed that we still wanted Mike's representation. This wasn't a situation where Mike felt he was wronged and was resentful, but that he learned from his mistake, took the consequences of it, and we felt he deserved a second chance.
Mike knew we didn't have much money and so we set out a budget and goals of what we wanted to accomplish and worked from there. Any time we could save money by doing the leg work ourselves, he let us know. I don't know about you, but it seems silly to charge an arm a leg to make copies, when you can do it yourself. We also communicated by email which saved money on having to set up numerous appts and meeting times (we did those when necessary).
As for his legal skills, Mike guided us through the whole process, clearly explaining to us the pros and cons of every decision that we made. He was also kind of enough to counsel us on a very emotional case. When our case touched on field that wasn't his expertise (our case was multi-facet), he referred us to another lawyer who was also great to work with.
I can't recommend Mike enough. Our case is over now, but Mike still checks up on us to see how things are going. How many lawyers do you know would do that? Not many unless you are on clock and they can bill you.
All and all, I'm very pleased with the service that Mike provided and I know that the next time I'm in a legal bind, Mike's the first person I'm going to call.
He should be the first person you call too. You won't be disappointed.