4.5 stars 27 totalReview Steven Burkhalter
Anonymous review posted on
I hired Scott after a brief 20min phone conversation where he appeared to be charismatic and well versed. I looked for reviews from others as this has been the only time that I needed a lawyer and the reviews I did find were all favorable at the time. However, during my time working with him I found this to be totally the opposite. Scott had complaints made from the counselor representing my ex-husband as he didn't provide required or requested information in a timely manner which transformed communication and negotiation of a mutually desired divorce to a situation that was more hostile between all parties where it never needed to be that way. He showed not only disrespect to myself as his client but was also unprepared for mediation discussions with very unrealistic expectations and without full understanding of the implications of getting dates correct in the documents and how that could have legal ramifications. Scott forwarded me all the documents without noticing obvious discrepancies which made for significant impacts on progress during mediation. This showed a definite lack of attention to detail and preparation. Emails were forwarded to me from the other attorney without any "counseling" or any information from him as how to proceed. Scott asked what I wanted to do without even providing any counsel me but he charged me as if he did provide me with some counsel, just for a forwarded email. Scott also didn't admit to his mistakes. He didn't share critical information with the opposite counselor and when I inquired if information had been shared, I received no response. When confronted about other mistakes, he also claimed that I had "buyers remorse", which I felt to be a completely inappropriate statement for a lawyer to express in that manner to his client.
Scott didn't present me with his bill on a timely and consistent matter, even when I asked him to do so. His billing was erratic and wasn’t accurate. He charged for calls never made, emails that had no relevant or billable information and all of the emails still had to be checked all the time by myself. Scott was never prompt to answer any emails or calls relevant to the case but he did promptly respond to billing issues.
Once my third big billing came, and my amicable divorce had grown over $10K already and with the amount of outstanding issues that still had to be reconciled without any clear path to close the case, I decided to fire Scott and he didn't waste a minute longer to threaten me to ask the Court for a judgement if I didn't pay full amount within hours of his text/email.
I definitely would not recommend Scott as he made a bad situation into a horrible one.
Anonymous review posted on
He sells himself so high and delivers so little as a lawyer. He will first low-ball you making you think that your case can be handled reasonably but at the end you will pay multiple times of the initial estimate. If he gives you an estimate, multiply it by 4 or 5 because that is what you will end up paying.
One of his shameful tactics is the use of religion to pull in new clients; that's how he got me hooked. Do not be fooled by his religious role playing. For him religion is just a way to get new clients, nothing more nothing less.
Another one of his tactics is creating conflicts when there are none; he will then spend endless hours trying to solve them while charging by the hour. But that does not mean the problems he created will be soled in your favor, not at all.
Scott Burkhalter always avoids going to court for mainly two reasons. Firstly, he always chooses to solve the problem directly with the opposing counsel. So, instead to going to the court and solving the issue in one day (four to eight hours), he will drag his feet and spend tens of hours (sometime close to one hundred hours) emailing you and the opposing consul which means a much much higher bill for you. The second reason is that his court room performance is laughable. He is incompetent in the court room. Dragging his feet does not hurt you just financially; in my case there were so many “time-sensitive” issues that went unresolved due to this very reason resulting in my children being damaged irreparably in the process. I can write a book with thousands of pages about his tactics, misconducts and crookedness. He is not to be trusted in anyway.
He was so dishonest and crooked that got kicked out of his last firm ( Beresford Booth PLLC) six months ago. Now, you have to ask yourself “what has he done to be kicked out of a firm that he worked for many years?”
I am preparing to file charges against his with Washington State Bar Association under Titles 1, 2, and 3 to have him disbarred. Failing to disbar him, I will make my mission in life to warn people not to be swindled by him. He is not to be trusted in any way. His days as a lawyer are numbered.
Posted by Bryan Taylor
My spouse and I sought out and chose this firm together for joint counseling and financial guidance in support of a pending difficult but cordial separation after 34 years of marriage. When we arrived at Beresford Booth we were led into a conference room and were first greeted by a paralegal that presented me with a waiver document and told me I must sign prior to meeting with Mr. Burkhalter and agreeing in writing that; based solely on the fact that my spouse placed the call setting appointment Beresford Booth reserved the option to represent my spouse only in the event of a future conflict. I signed the document out of trust this was a technicality, the separation would not last long and being naive to the family law system. We had never retained a family law attorney prior for any reason in our 34 year marriage.
When we saw Burkhalter we discussed some assurances for my spouse and he promised us for $1,000.00 he could draft a mutually agreeable contract to serve our needs. We paid the retainer and filled out our required forms together and gave permission to complete the documents that we later signed together. (I have a $1,000.00 cancelled check drawn on our joint checking to prove this joint meeting took place.)
Within six months there was a financial discrepancy favoring my spouse in the amount of $10,000.00. I called Mr. Burkhalter asking him if he could ethically talk to me about this matter, he said yes, we discussed and he agreed there had been a breach by my spouse with respect to status of funds in our accounts. Beresford Booth within one week from that conference call entered into private discussions with my spouse and ultimately filed lawsuits against me and filed for my spouse legal separation actions. They also demanded immediate mandatory support for my spouse without regard for our largest mutual obligations, including our home mortgage.
The results to date have forced me to make payments to my now ex-spouse and incur debt to my now ex-spouse totaling in excess of $500,000.00; 55% of my net income and all of our liquid assets Beresford Booth could access and leverage are gone. My separate required attorney fees are now above $50,000.00. Having waited a full year since Beresford’s Booth withdrawal from this case formal malpractice claims I have written in layman’s terms are under legal review for ultimate submission and determination by the Snohomish County Bar Association. I am taking these online review opportunities and complaint steps only after repeated attempts to discuss these issues with Mr. Burkhalter and one of the firm principals, Dick Beresford, they have refused to comment or acknowledge my inquiries directly.
In the interest of disclosure, after filing lawsuits against me, Mr. Burkhalter transferred this file to another attorney in the same office of Beresford Booth. Although she has been an active attorney in this matter, I do not mention her as she was never retained by me.
Beginning with an honest attempt to find a trustworthy experienced attorney to counsel my spouse and me through a difficult but potentially recoverable marital dispute; Beresford Booth’s unethical shift to one sided overstated advocacy for my ex-spouse caused years of unnecessary fee generating legal actions for both sides. This entire case has left me not only financially stressed to the limit; it became so exaggerated against me I have lost a sacred and unbelievably unique father-daughter relationship with a 37 year old married daughter. I have a granddaughter and grandson I have never been allowed to meet partially because of the level of contentiousness this dissolution activity reached.
If your goal in marital conflict, separation or dissolution is very aggressive irrevocable actions against your spouse or ex-spouse in family law disputes and the Snohomish County Court system perhaps this attorney may be for you.
Posted by Chad
Scott represented me during a lengthy custody battle for my children. For any Dad going through a divorce or custody battle, Scott is exactly the person that you need on your side. Anyone who has been through these dark waters will tell you that nothing can prepare you for what you are about to endure. Scott is that guiding light that will help you navigate and be the voice of reason when you need it most. He is trustworthy, responsive, knowledgeable, and he will keep you informed along the way. I cannot thank him enough for helping me get my children back.
Posted by Charles
Scott guided me through a divorce case with exceptional knowledge and practicality. He was very good in explaining the options, capable and willing to champion my interests, but also deferential doing what I wanted rather than furthering his own ego or other goals. I highly recommend him as a consummate professional.
Anonymous review posted on
I started off my divorce with a different lawyer using the collaborative process. I did this because my ex felt it would help us avoid a nasty drawn out divorce.. for the sake of our kids. We were married for 20 years and stuck it out as long as we did for the kids. After our last kid went to college we decided to divorce.
The collaborative process was horrible. The two lawyers, accountant, and emotional coach were costing me $1K/hour. They seemed to always be on my ex's side. There was a lot of touchy-feely meetings but very little compromise. I let it drag on far too long. After a year+, I decided to get a second opinion and found Scott. Thank goodness I did.
Scott turned the whole process around for me. It was a good experience - he was professional, friendly, empathetic, and did a great job driving my divorce to closure. He gave great advice and was cost-sensitive. I was finally able to get my divorce done through mediation, and split at a reasonable settlement, saving me a lot versus the previous attempt. I felt like Scott was there for me the whole time.
I highly recommend Scott.
Anonymous review posted on
Scott was a great lawyer! He handled my high conflict divorce in a very professional manner and had my best interest at heart the entire time. He was very cost conscious and honest yet got the job done!
He was a very strong advocate for me and my kids and was a very strategic, caring and effective lawyer. It was a very difficult case involving property division and child support as well as a special needs child. He was tough when he needed to be but at the same time always maintained a very professional demeanor. I wanted to throw the towel in on several occasions but he would not let me give up and in the end he got the job done.
He is great to work with...very smart but also has a great sense of humor when you need it the most. I would highly recommend Scott for any family law issue you may have.
Posted by Chelea
Scott made an ugly divorce go smoothly and quickly. He was always cost conscious and honest and had my best interest at heart. He is a caring, strategic, smart and effective attorney. I have referred many people to him and will continue to do so. He is still a huge help to me and an excellent resource.
Posted by John
I talked to a few lawyers after I was served divorce papers early this year. Unsure which one to pick, I was referred to Scott by my RE Designated Broker. Looking back, I think I made a great choice. His approach was very expedient and pro-active despite the opposing counsel's responses. Scott's superb guidance and personable character made the difference during the entire process. Overall, Scott went above and beyond my expectations!
Anonymous review posted on
I needed representation in a tough child support case. I live a great distance away, therefore I was hesitant about how this could even work out being as , due to other family issues, I could not travel to Washington. Scott took responsibility, and did a perfect job at what ended up being a long battle with many variables, and truly guided me through an arduous and often frustrating ordeal. To make a long story short, he did exactly what I was hoping he would do, help this case along with a very fair and reasonable outcome considering the circumstances.
I am extremely appreciative of the work he and his Paralegal, Jennifer, have done to get me through this very difficult time, and will recommend him without hesitation to anyone. I also appreciate Scotts personable nature,and his genuine interest in doing what is right and just. I don't think I could have found better representation in Washington State if I had been there myself, in person, and handpicked a lawyer! Thank you Scott and Jennifer, your professionalism and kindness will not be forgotten!