Ian M. Bauer
Partner

Contact Me:

(253) 948-3557

ibauer@pcvalaw.com
Practice Areas:
Education
  • Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. – 2004
    • Magna cum laude
  • Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut
    • B.A. – 1999
    • Major: Government
Honors
  • National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Selected to Thomson Reuters Washington Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2009, 2016-17
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Selected by LawDragon as one of the nation’s Leading Plaintiffs Lawyers, 2022
  • TopVerdict, Top Settlements Nationwide, 2017-19, 2021
Bar Admissions
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Courts, Western and Eastern Districts of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington
Biography

Ian Bauer represents vulnerable children, developmentally disabled adults, the elderly, and others who are victims of severe abuse or neglect. His clients, who have endured what no one should have to, suffer permanent, life-changing consequences as a result of the actions of others. Although Ian can’t turn back the clock on the devastating events his clients have experienced, he can work to achieve the justice they deserve, including the healing that results from holding their abusers accountable.

“There is tremendous power in survivors of abuse and neglect being able to tell their story – on their terms – to face the people who wronged them and have them held accountable in a formal, public setting,” explains Ian. “While the only tangible outcome that can be achieved in a civil case is an award of monetary damages, often the broader goal for my clients is to tell their story and, by holding the wrongdoers publicly accountable, ensure that no one else has to go through what they did.”

Ian’s commitment to his clients in their fight for justice is without exception. Their cases are not just files on his desk. They are the stories of real people with extraordinary challenges, who he sincerely cares about. He views his work on their behalf “a calling,” not a job.

Working for victims of abuse or neglect means that Ian is frequently investigating and litigating against large, powerful corporations, daycare centers, hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, government agencies, regulatory bodies, and youth sports organizations that have a vested interest in denying what happened, minimizing the extent of the abuse or neglect, or blaming someone else. Nevertheless, he is a fearless and effective advocate for his clients.

Before entering private practice, Ian spent time as a lawyer in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office defending state agencies and facilities against the type of abuse and neglect cases he now represents. This valuable experience gives him unique insight into how corporations, governmental agencies, and other institutional defendants operate and what is at stake for them. He can anticipate their tactics, defenses, and pressure points.

For Ian, the cases he takes also have meaning beyond the immediate legal issues. He believes that his work is sacred and solemn, that it serves a greater purpose. He wants the case outcomes he achieves for his clients to make a difference in their lives, to improve protections for the vulnerable, to change organizations in a positive way, and to influence policies, going forward.

“I feel very fortunate to wake up each morning and fight for people who may not have the ability, means, or ‘voice’ to advocate for themselves,” explains Ian. “This is especially true when their adversaries are powerful people, wealthy corporations, or sprawling, faceless bureaucracies. To address the people who wronged them, tell their story on their terms, and have their abusers held accountable in a formal setting is a tremendous feeling for survivors and their loved ones.”

In representing his clients, Ian sometimes collaborates with his PCVA colleagues on case strategy when unique circumstances arise. He is inspired by their enthusiasm and desire to realize the firm’s collective mission that no matter what condition a client comes into the firm, the goal is always for them to walk away with that sense of empowerment from taking ownership of their own story.

Outside of the office, Ian is a devoted husband and father to three children. He enjoys soccer, music, and spending time with his family.

Representative Cases

  • $11 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of five children who suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect at the hands of their biological parents
  • $9.75 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of five children who suffered extreme abuse, starvation, and neglect in the home of their biological parents
  • $8 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a developmentally disabled adult who suffered extreme neglect after Adult Protective Services ignored numerous reports that he was living alone and in dire need of protective services
  • $6.85 million settlement against DSHS and DCYF on behalf of a profoundly disabled young man who suffered extreme neglect at the hands of his biological parents and extended family
  • $5.52 million settlement against DSHS and a private care agency on behalf of a profoundly disabled young woman who suffered extreme neglect in the home of her non-relative caregivers
  • $5.5 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a young child who endured years of horrific abuse and neglect in the home of his biological mother
  • $4.57 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a young child who endured years of horrific abuse and neglect in the home of her biological mother
  • $4 million settlement against DSHS and DCYF on behalf of a young man who endured years of horrific abuse and neglect in the home of a non-relative caregiver
  • $3 million settlement against DSHS and DCYF on behalf of a young woman who endured years of horrific abuse and neglect in the home of a non-relative caregiver
  • $2.5 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a profoundly disabled woman who suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect at the hands of her state-paid caregiver
  • $2.4 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a profoundly disabled woman who suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect at the hands of her state-paid caregiver
  • $2.075 million settlement against DSHS and DCYF on behalf of two young women who endured years of abuse and neglect in the home of their biological parents
  • $2 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a young woman who endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of her biological father
  • $1.5 million settlement against DSHS on behalf of a young man who was sexually abused in a state-licensed group home
Professional Associations
  • Washington State Association for Justice, EAGLE Member
  • American Association for Justice
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • King County Bar Association
  • Pierce County Bar Association
Published Works
  • Trial Magazine, “Shining a Light on Child Welfare Agency Negligence (2022)
  • WSAJ Civil Rights Deskbook, “Civil Rights Claims Involving Social Worker Misconduct” (2022)
  • The New York Law Journal, “The Importance of Gatekeeping in Social Services: A Legal and Policy Perspective” (2021)

Classes & Seminars

  • Speaker, “Civil Rights Claims Involving Social Worker Misconduct”, WSAJ Annual Conference, 2022
  • Speaker, “Avoiding Evidence Landmines Before & During Trial”, WSBA CLE, 2018
  • Speaker, “Changing Perspectives”, TCPBA Annual Tort Law Update, 2014
  • Speaker, “Determining if it is Time to Settle”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Trial Organization & Witness Prep CLE, 2013
  • Speaker, “Advanced Mediation and Negotiation”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Negotiation Skills CLE-Lite, 2013
  • Speaker, “Hearsay – What it is, What it Isn’t”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Basic Litigation Skills CLE (Evidence), 2013
  • Speaker, “Motions in Limine & Offers of Proof”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Basic Litigation Skills CLE (Evidence), 2013
  • Speaker, “Deposition Basics”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office – AGO Academy, 2013
  • Speaker, “Internal and Cross-Divisional Coordination on Litigation and Client Representation”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Recurring Issues CLE, 2012
  • Speaker, “Early Motions Practice”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Federal Practice CLE, 2012
  • Speaker, “Ethical Issues Regarding Preparation and Use of Expert Witnesses”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Expert Witness CLE, 2012
  • Speaker, “Effective Use of Exhibits”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Evidence CLE, 2012
  • Speaker, “Motions in Limine & Offers of Proof”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Motions & Injunctions CLE, 2011
  • Speaker, “Motions in Limine & Offers of Proof”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Basic Legal Skills CLE (Evidence), 2011
  • Speaker, “Washington’s Interlocal Cooperation Act, RCW 39.34”, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Contracts CLE, 2006