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December 19, 2007

Judge Says It Best When He Calls Lawyer Rating Systems "Ludicrous."

(UPDATE: 1/3/07 - Larry Bodine brings you more information on my new favorite judge in the AVVO case with more language from this (in)famous 'lawyer's ratings case.' Aaaaah.  When people speak common sense it is music to my ears.)

Although the lawsuit against Avvo had to be dismissed on the grounds of Free Speech the Federal Judge in this case gave us all a dose of real wisdom in his decision:

....their (plaintiffs Browne and Wenokur) lawsuit has focused a spotlight on how ludicrous the rating of attorneys (and judges) has become.... more power to them.

Main Entry:
Latin ludicrus, from ludus play, sport; perhaps akin to Greek loidoros abusive
1 : amusing or laughable through obvious absurdity, incongruity, exaggeration, or eccentricity
2 : meriting derisive laughter or scorn as absurdly inept, false, or foolish

Yes.  More power to all attorneys who state on their websites they do not support arbitrary, capricious and 'ludicrous' money-based ratings systems like Avvo that can, and unfortunately will, impact all lawyers...and disproportionately impact solos.  So, while Avvo can be temporarily happy the lawsuit was dismissed, remember their efforts have been publicly branded as 'ludicrous.'

Just because ratings systems can legally exist doesn't make them valuable for public consumption. Your active participation (or lack thereof) infers its value. And if you choose to participate in any of them professionally make sure you check your motivations and assess their short and long term impact not just upon you but the profession as a whole.  And as always, 'follow the money.'

You can read more about how I and others feel about Avvo and anyone like them here. Make sure to read the comments, too!


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