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Lawyers Libeling Lawyers

The United States may have have Don'tDateHimGirl.com, but Ireland has RateYourSolicitor.com, a Web site that encourages consumers to rate members of the legal profession as poor, average, good or "avoid." Sponsored by the sister site, CrookedLawyers.com, RateYourSolicitor features a Hall of Fame for those who earn good ratings and a Hall of Shame for those who fare less well in the ratings.

But some Irish law firms now suspect that their own former associates may be behind their poor ratings. A report in the Irish Independent (free registration required) says that some of the firms in the Hall of Shame used forensic investigators to track down the anonymous posters and were led to "the most unlikely of suspects: former disgruntled solicitors who used to work" at their firms. Several of the firms have now initiated libel proceedings against their former colleagues, the Independent says.

"This is the technological equivalent of writing insults on the back of the toilet door," said Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society who has been personally targeted on the site. "The anonymity of the content is what robs them of any credibility or value. You see words like scumbag, crooked, corrupt, conman, personal references to the colour of hair, the size of a particular female's anatomy. It is vile, venom and vitriolic abuse. A lot of it is vicious."

After an Irish television broadcast mentioned the site yesterday, more than 5,000 people tried to visit it, causing it to crash temporarily.

One wonders, if it did not like SuperLawyers or Best Lawyers, what would the notorious New Jersey ethics panel make of RateYourSolicitor.com?

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 7, 2006 at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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