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Avvo's Ratings 'a Crock'

Trust us, Avvo's ratings are a crock. So writes Scott Graham, editor-in-chief of The Recorder in San Francisco and Cal Law, at the blog Legal Pad. With all the controversy surrounding the new lawyer-rating service, Graham decided to see how some of California's most prestigious attorneys fared. He picked some of the top names from Chambers USA's guide to California's attorneys and found that Chambers and Avvo do not always agree. In the bankruptcy arena, for example, here is what Graham found:

"L.A. bankruptcy lawyer Kenneth Klee was one of the select few to score a perfect 10. Heller Ehrman bankruptcy partner Peter Benvenutti notched a nice 8.9. But Winston & Strawn bankruptcy sage Patrick Murphy -- identified by Chambers as a 'senior statesman' -- scored only 7.3. And Howard Rice's James Lopes was rated 6.5. What was PG&E thinking putting him in charge of its $12 billion bankruptcy?"

Corporate heavyweights met with similarly inconsistent results. For example, Graham writes:

"Cooley Godward M&W whiz Keith Flaum was rated 6.5, and O'Melveny heavyweight Warren Lazarow got two ratings, 6.7 and 6.4. Flaum and Lazarow were thus rated lower than ex-Hewlett Packard GC Ann Baskins (6.9), who resigned from the company last year after pleading the Fifth Amendment in regard to the pretexting scandal, and former Mercury Interactive Corp."

Graham walks through a number of examples, ending with The Recorder's own attorney, Levy Ram & Olson's Karl Olson, "who has rendered incomparable service to us for more than a decade." His Avvo rating: a "paltry 6.5." Leading Graham to conclude, "the ratings are a crock."

(Our legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer earlier this week spoke with attorney John Henry Browne, a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Avvo. Also on the program were bloggers Denise Howell and my Legal Blog Watch colleague Carolyn Elefant. Avvo representatives declined to participate.)

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 22, 2007 at 05:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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