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Beware AVVO and its attorney rating system:
An online lawyer rating system called "AVVO" publishes inaccurate lawyer profiles without the lawyers' knowledge or consent. If an attorney chooses to enter into a business relationship with AVVO, he can "claim" his AVVO-created profile and make corrections to it. But if he does not wish to do business with AVVO, AVVO will continue to publish inaccurate information about him. AVVO publishes what purports to be an online profile of attorney Dean in this same way, indicating erroneously that she has been disciplined by reprimand by the State of Connecticut, when in fact Attorney Dean has no disciplinary history.
The "Wall Street Journal ha[s] called AVVO an out-and-out scam, along the lines of other internet-based stick-up artists that use credit card information to milk people’s accounts until their card issuers blow the whistle." http://mccarthylaw.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/avvo%E2%80%94scam-or-no-scam/
The false information published by AVVO concerning attorney Dean was first brought to our attention in 2009 by a fellow lawyer. We immediately contacted AVVO management. AVVO required confirmation from the State of Connecticut before it would remove the statement concerning a disciplinary history. On November 2, 2009, Michael Bowler, Statewide Bar Counsel, sent this email to AVVO:
From: Bowler, Michael [mailto:Michael.Bowler@jud.ct.gov]
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 11:23 AM
To: Avvo Customer Care
Cc: Nathan Schindler; firstname.lastname@example.org; Martha Dean
Subject: RE: MARTHA DEAN - Avvo profile [ ref:00D78HCd.5007AKYgE:ref ]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am the Statewide Bar Counsel for Connecticut. My office maintains the records of attorney disciplinary complaints and their ultimate dispositions. It has come to my attention from Attorney Martha Dean that her AVVO display now or at one time incorrectly listed discipline, a reprimand in this case. I note from my search of AVVO that this does not currently appear, but Attorney Dean informs me that when AVVO replenishes its attorney histories the reprimand reappears.
Please be advised that Attorney Dean's license is active, she is currently in good standing, and has no disciplinary history. Would you please be sure to note this in her profile so that the reprimand does not show in the furture?
AVVO removed the untrue statement for a period of time; however, we have recently learned that AVVO is, once again, stating falsely that attorney Dean has been reprimanded. At this time we are evaluating legal options against AVVO.
Based on a large number of negative articles about and reviews of AVVO on the internet, and our own experience trying to get this online site to take down incorrect and damaging information, we can only conclude that AVVO is not a reputable company.
AVVO appears to post misinformation on attorneys who have not signed up for an AVVO profile in an attempt to force attorneys to do business with them and "claim their AVVO profile" in order to ensure correct information reaches the public.
In addition to posting untrue information so as to force attorney's to do business with AVVO, it appears AVVO's rating system is deeply flawed. According to Wikipedia: "News outlets have reported Avvo’s scores to be “... arbitrary,” noting Avvo’s “execs or board members received higher scores than Supreme Court justices.”" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avvo
Here are links to some additional articles about the criticisms of AVVO and its business practices:
What is AVVO?
5 Reasons Lawyers Hate AVVO.
AVVO: Scam or No Scam?