Thursday, July 30, 2009

AVVO CEO Mark Britton Weighs In On Martindale Pay to Play AV Scheme, 2 Years Ago

So my post "exposing" Martindale Hubbell for charging a fee to tell users of it's website which lawyers were AV rated, got a big yawn in the twittersphere.

Scott Greenfield, who's always up for a good discussion of cheesy lawyer marketing, penned his usual thought-out response, which also generated a few passersby.

My thought, either the twitter lawyer world is mostly not AV rated as many are LINO's (lawyers in name only), they paid the $50 fee, or they just would never consider publicly criticizing any lawyer marketing God in fear of losing their right to pretend they were good lawyers.

Not even AVVO CEO Mark Britton had anything to say. I was surprised. AVVO is the new kid on the block in the same neighborhood as living in the starter home down the street. Surely Mark would jump on this.

He did.

Two years ago.

Newsflash: AVVO rating still free!

"A note to my fellow lawyers: While others may charge you $50 for a rating, the Avvo Rating is still free. Please accept this blog post as an invitation to do the following with your Avvo Rating at any time (and for free): Look at it, hug it, show it to your clients, taunt your coworkers with it, display it in your marketing materials, link to it on your website, email it to your Mother, or issue a press release about it. If I left anything out, I am inviting you to do that too for free.

OK, so why the newsflash? Well, I’m poking a bit of fun at Martindale Hubbell who, according to the blog Arbitrary and Capricious, is now charging $50 to rate lawyers.

Mark, predicting I would write about this two years later, makes my point: "They have one of the oldest rating systems that is respected by lawyers (we even consider it in the Avvo Rating); and as a Martindale executive my worry would be that such a “pay to play” model would only undermine that respect.
Marks post, received 3 responses, none of which had anything to do with his post.

So about 15 people care about this.

Congratulations Martindale, you win. Lawyers, and potential clients, lose.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit


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