Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ranking Lawyers?

The Financial Times in this article reports on the a new American website, Avvo,("avvo" as in "avvocato", the Italian for lawyer) aimed at providing "consumer-friendly attorney rankings" which was sued by a lawyer who didn't like his ranking. The judge ruled that "Avvo was merely expressing its first amendment right to free speech - and to free disparagement, so long as it was clearly couched as opinion and not fact." The judge then went on make clear that he had no time for lawyer rankings or indeed those for judges:

"In his opinion vindicating Avvo, that he was himself identified by the magazine Lawdragon in 2006 as one of the leading 500 judges in America, on the basis, among other things, of the fact that he cited Bob Dylan in his opinions. "What can one say about such nonsense," he asks in his Avvo opinion. "As my parents would tell me when I informed them of my amazing achievements as a child in Staten Island, NY, 'that and five cents will get you a ride on the ferry'." The judge made fairly clear that, even in these days when the ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan costs much more than five cents, he still considers such ratings worthless."



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