16 June, 2007

Rate Lawyers, Get Sued- Of Course

Attorneys sue site that comes up with ratings on ... lawyers

By Tricia Duryee

Seattle Times technology reporter

A lawsuit filed Thursday against Avvo.com aims directly at the Seattle startup's distinctive feature — a system of rating attorneys across the country on a scale of one to 10.

The plaintiffs, John Henry Browne and Alan Wenokur, are practicing lawyers in Seattle who called the system unfair.

They think their ratings, 5.2 and 6.5, respectively, were uncharacteristic of their experience, industry recognition and professional conduct.

The suit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle by Steve Berman, a Seattle attorney who has handled high-profile class-action cases and is a partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

The defendants named in the suit include Avvo and its chief executive, Mark Britton, former general counsel at Expedia.

Berman said the rating of Browne, a criminal defense attorney in Washington for 35 years, was hurt because Browne had been sanctioned by a state disciplinary authority.
Doing what lawyers do best, hide the truth...


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