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Avvo Delivers Positive Reviews About Lawyers, Don't Expect To Find The Truth

Op-Ed Contributor

Published on 17 February 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Wiljam White


Seattle, WA

Avvo—founded by Mark Britton (a former attorney for Expedia.com)—was conceived while Britton was vacationing in Italy with Rich Barton, the founder of the real-estate database Zillow.com. According to Wikipedia, the name is derived from “avvocato” , the Italian word for lawyer.

Avvo's business model is dependent on revenue generated from the sale of advertising and other services to lawyers and the company scrapes (read: steals) those leads from other websites, violating the terms and conditions of many including the District of Columbia Bar Association, which specifically objected to Avvo's business practices.

Avvo then rates these lawyer profiles based on its own top-secret algorithm combined with reviews submitted by people who have used the services of a particular lawyer. Other news outlets have reported Avvo’s scores to be “some what arbitrary,” noting that Avvo’s “execs or board members received higher scores than Supreme Court justices.” Attorney Charles Krugel wrote that Avvo's attorney rating system is defective and biased.

Yesterday, I submitted two separate reviews to Avvo. The first dealt with Timothy Goulden and the second was about Armand Hyatt. I have personally used the services of both these lawyers. They are despicable men who should not be allowed to practice law, but practice they do; Goulden in Nashua, NH and Hyatt in Lawrence Massachusetts. They represented me in a claim against Pinkerton Academy. In my reviews I reported the truth to Avvo, but they refused to accept both submissions saying for each one that "The review you submitted was not approved because it does not meet one or more of our community guidelines."

According to Avvo's guidelines, my reviews were in complete compliance and apart from being unfavourable to both lawyers, there would be no reason why Avvo might refuse to accept what I submitted, unless of course, they were protecting these men.

If you want to advertise on Avvo's website go ahead, it couldn't hurt. But if you're someone looking for information that might help you to decide whether or not to hire a lawyer, understand that the website is biased and weighted in favour of the lawyers that support the website financially.

While you may 'have no legal fear', you will not have the truth either, so my advice is to pin the Yellow Pages to the wall and toss a dart at one of the names—it's just as accurate and a lot more fun!

Wiljam White founded WireNews+Co in April 2001.


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Posted 2014-02-17 17:35:00