Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. Lawyer ratings serve as an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability and are used by buyers of legal services to justify their hiring decisions. Combined with the Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings, self-reported professional credentials and other fact-based performance data, the Peer Review Ratings contribute to the comprehensive view of a lawyer.

WHAT ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™?

The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. The first review to establish a lawyer's rating usually occurs three years after his/her first admission to the bar.
Martindale-Hubbell facilitates secure online Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are asked to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. The ratings appear in all formats of the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory, in the online listings on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM, on the Martindale-Hubbell services, on Martindale-Hubbell mobile apps.
The Ratings Explanation
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. A threshold number of responses is required to achieve a rating.
The General Ethical Standards rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Those lawyers who meet the "Very High" criteria of General Ethical Standards can proceed to the next step in the ratings process - Legal Ability.
Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). These areas are:
  • Legal Knowledge - Lawyer's familiarity with the laws governing his/her specific area of practice(s)
  • Analytical Capabilities - Lawyer's creativity in analyzing legal issues and applying technical knowledge
  • Judgment - Lawyer's demonstration of the salient factors that drive the outcome of a given case or issue.
  • Communication Ability - Lawyer's capability to communicate persuasively and credibly
  • Legal Experience - Lawyer's degree of experience in his/her specific area of practice(s)
The numeric ratings range may coincide with the appropriate Certification Mark:
  • AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0) - AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
  • BV Distinguished® (3.0-4.4) - BV Distinguished® is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. A widely respected mark of achievement, it differentiates a lawyer from his or her competition.
  • Rated (1.0-2.9) - The Peer Review Rated designation demonstrates that the lawyer has met the very high criteria of General Ethical Standing.
Areas of Practice
Martindale-Hubbell uses a specific practice area list in the review process to help ensure that all lawyers are rated upon equivalent practice areas, regardless of how individual lawyers choose to articulate their area of expertise. This allows users of ratings to compare and contrast lawyers with a specific area of practice. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ area of practice list is based on user behavior, research on emerging areas of law, and other forms of legal research. Martindale-Hubbell updates the list regularly to reflect the changing needs of the legal industry.
Feedback and Comments
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ allow reviewers to provide feedback on the lawyer under review. Feedback is displayed anonymously in conjunction with the review results. Lawyers are allowed to place a one-time comment next to any of the feedback. Martindale-Hubbell subscribers are able to highlight two peer feedback comments and position them at the top of their ratings display. Peer Review feedback will be archived after two years.

Peer Review feedback/comments are published for all attorneys who are listed on our Martindale-Hubbell database. Martindale-Hubbell publishes lawyer/firm rating information it has gathered about lawyers/firms and provides a forum for other third parties to share what they'd like to share about any particular lawyer(s) on our websites martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM. The site is not law firm advertising and Martindale-Hubbell is not acting as agent for any lawyer or law firm in publishing this information. Each lawyer/law firm must decide for itself how it wishes to use any Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings information and, as stated in the terms of use, each lawyer/law firm is wholly responsible for ensuring that any use it makes of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings or of data is compliant with the ethics rules affecting that lawyer/law firm.

HOW ARE RATINGS DETERMINED?

Every lawyer actively practicing law who is currently listed on martindale.com® and Lawyers.comSM (including subscribers and non-subscribers to Martindale-Hubbell®), who have been admitted to a bar in the U.S. or Canada for at least three years and are in good standing, are eligible to receive a peer rating.
For Martindale-Hubbell to facilitate the review, a lawyer must provide their area of practice and admission year. To take advantage of the online review process, a lawyer must provide a valid email address. To be reviewed themselves, lawyers must also participate in the process of reviewing other members of the bar.
The majority of Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are initiated by Martindale-Hubbell through random selection of lawyers listed on martindale.com and Lawyers.com, on a geographic basis and in a specific area of practice. To be randomly selected by Martindale-Hubbell for a review, a lawyer must meet the eligibility requirements. Upon completion of a random review initiated by Martindale-Hubbell, a lawyer can elect to submit peer references. Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right to initiate a new review if it receives information indicating that a rated lawyer's ethics or abilities are under question or otherwise.
Here is some information about the reviewers and the process:
  • The reviewers are members of the bar and judiciary (lawyers and judges) across select multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations They are from similar areas of practice and/or industries as the lawyer being rated, who attest that they know or have worked with the lawyer under review, and are able to rate them on their professional ethical standards and legal ability
  • All Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings review materials are treated as anonymous. Martindale-Hubbell takes steps to protect anonymity (e.g., not associating reviewer names with their responses and aggregating their responses with responses from other reviewers before sharing or publishing them), but it is possible that responses may contain sufficient information to allow the rated lawyer to ascertain the identity of the reviewer.
  • Although Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are anonymous and reviewers' identities are not published, in an effort to provide more details to the users of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, Martindale-Hubbell will aggregate reviewers' basic demographics, including general position and general geographic location. Demographics are collected as part of the review for informational purposes to the lawyer. Examples of basic demographics are "private practice lawyer, senior partner, New York, USA."
  • A lawyer may also request a review by nominating his/her own peer references who have personal knowledge of his/her general ethics and legal ability in a specific area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell then requests that the prospective reviewers complete the secure online peer review evaluation. Those references will be incorporated into the process along with other reviewers who are randomly selected.
  • Peer reference nominees must be: lawyers or judges; from outside the lawyer's organization; and listed on martindale.com. References must not consist of more than two lawyers from any one organization. A lawyer may submit peer references only once annually and there must be a minimum of 18 references submitted for a peer review process to be initiated. To ensure a credible process, Martindale-Hubbell will include several randomly chosen reviewers in a similar area of practice and/or geographical location along with the submitted peer references.
  • Martindale-Hubbell subscribing lawyers may go to the Client Service Center to request a review and submit peer references. All other rated lawyers may request a review by emailing the request to ratings@martindale.com.
Martindale-Hubbell facilitates the peer review process by gathering responses, validating their submission, and aggregating results for display online. The content of the responses is entirely from reviewers, the peers of the lawyer. Peer reviewers must affirm that they are a peer of the lawyer identified for review. A peer can submit only one review for a specific lawyer within a 12-month period.
Though a lawyer's rating generally may improve over time, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ can be revised downward, or even removed if a decline is noted in ability or ethical standards. While Martindale-Hubbell makes available the option of regular rating reviews for the lawyers, the most recent results are relied upon when determining the final rating. Sometimes, from among the responses that Martindale-Hubbell receives, there are not enough qualifying responses to meet the threshold of the General Ethical Standards Rating from a lawyer's peers during the review process (even after the lawyer had an opportunity to initiate a lawyer requested review). In that case, that lawyer will not be included in the review process for a period of two years, but will then be eligible to be reviewed again in the third year thereafter. Any existing peer rating will be immediately removed.
It is the policy of Martindale-Hubbell to conduct regular random periodic reviews of all Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings to insure they accurately reflect the reviewing peers' input. Where supporting opinions dictate, appropriate action (such as deleting, raising or lowering a rating) is taken, within the sole discretion of Martindale-Hubbell®.
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings for any disbarred or suspended lawyers are automatically removed as soon as Martindale-Hubbell is notified by a state bar. Other types of lawyer disciplinary actions administered by the appropriate bar or judicial authorities may also be grounds to remove a rating. While bar-admitting authorities supply Martindale-Hubbell with disciplinary information, Martindale-Hubbell also reserves the right to investigate information from the bar or the judiciary regarding rated lawyers that may impact the ethical standards of a rated lawyer.
It is important to note that because Martindale-Hubbell does not undertake facilitation of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings for all lawyers, the fact that a lawyer is not rated should not be construed unfavorably.
If a firm/lawyer chooses not to display the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, all numeric ratings and feedback will be removed from display and language will appear that states "Ratings not Shown." All removal requests must be received in writing at ratings@martindale.com or by contacting our Ratings Representatives at 800-526-4902, Option 4. While there is no guarantee on timing, ratings displays generally will be removed from Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com within 24-48 business hours of an appropriate request. Once ratings are suppressed by request, they will be suppressed for a minimum of two years.
Any Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings feedback/comments that are submitted by reviewers are published for all lawyers/firms who are listed on Martindale-Hubbell® properties. Prior results described by a peer do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Martindale-Hubbell accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of any comments or responses displayed by Martindale-Hubbell. Martindale-Hubbell® may use comments/responses in accordance with the Terms and Conditions, but is not required to do so. Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right, in its sole, unrestricted discretion, not to publish or otherwise use any submission it receives.
Martindale-Hubbell provides a forum for parties to share what they'd like to share about any particular lawyers/law firms on martindale.com and Lawyers.com. The sites are not law firm advertising and Martindale-Hubbell is not acting as an agent for any lawyer or law firm in hosting this information. Each lawyer/law firm must decide for itself how it wishes to use any Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings information and, as stated in the terms of use, each lawyer/law firm is wholly responsible for ensuring that any use it makes of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings or of data is compliant with the ethics rules affecting that lawyer/law firm.
No subscription or listing on martindale.com or Lawyers.comSM is ever solicited or accepted on the promise of publication of a particular Peer Review Rating. No preferential consideration is ever given to any lawyer or law firm. There is never any payment made to lawyers and judges who participate in rating reviews. The process is a cooperative service with the bar and the judiciary.
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ Display
Please note that, effective October 2011, Martindale-Hubbell introduced a variety of changes to the way that Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are displayed on martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM. These changes were designed to foster a better user experience and to improve the clarity of the published ratings. Some of the changes rolled out include:
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and feedback are displayed for all lawyers with ratings
  • Ratings are prominently displayed on lawyer profiles so users no longer need to click-through for details
  • Reviewed lawyer's one-time response will be displayed next to peer feedback
  • Martindale-Hubbell® subscribers can select two peer feedback comments and position them at the top of their ratings display module
The purpose of these changes is to provide credible, trusted reviews for as many lawyers as possible, as well as to create new vehicles for enhancing connections between lawyers and their prospective clients.

WHY ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ IMPORTANT?

Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ benefit the entire legal community, from buyers and referrers of legal services to the lawyers and law firms whose ratings are published.
Specialized Law Firms:
  • Benefit from real-world input from other legal professionals when evaluating and selecting counsel.
  • Get an instant evaluation or dig more deeply into the candid assessments of a lawyer's specific expertise.
  • Refer another lawyer to your valued clients with confidence.
  • Generate awareness of and publicity for you and your law firm leveraging your rating.
  • Learn more about strengths and weaknesses of opposing counsel and potential hires.
  • Benchmark others - combine self-reported credentials, client assessments and fact-based performance data to learn who your biggest competitor is, and why their loyal clients perceive them to be so valuable.
  • Further establish your professional ability so you can stack up to -- and stand out from -- your competition.
  • Build professional relationships and be a part of a community of high-quality legal service providers.
  • Leverage the power of the most trusted name in the legal industry - Martindale-Hubbell offers a reliable ratings system.
  • See how you, your partners and associates are improving over time using a formalized benchmarking process.
  • Provide a trusted, reliable source to reinforce and help validate what you say about yourself.
Large Law Firms:
  • Benefit from real-world input from other legal professionals when evaluating and selecting counsel.
  • Get an instant evaluation or dig more deeply into candid assessments of a lawyer's specific expertise.
  • Refer another lawyer to your valued clients with confidence.
  • Learn more about strengths and weaknesses of opposing counsel and potential hires.
  • Learn why the competition's loyal clients perceive them to be so valuable.
  • Provide a comprehensive and reliable indicator of your expertise.
  • Ensure your law firm and its lawyers are highly visible as buyers of legal services rely more on Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.
  • Leverage the sound Martindale-Hubbell methodology to promote your ratings.
  • Provide a trusted, reliable source to reinforce and help validate what you say about yourself.
Independent research has found that 87% of lawyers consult attorney review and ratings websites1 and that 60% of legal decision-makers use Martindale-Hubbell® to validate the credentials of a lawyer to whom they've been referred.2
1Source: BTI Consulting Group's Survey of How Clients Hire: The Role of Lawyer Profile Services and Directories, January 2011 2Source: 2009 Online Ratings Survey, Lightspeed Research; commissioned by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Corporate Counsel:
  • Evaluate and choose the right lawyer for work in out-of-state/unknown jurisdictions or for an unfamiliar matter.
  • Understand outside counsel's bench strength, experience and credentials.
  • Research and locate other corporate counsel to share best practices, for networking and for referrals.
  • Share feedback on working with a particular lawyer or law firm
  • Improve the depth of content available to buyers of legal services, arming the industry with knowledge to make informed hiring decisions

HOW CAN YOU USE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ TO MARKET YOUR LAW FIRM?

Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ Toolkit
In an increasingly competitive marketplace for legal services, the Martindale-Hubbell& Peer Review Ratings Toolkit is a proven, effective suite of benefits and services designed to:
  • Increase your visibility
  • Help you stand out from the competition based on legal ability and ethics
  • Give prospects an extra level of confidence that when they select you, they're selecting the right lawyer.
  • In addition to the standard toolkit icons displayed on your website, Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com® to promote your credentials, there is now a new widget associated with the icon giving it a new dimension and greater reach. The widget is easily integrated and provides viewers a look at your Lawyers.com and martindale.com profile in the form of a pop-up box, without leaving your website.
When you purchase the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Toolkit, you as a customer get access to our Client Service Center (CSC) from where you can download your toolkit icons.
For more information about this product, please complete the form below.

*The Icon Marks of Martindale-Hubbell identify the rating services of Martindale-Hubbell® and are authorized for use by rated lawyers and law firms only to reflect that they have gone through the rating process.

(* fields are required)

First Name *
Last Name *
Title *
Firm Name *
Number of Lawyers at Firm *
Email *
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Acknowledgments
Many Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated lawyers have also requested the opportunity to display their Martindale-Hubbell ratings as added validation of their professional ability and high ethical standards. Martindale-Hubbell, in collaboration with American Registry, LLC, for the manufacture and distribution of approved Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating acknowledgements, has created a handsome selection of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings acknowledgements to showcase your professional standing. Choose from a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Ratings Video, Wall Plaque or Certificate Marquee, personalized to your specifications.
All items are available for preview and purchase online at www.mhur.com. Simply enter your ISLN number to gain access.
Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™
The definitive guide to the most preeminent law firms in the United States and Canada, the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ is a critical tool in selecting outside counsel and helping reduce candidate pools.
Showcase your credentials to potential clients and lawyers looking to refer business when you display your firm's profile in the guide-exclusively available to law firms with at least one attorney who has achieved the AV Preeminent® rating.
Lawyers who receive the AV Preeminent® status have been awarded the highest ratings for their professional ethics and legal ability by their peers. Fewer than 8% of attorneys benefit from this advantage. Subscribers to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers will receive confirmation of your elite status along with a listing that provides:
  • A detailed Professional Profile which includes a highlight of your firm and all branch offices, primary area of practice and contact information
  • A leather-bound desktop reference and handsome certification suitable for display in your boardroom, office or reception area that reflects your elite status in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™
  • Your firm's listing on martindale.com® will be labeled with the exclusive Bar Register icon, the legal profession's symbol of excellence
  • Your firm will be listed in the online martindale.com Bar Register practice area search further expanding your firm's exposure and reach to a targeted audience
  • Receive the new Bar Register downloadable firm icon which you can use on your website, email signature, stationery and business cards
  • Exposure to general counsel of Fortune 500® companies
Join a select group of Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Lawyers
To learn more, please contact us at 800-526-4902, extension 5095 or e-mail info@martindale.com.
Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™
The Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ gives Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® peer review rated women lawyers the opportunity to demonstrate their status while creating opportunities for them to expand their professional networks with other elite women lawyers.
Be recognized
By listing in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers your credentials are showcased to corporate counsel and other users as they search for top-quality representation in a given practice area. Only those women lawyers that have achieved the AV Preeminent® peer rating and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field are included. Subscribers to The Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers will receive:
  • A detailed Professional Profile in the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers which includes a highlight of your biographical profile, primary area of practice and contact information.
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Client Reviews conducted with your clients via our secure network. Results can be reviewed by you and published to your martindale.com® and Lawyers.comSM profile.
  • A leather-bound desktop reference and handsome certificate suitable for display in your boardroom, office or reception area that reflects your elite status.
  • A customized Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers downloadable icon for exclusive use on your business cards, stationery and web site.
  • The presence of an icon indicating your membership in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers on your martindale.com profile.
  • Your credentials put before General Counsel at all Fortune 500 companies as they will receive a complimentary copy of the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.
Join a select group of Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Women Lawyers
To learn more, please contact us at 800-526-4902, extension 5095 or e-mail info@martindale.com.
Martindale-Hubbell® Top Rated Lawyers
Get value-added visibility when Martindale-Hubbell places your credentials in local, regional and national publication listings of top lawyers-available only to those who have earned AV Preeminent® status.
  • Increase your exposure
  • Broaden your reach
  • Validate your firm's credentials
For a complete list of our Top Rated Lawyers click here.

WHAT ARE THE USE GUIDELINES FOR PEER REVIEW CERTIFICATION AND ICON MARKS?

Certification mark users and Icon Mark users ("Authorized Users") are to follow the Permitted Uses/Non-Permitted Uses Guidelines ("Use Guidelines"). Authorized Users shall use the certification marks and Icon Marks only in the approved formats reflected in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ Toolkit. See Promotion of Ratings for further details on the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Toolkit.
Martindale-Hubbell, by designation from its licensor Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., is responsible for exercising reasonable control over the use of the certification marks and Icon Marks therefore will look for consistent observance of the Use Guidelines by the Authorized Users and will be vigilant in (1) watching for, identifying and correcting incorrect uses and/or abuses of any of the certification marks and Icon Marks and (2) dealing with abuses. Authorized User shall use:
  • Certification marks only to signify the rating they have achieved through the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings process
  • Icon Marks only to signify that they have been rated through the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings process
Authorized Users agree that for the right to use any of the certification marks and/or Icon Marks they shall abide by the Use Guidelines and recognize that Martindale-Hubbell can terminate or suspend the use rights of an Authorized User according to these Use Guidelines. Any Authorized Users who fail to remedy improper uses after notice from Martindale-Hubbell shall be subject to being denied the right to use the marks and to have their Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings cancelled.
As the Ratings Video (see www.mhur.com for an example) includes the Icon Mark and certification mark its use is therefore subject to these guidelines. Also, any use of the Ratings Video shall acknowledge that it is used with the permission of Martindale-Hubbell. Martindale-Hubbell shall have the right to terminate or suspend an Authorized User's right to use any of the certification marks and/or Icon Marks if repeated abuse of the Use Guidelines is found or for any abuse that may threaten the validity or protection of those marks without having to give prior written notice to the Authorized User.
Authorized Users agree they will immediately cease use of any certification mark and/or Icon Mark if Martindale-Hubbell shall terminate or suspend the authorization of the Authorized Users, and further agree that if a new review of an Authorized User results in a lower rating, the Authorized User will immediately take all reasonable steps to change appropriately the uses of a certification mark and/or Icon Mark being made by the Authorized User.
Authorized Users do not have the authority to sublicense or approve third party uses of the certification marks and/or Icon Marks. However, this does not prohibit an Authorized User from engaging printers or publishers to use the certification marks, Icons in materials prepared for the Authorized User as long as such uses are consistent with the Use Guidelines.
Persons with information or questions about correct/incorrect uses, or about abuses of the certification marks and Icon Marks can contact Martindale-Hubbell® at: ratings@martindale.com
Permitted and Non-Permitted Uses of the Martindale-Hubbell® Lawyer Rating Icon Marks ("Icon Marks") and the AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. ("Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Marks" or "Ratings Marks").
AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
BV Distinguished® Peer Review Rated
The Icon Marks are marks owned by Reed Elsevier Properties Inc. and used under license by Martindale-Hubbell to identify the lawyer ratings services conducted and administered by Martindale-Hubbell. Rated lawyers or law firms are Authorized Users of the Icon Marks only to indicate that they have gone through the ratings review. Peer evaluations establish ratings on a lawyer's legal ability and ethical standards. - AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks used by rated lawyers and owned by Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license.
Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Marks and Icon Marks: Permitted Uses
Peer Review Rated lawyers and law firms may use the Ratings Marks and Icon Marks in a manner that is consistent and compliant with the applicable rules and regulations governing lawyer advertising in the state/commonwealth/jurisdiction in which the marks are to be used, subject to the guidelines set forth below. It is the sole obligation of the rated lawyer or law firm to ensure compliance with the applicable rules and regulations regulating such usage.
It is expected that, wherever possible, when the Ratings Marks are used, the Icon Marks may also appear. If the Icon Marks will not also appear, the phrase "Peer Review Rated" should follow the display of the Ratings Mark. When both the Ratings Marks and Icon Marks are displayed, the guidelines for use of both the Ratings Marks and the Icon Marks must be observed.
Peer review rated lawyers and law firms may use the Martindale-Hubbell certification marks AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® under the following circumstances, and with the appropriate approved certification mark reference or rating explanation as noted below:
  • Printed Communications
  • Law firm brochures
  • Lawyer resumes or curricula vitae
  • Firm or individual lawyer letterhead
  • Newspapers
  • Outdoor advertisements
  • Business cards *
  • Professional announcements
  • Listings/Directories - prior written consent is required for directories not published by Martindale-Hubbell to ensure that the policies and standards for use of the marks are observed and the function of the marks is preserved.
  • Internet applications
  • Websites
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Lawyer Websites
  • Email communications
  • Internet banner advertisements
  • Radio-Television communications
  • Radio
  • Television
Printed communications (e.g., law firm brochures, lawyer resumes, directories, newspapers, outdoor advertisements, etc.), printed professional announcements and Internet applications must include the following certification mark reference:
AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
Printed professional announcements, and all print and CD-ROM based legal directories must include the certification mark reference AND the following rating explanation:
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
Internet applications must include the certification mark reference AND either the rating explanation identified above OR a link to a web page maintained by Martindale-Hubbell® which contains the approved explanation. This page URL is www.martindale.com/ratings.
Web-based legal directories targeted to lawyers and law firms will be required to have a link to a Web page maintained by Martindale-Hubbell which contains the approved certification mark reference and rating explanation
Radio commercials must state, in the commercial, that: (1) "AV®, and BV® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies" or " AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies." and (2) "Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards."
Television and other visual and audio media must state or have clear text, in the media, indicating that: (1) "AV®, and BV® and are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies." or " AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies." and (2) "Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards."
*Please note, business cards are not required to include the certification mark reference or rating explanation; however, the cards must include the appropriate trademark symbol AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® and the reference or rating explanation must be posted on other Printed Communications or Internet applications offered by the Rated Lawyer.
AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® in compliance with the appropriate use guidelines set forth herein are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license.
AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
BV Distinguished® Peer Review Rated
Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Marks and Icon Marks: Non-Permitted Uses
Use or mention of the Martindale-Hubbell Ratings is not allowed in:
  • Political pieces, advertisements, or campaign materials
  • "Letters to the Editor" or similar articles or opinion pieces that are public commentary or reflect the personal opinions of the rated lawyer or law firm

Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon

  • The Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon is owned by Reed Elsevier Inc. to recognize the collective membership of law firms and lawyers who are current subscribers to The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ ("Bar Register Members").
  • Bar Register Members may use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon only in a manner that is consistent and compliant with the then current rules and regulations governing lawyer advertising in the state/commonwealth/jurisdiction in which the marks are to be used, subject to any other the guidelines set forth herein. It is the obligation of the rated lawyer or law firm to ensure compliance with the most current rules and regulations regulating such usage.
  • Bar Register Members may use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon during the year(s) that they have an active, fully paid-up, subscription to The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and only on their law firm web pages, stationary, business cards and emails.
  • Bar Register Members may not use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon in any manner that implies sponsorship, endorsement, or license by Martindale-Hubbell of anything other than as described in the Agreement.
  • Bar Register Members may only use Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon as provided in these guidelines. Bar Register Members may not alter in any manner the Bar Register icon, including size, proportions, colors, font, configuration or legal trademark symbols. Bar Register Members may not assign or transfer the Bar Register icon or animate or otherwise distort the appearance of the Bar Register icon.
  • Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right to terminate any use of the Bar Register icon if any law firm or lawyer does not comply with these guidelines or its discretion reasonably believes that such use dilutes, diminishes or blurs the value of Bar Register icon.

Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable icon

  • The Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable icon is owned by Reed Elsevier Inc. to recognize the collective membership of eligible women lawyers who are current subscribers to The Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ ("Women Bar Register Members").
  • Women Bar Register Members may use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable icon only in a manner that is consistent and compliant with the then current rules and regulations governing lawyer advertising in the state/commonwealth/jurisdiction in which the marks are to be used, subject to any other the guidelines set forth herein. It is the obligation of the rated lawyer or law firm to ensure compliance with the most current rules and regulations regulating such usage.
  • Women Bar Register Members may use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable icon during the year(s) that they have an active, fully paid-up, subscription to The Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ and only on their law firm web pages, stationary, business cards and emails.
  • Women Bar Register Members may not use the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon in any manner that implies sponsorship, endorsement, or license by Martindale-Hubbell of anything other than as described in the Agreement.
  • Women Bar Register Members may only use Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ downloadable firm icon as provided in these guidelines. Women Bar Register Members may not alter in any manner the Women Bar Register icon, including size, proportions, colors, font, configuration or legal trademark symbols. Women Bar Register Members may not assign or transfer the Women Bar Register icon or animate or otherwise distort the appearance of the Women Bar Register icon.
  • Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right to terminate any use of the Women Bar Register icon if any law firm or lawyer does not comply with these guidelines or its discretion reasonably believes that such use dilutes, diminishes or blurs the value of Women Bar Register icon.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings™?
Martindale-Hubbell Ratings help buyers and referrers of legal services choose the right lawyer or law firm for their legal matter. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings include the reviews by peers and clients which, combined, can provide a compelling and comprehensive view of a lawyer or law firm.
What are Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™?
The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings attest to a lawyer's legal ability and professional ethics and provide buyers of legal services with the opinion of other lawyers to further inform their hiring decisions. Combined with the Martindale-Hubbell Client Review Ratings, self-reported professional credentials and other fact-based performance data, the Peer Review Ratings™ contribute to the comprehensive view of a lawyer.
I heard there have been changes to the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™, what are they?
All Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and feedback will display on martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM. Rated Lawyers will be allowed to place a one-time comment next to any of the peers' feedback. Martindale-Hubbell subscribers are able to highlight two peer feedback comments and position them at the top of their ratings display.
How does a lawyer obtain a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ review?
The majority of reviews are initiated by Martindale-Hubbell through the random selection of lawyer participants and respondents. A lawyer can also request a review by nominating peer references. Martindale-Hubbell subscribing lawyers may go to the Client Service Center to request a review and submit peer references. All other rated lawyers may request a review by emailing the request to ratings@martindale.com.
Is an individual required to have a paid listing on martindale.com® or Lawyers.comSM to be rated?
No. The goal of the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ service is to develop objective ratings for as many lawyers as possible. However, for the benefit of buyers of legal services, those lawyers who are also Martindale-Hubbell subscribers may benefit from increased exposure of their rating throughout martindale.com and Lawyers.com.
Why display Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ on Lawyers.comSM?
Adding Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ to Lawyers.comSM brings ratings to the consumer and small business markets and gives rated lawyers and law firms an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition in new ways.
How do Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ take place?
Lawyers and members of the judiciary receive an invitation from Martindale-Hubbell in an online format to provide their opinions on a lawyer or lawyers. They must attest that they have personal knowledge of that lawyer's general ethics and legal ability in a specific area of practice.
What are Average Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ on martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM?
Average Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings takes the average ratings of all lawyers across a firm into a single metric-enhanced rating at the firm level and helps firms with rated lawyers differentiate themselves from their competitors. Average Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings appear in search results and on law firm profiles.
Can I remove a review I do not agree with?
No, but you do have an opportunity to place a comment next to any of the peer feedback comments. If a firm/lawyer chooses not to display the peer rating, all numeric ratings and feedback will be removed from display and language will appear that states "Ratings not Shown." All suppression requests must be received in writing by ratings@martindale.com or by our Ratings Representatives at 800-526-4902, Option 4. While there are no guarantees on timing, ratings displays generally will be removed from Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com within 24-48 business hours of request. Once ratings are suppressed by request, they will be suppressed for a minimum of two years.
If lawyers practice in a large metropolitan area where there are thousands of lawyers, how do you identify those who know them well enough to gauge their professionalism?
We use various data points to increase the likelihood of the random sample knowing the lawyer in question, such as area of practice, past reviewers, geographical location, etc. This makes it easier to gather the data necessary to determine a rating.
Lawyers are often asked to provide names of lawyers and judges who can evaluate them. How does this fit into the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ process?
These additional Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings sources are requested when there is insufficient response to our initial surveys. However, no rating is ever established solely on the basis of references supplied by the individual under review.
What does it mean if a lawyer is not rated?
Some lawyers request not to have any rating published, while others may not be rated due to the length of time in practice, the size of the bar, or other reasons unrelated to their legal abilities or ethical standards, such as a legal practice that involves few peers. Lawyers also undergo periodic rating reviews during their career. The absence of a rating should not be construed as unfavorable.
Can a lawyer or law firm promote their Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ in general press releases or marketing materials?
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are the result of a peer review system, created by lawyers for lawyers, and can be published in various materials. Permitted uses by lawyers and law firms include professional ads and communications, including resumes, law firm brochures, websites, and public relations announcements when a rating has been established.

Every lawyer actively practicing law (registered bar lawyers), including subscribers and non-subscribers to Martindale-Hubbell, who has been admitted to the Bar for at least three years and who is in good standing is eligible to receive a peer rating. For Martindale-Hubbell to facilitate the review, a lawyer must provide their area of practice and admission year. To take advantage of the online review process, a lawyer must provide a valid email address. To be reviewed themselves, lawyers must also indicate a willingness to participate in the reviewing process of other members of the bar.
Do lawyers have the option of viewing peer review comments before they are published on Martindale-Hubbell online sites?
No. After peer review comments have been received for a lawyer, they will be posted automatically. The reviewed lawyer will receive notification to view the resulting Peer Review Rating and any associated anonymous comments. All lawyers are able to comment on any peer feedback and Martindale-Hubbell subscribing lawyers are able to select two feedback comments to place at the top of their profiles.

If the firm/lawyer chooses not to participate in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™, all numerical ratings and feedback will be removed from display and language will appear that states "Ratings not Shown" Firms and lawyers can no longer suppress or publish specific rating. All removal requests must be received in writing at ratings@martindale.com or by our ratings specialists at 800-526-4902, Option 4. Though there is no guarantee, Ratings and comments generally will be removed within 24-48 business hours of a valid request. Once ratings are suppressed by request, they will be suppressed for a minimum of two years.

RATINGS TRANSFORMATION

Based on extensive research and feedback from the legal community, in September 2009, Martindale-Hubbell changed the methodology by which Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are determined. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ continue to reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary about a lawyer's legal ability and professional ethics. To be rated, lawyers must meet the "Very High" General Ethical Standards Rating and must also be rated on their Legal Ability.
Changes to the Ratings Designations
The General Ethical Standards Rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. A lawyer must meet the "Very High" criteria of General Ethical Standards to achieve a Peer Review Rating.
Since September 2009, Legal Ability Ratings will indicate professional ability within a specific area of practice. Legal Ability Ratings are based on performance in five key areas, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). These key areas are Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capabilities, Judgment, Communication Ability and Legal Experience. For lawyers rated via this methodology, the Legal Ability numerical rating indicates professional ability within a specific area of practice.
A combination of the Very High General Ethical Standards Rating and a Legal Ability Rating determines the peer rating, includes a numeric ratings range which may coincide with the appropriate Certification Mark:
AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0)
BV Distinguished® (3.0-4.4)
Rated (1.0-2.9)
Additional Feedback and Demographics
The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ allow reviewers to provide additional feedback on the lawyer under review which provides qualitative depth and personality to the review. In an effort to showcase a lawyer's sphere of influence with his peers through the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, Martindale-Hubbell® aggregates and displays reviewers' basic demographics, including general position and general geographic location.
Transformation Timeline
Martindale-Hubbell changed the way it conducts reviews of lawyers in mid-2008. Several thousand lawyers display components of that changed program. Over the next ten years all existing rated lawyers will be re-reviewed so they can benefit from the detailed findings that the ratings enhancements afford. Lawyers not yet reviewed by Martindale-Hubbell will be reviewed in the system as they become eligible.
Martindale-Hubbell subscribing lawyers wishing to expedite the re-review process may go to the Client Service Center to request a review. All other rated lawyers may request a re-review by emailing ratings@martindale.com.
Transition to the Changed Program
During the transformation to the current system, those currently rated under the pre-September 2009 Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ program will be converted to the highest numeric rating, as close to an equivalent to their current rating, until Martindale-Hubbell® has completed a re-review of the lawyer in the changed methodology. For example:
Pre-September 2009 Program
AV® Peer Review Rated
BV® Peer Review Rated
CV® Peer Review Rated
As of September 2009
AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
BV Distinguished® 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
Rated 2.9 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
 
 

Contact the Ratings Support Team

Questions about Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Services can be sent by e-mail to ratings@martindale.com.
Or by mail to:
Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Services
Martindale-Hubbell®
121 Chanlon Road
New Providence, NJ 07974
Martindale-Hubbell and martindale.com are registered trademarks; AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks; Lawyers.com and the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated Icon are service marks; and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are trademarks of Internet Brands, Inc., used under license. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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