You may have noticed, while navigating around this website, the red circle icon, with the large “AV” at its center. This is referred to as the Martindale-Hubbell rating and it can tell you a great deal about an attorney.
140 Years of Assistance to the Public
Why do I say that? This is an organization that has been around for more than 140 years helping the public by providing a meaningful peer-review rating for lawyers across the country. With the internet today, it is a bit easier for people to learn about the attorneys in their respective areas, but that wasn’t always the case. The Martindale-Hubbell rating system is very meaningful because, in order to get the AV Preeminent award, like that received by Clifford Wells, one had to prove his- or herself to peers operating in the same courts.
Ratings are based on the survey responses of a group of peers. Attorneys are randomly selected by the organization to be reviewed, which means that even receiving a review requires that the attorney be recognized by Martindale-Hubbell. Once the process begins, surveys are sent to other attorneys in the area, who are asked to provide their opinions on the person in question.
The overall rating is based on the average scores from the completed surveys. The scoring is on a scale of 1.0-5.0, with the most respected attorneys receiving the highest possible score. The Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating is reserved for top-notch attorneys who have proven themselves in and out of the courtroom, winning the approval of the other attorneys in their region. This award is presented only to those who receive an average score of 4.5-5.0.
For those who have not had time to build a positive reputation, or those who have given reason for other attorneys to question their moral standards, the lowest possible score range of 1.0-2.9 is reserved. It is important to understand that being rated is an accomplishment in itself, and some of those falling in the “rated” category will have just started their careers, and will require a bit more time to earn the more prestigious qualifications.
The middle of the road candidates are those who will be rated as “BV Distinguished.” A score of 3.0-4.4 is necessary to accomplish this rating. But, you might wonder what the peer reviewers are asked about these attorneys.
Ethical Standards and Legal Performance
What earns a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney the Martindale-Hubbell rating for AV Preeminent attorney? The surveys are intended to learn more about the candidate’s ethical standards and legal performance. There is the opportunity to score the individual on the 1-5 scale, but also a request for information on performance in each of the following five categories:
- • Legal Knowledge. Of course, one wants to know that he or she is hiring an attorney who has a significant understanding of the laws in the area of practice needed. The more thorough that knowledge base, the better able the attorney is to assist his or her clients.
• Analytical Capabilities. Understanding the laws is one thing, but having the ability to interpret those laws in regards to each individual case is equally important.
• Judgment. A Saint Petersburg attorney must be able to make sound decisions for the sake of his or her clients. The ability to do so will lead to great future success, and also a greater level of respect among his or her peers.
• Communication Ability. This category is rather straightforward. An attorney must be capable of writing and speaking in a coherent, educated manner.
• Legal Experience. The number of years served in the practice of law will also count. This category is the reason for some of the younger lawyers earning lower ratings.
The Martindale-Hubbell legal directory has been held in high regard for more than 140 years, so when you see that AV preeminent icon, like that seen for Clifford Wells, you can feel confident that you are hiring an experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy personal injury attorney.