Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Super Lawyers

The Bad Lawyer resides in a house with a Super Lawyer who happens to be the mother of the surly teenagers who also live, here. 


Super Lawyers is an advertising and promotional publication by a Minnesota-based operation that publishes a "magazine" and does magazine inserts around the country.  These types of promotional resources have existed in the law profession as long as I've been an attorney, Martindale-Hubbell which is owned by Lexis-Nexis, Inc. (which also owns, Law.com)--was the publication you wanted to be listed in when I was a "mere youth."  The Bad Lawyer is "A-V" rated, cool, huh?   Frankly, it's more important to be listed in the phone book, even better to be on your prospective client's "speed dial."

Of all these sorts of promo publications, Super Lawyers is the biggest bunch of BULLSHIT I'm familiar with in my business.  If this is something you're into, you get a bunch of your friends to nominate you and voila, you are a "super lawyer." When I first saw this publication--I don't know, maybe ten years ago?--I was curious.  Within a couple of months, a young lawyer that I got a first job for and who I knew to be inexperienced, not a litigator, and just acquiring skills was on the cover of this publication.  My reaction, was complete cynicism.  Oh, there is one other element, how, ethically, can lawyers promote themselves as "super lawyers," when the disciplinary rules prohibit self-aggrandizing statements in advertisements?  Then again how do lawyers get away with the garbage that passes for theri Yellow Page listings and television commercials?  Let's face it I'm getting old and cranky.

Oh, the blonde super lawyer that I share the house with--is in actuality a super lawyer in real life (as well as a Super Lawyer), but not because of some BS-advertising scam.   She acquired skills, education, and experience, the old fashioned way:  (which is the same way you get to Carnegie Hall) practice, practice, practice.


29 comments:

  1. You're not the only one getting old and cranky. So am I.
    What really makes me cranky is when people completely misrepresent the selection process of Super Lawyers because they don't agree with the results of the process.
    Here's what Judge Robert Fall, the Special Master selected by the New Jersey Supreme Court, to study and report on our selection process, had to say (this report formed the basis of the Court's ruling in In Re Opinion 39, 2008, a decision that vindicated Super Lawyers, and resulted in the eventual revision of the New Jersey rules on lawyer advertising):

    “[The Super Lawyers selection process] is a comprehensive, good-faith and detailed attempt to produce a list of lawyers that have attained high peer recognition, meet ethical standards, and have demonstrated some degree of achievement in their field."
    "Suffice to say, the selection procedures employed by Key Professional Media, Inc., are very sophisticated, comprehensive and complex."
    “It is absolutely clear from this record that [Super Lawyer does] not permit a lawyer to buy one’s way onto the list, nor is there any requirement for the purchase of any product for inclusion in the lists or any quid pro quo of any kind or nature associated with the evaluation and listing of an attorney or in the subsequent advertising of one’s inclusion in the lists.”

    If you want to see the details of our selection process, visit superlawyers.com and click the "Selection Process" tab at the top of the page (I was unable to reproduce the process here because your blog limits comments to 4,000 characters). If after reviewing the process, you have any suggestions on how we might improve it, please let me know.

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    1. Oh nonsense. I had a friend sent out an email asking people to vote for her because they knew her. She of course is now a Super Lawyer. What a load. Of carp.

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  2. Yeah, well, I choose to rely on magnetic business cards that can be easily applied to refrigerators. Sophisticated, comprehensive and complex.

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  3. I know nothing of the selection process of Super Lawyers, although I have been listed in the publication for many years. It was my understanding that you could get on the list by recommendations by friends, which to me is not a valid selection method. However, I do not know how i was selected since I did not solicit any recommendations from friends. So, the process may be much more complicated than I know.
    Super Lawyers should more broadly publicize the way it selects its awardees.
    Patrick

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  4. Your a publishing entrepreneur? what a better way to make a killing than marketing to a bunch of prima donna egomaniacs, like shooting fish in a barrel, IMHO

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  5. Superlawyers is bullshit. As a "Superlawyer" myself, I can tell you it is nothing more than a scam to sucker people into buying advertising space. All you have to do is look at the Orange County California to realize this. There are a bunch of local medical malpractice lawyers with mediocre credientials to say the least, who manage to vote for each other and their OCTLA friends, and who now advertise as being among the "Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County," when in reality, if you took a true poll of the local bar and judiciary, they would not make it in the top 1,000. What a joke.

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  6. I have personally dealt with many so-called "Super Lawyers" in my employment practice. The vast majority of them are the most discourteous, backstabbing, unethical attorneys I have ever encountered. Maybe being on this list went to their head. Two of them (in different cases) point-blank lied to the Court on multiple occasions. Hey, if it makes you a Super Lawyer to get a good result for your client by committing perjury, that's a club I don't want to join.

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  7. I dealt with a superlawyer recently who proudly states on his firm's website, under notable cases, that they "got someone divorced and prevent someone from getting alimony." This assclown impeded an agreement that was favorable to his client as he objected to a paragraph that is required under our state law. During our final round of negotiations he personally attacked me and when I began to respond he shouted "This conversation is over- only address me in writing." Wow- that is some super lawyer!

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  8. The best way to get on the list is to have your peers nominate you. Before you know it you will be on the list and dumb ass clients will be calling you because you are now a super lawyer. If it is on the web people will believe it. I had a good laugh reading the anonymous postings. At first I thought these anonymous people are just upset because they did not appear on the list, but after knowing some of the lawyers that made the top 50 super lawyers, well I must say the list is bogus and lacks credibility. I am sure there are some outstanding lawyers on the list, but what is the point of the list. Perhaps I should start my own magazine and call it "double super duper top attorneys", will that make them better than the "super lawyers"?

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  9. We looked into the selection process and it turned out to be a run around. If you need to select an attorney, call the local bar association or get a referral from a reputable attorney. If you need a liner for your bird cage or paper in which to wrap an old dead fish, the "Super Lawyers" publication will do fine.

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  10. Late to the discussion, but in response to "Bill White," I wouldn't exactly call the language you selected from the NJ opinion, "vindication."

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  11. Couldn't agree more. Superlawyers is a scam. Superlawyers is bullshit. I may or may not be one, I may or may not know attorneys who are. I can tell you it's an advertisement and the selection-process is a joke.

    The sad part is the public gets caught in the misrepresentation. It's disgraceful.

    All of the preceding consists of my humble opinion.

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  12. Better still. I hired one of these "Superlawyers" in San Fernando Valley. This superlawyer triple billed, refused to object to interim accounting and did not attend the final accounting hearing where fiduciary stole money from the trust, confirmed by probate investigators. As a client, lost total trust in all lawyers. Better go to D.A. for justice.

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  13. I am a licensed lawyer in Florida and Georgia. The Superlawyer scam is beyond insane. I have had several friends chat me up and request that I vote for them to be included. On nothing more than friendship. And that was really the only basis upon which they could be included, it was not legal ability, lol!

    I suggest that all lawyers should now advertise that they are Super Lawyers on their website and let the absurd, corrupt bar associations figure it all out.

    The public is so SCAMMED and SUCKERED by this absurd nonsense!

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  14. And remember, the Bar Associations have their cronies who benefit immensely from being labeled as Super Lawyers. The Judges know them. Special masters know them.

    Law Practice is one of the biggest scams in the world. The only justice is that they are beginning to starve (sadly, the good with the bad though).

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  15. Hey Superlawyer, STOP killing trees!! I just received your unsolicited 363 page garbage "Superlawyers" publication. It immediately went into the recycling bin

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  16. Agree with many of the comments here. Super Lawyers is little more than a popularity contest. I'm sure there are some very good attorneys listed, but only by chance. I've seen many attorneys listed on Super Lawyers that were terrible, and in some instances professional malpractice cases waiting to happen. How did they manage to get on Super Lawyers? Self promotion, votes by friends, and a total disregard for actual ability.

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  17. Super Lawyers is just that - a title - that could be given to any one being refered to by people who knew them or they knew those people. Nothing special in there.
    Macon Lawyers

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  18. Pretty impressive site. The company looks great too.
    Macon Lawyers

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  19. Its quite funny how the lawyers themselves vote for each other, deeming them all SUPER LAWYERS. Some of the worst lawyers out there have this title and some people really buy into it. After having a really bad experience with a lawyer that was deemed a super lawyer, I called SL just to ask how a lawyer was designated a super lawyer...and was shocked to find out about the process. SCAM and JOKE aren't strong enough words for the process.

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  20. As an example of how ABSURD this super lawyer scam can, though I agree, some super lawyer winners are indeed great lawyers, take a look at the phony nominated lawyer, Ronald R. House, in 2014 in the San Diego Magazine. It says he's a lawyer for "developmentally disabled". Yet, he's really a lawyer that works for the quasi government agency called "San Diego Regional Center." Ronald House is their lawyer, who goes to Office of Administrative Hearings and fights against families who are asking the service agency for help. The real lawyers who represent the developmentally disabled are Disability Right's Attorneys like Wendy Dumlao. And the lawyers at Protection and Advocacy, NOT Ronald R House. No doubt, the people behind nominating Ronald R House for this phony, misleading title are those who think it's great he has represented the San Diego Regional Center in many cases where parents of severely disabled children are DENIED services.

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  21. I just received a number of email solicitations from lawyer/acquaintances of mine who said, "I just nominated you as a Super Lawyer, and would appreciate it if you would nominate me..." I know a number of Super Lawyers and some are good and others are not so good. However, they all got there by having campaigned for it. A much more reliable review program is the AVVO rating system. If a lawyer is rated a "10" by AVVO, chances are he has excellent credentials.

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  24. Using the term 'Super Lawyer' simply for promotion is just not good. 'Super lawyers' do exist in real life. The other term for them can be the Best Lawyers . They are known so based on their dedication, hard work and commitment.

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  25. In Oregon, the Super Lawyers are generally people I know to be good lawyers. Yeah, it's for advertising, but I think the publisher maintains some integrity by not generally picking idiots. Those who complain about it are usually not on the list.

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  27. Super Lawyers is just a business promoting magazine like Yellow Pages. Even a super flop lawyer who has no business and never appears in a court can also be a super lawyer if he/she plays with tricks. It is totally misleading and falsifying the clients to show him/her better among others. It should be immediately stopped. It's all the nonsense propaganda.

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  28. A few weeks back I happened to be talking with a former colleague of mine. Just catching up on what's new. He's been sweating away at a medium sized form while I've been doing the solo route. He hasn't had a single trial. He's attended a few motion hearings. Lo n behold I see he is a Super Lawyer. Based upon what??

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