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AVVO & Rate MD: Ratings for lawyers & doctors.

img_logo.gifFrom Kevin MD Via Overlawyered: Avvo: Stop rating me or else

Raise your hand if you had "two days" in the "How long before Avvo ran into legal difficulties?" pool. According to the Seattle Times' blog, on June 7 -- just two days after Avvo publicly launched as a lawyer rating service -- a local criminal defense lawyer, John Henry Browne, threw the lawyer's equivalent of a temper tantrum. An excerpt from his demand letter to Avvo:
"I wanted to notify you that I have retained counsel and will be exploring a lawsuit against your corporation for the ridiculously low rating you gave my law practice and the practice of other well-known and competent attorneys. We have yet to determine whether it will be a class action lawsuit or not. However, your rating and the attendant publicity has damaged my law practice and will continue to do so. In an effort to limit damages, I request that you remove your profile of me from your website immediately."
You've got to love the claim that his law practice was damaged in a total of two days. It's also questionable as to whether he has a cause of action in any case; Google regularly gets sued by those who want their websites rated higher, and regularly wins these suits (see, e.g., Mar. 1, Mar. 23, Nov. 2002.) These are likely constitutionally protected opinions, although it's obviously early to judge the merits of a lawsuit we haven't even seen about a website whose methods are unclear.
Avvo Lawyer Rating Site. 

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    I appreciate the recent links to Kevin, M.D.:Medspa Doc: Greeting your patients by name.AVVO & Rate MD: Ratings for lawyers & doctors.Death from excess topical methylsalicylate ointment

Reader Comments (2)

Is there a similar service for rating attorneys who will help with a problem I'm having with Pure Med Spa? To date, I have spent about $10,000 on services from them and have received perhaps $2,000 worth of services and a refusal to provide the rest or refund my money.

A young technician gave me a tremendous black eye using Restylene, and in spite of looking like I'd gone 10 rounds with a young Joe Frasier, declared the procedure "a success" (the other eye was undamaged). When I questioned this, on my next routine non-Resylene apt (as I had received some good services in the past with Botox, IPL, and other technologies), this technician publicly threw me out of the Spa for questioning her medical competence, and said I would receive neither the remaining services for which I'd paid nor ever be allowed into one of their franchises again.

Apparently Pure Med (or their predecessor) has a track record of not delivering services consumers have paid for, as there are Web sites where other consumer criticize them for the same problem: consumers not receiving paid-for svcs. I was told Pure Health's policy is "no money back," even if the service has not been delivered and the customer is not allowed in their store.

I called the President of Pure Health and also spoke to the Regional Manager about this issue, was told I'd hear from them within 24 hours, and never heard from them again.

If there any service that rates attorneys with expertise in dealining with companies like Pure Health? Thanks.

Evan Crawford

Our company, Ratingz Inc, has been operating as well as many other rating sites for over two years, and has never been sued. Our CEO, John Swapceinski, was also a co-founder of, and the creator of

Although these companies have been threatened many times, they have NEVER BEEN SUED. Rating and review sites act as public forums, and are legally protected from liability for the content by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

I believe the Berman suit, just filed gainast, is more about publicity than about legitimate points of law.

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