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Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:14
June 15, 2007 1:19 PM PDT
Avvo lawyer-rating site slapped with class action
Posted by Declan McCullagh
C/Net
A lawyer-rating site that inexplicably gave convicted felons higher numeric scores than law school deans is, in a move that was entirely predictable, being sued.

Avvo.com, which launched on June 5, compiles data from state bar associations and tries to compute a numeric score between 1 and 10 for nearly every attorney in the country. It's received $14 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Ignition Partners, co-founded by Microsoft alum and Avvo board member Brad Silverberg.

But the scores have proved to be somewhat arbitrary. Our review of the site noted that Avvo execs or board members received higher scores than Supreme Court justices. In addition, Avvo includes active profiles of attorneys who have been dead for more than a century, including Clarence Darrow and Abraham Lincoln.

Steve W. Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle, received a handsome 9.2 rating. But, sensing a promising financial opportunity, Berman decided to file a class-action lawsuit (on behalf of wrongly-scored attorneys) against Avvo anyway. Whether it actually becomes a class action is up to a federal judge.
Hagens Berman has a history of filing class action lawsuits against technology companies. It's gone after Apple for its iPod (allegedly too loud), eBay (allegedly a monopoly), Expedia (allegedly too expensive), and Apple, again, for the iPod Nano (allegedly too scratch-prone)....

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