An integral part of this service to the legal community is the Martindale-Hubbell Rating System. Under this system, Legal Ability and General Recommendation Ratings for individual attorneys are developed and published in The Law Directory. The goal of this impartial rating system is the development of unbiased, fair and accurate ratings for as many lawyers as possible, including Directory subscribers and nonsubscribers alike.
There are many lawyers for whom no ratings are published. Some have requested not to have their rating published, while for others, definitive information has not been developed because of the relatively few years the lawyer has practiced, the size of the bar or other reasons unrelated to the individual's professional competence, reliability or ethical standards. If the lawyer's practice is limited or specialized, it may afford little or no opportunity for others to form an opinion. Therefore, absence of ratings should not be construed as unfavorable.
Opinions are solicited via written questionnaires and by Martindale-Hubbell field representatives who conduct on-the-spot, oral interviews. No rating is established or altered solely on the basis of a field representative's report. Before any action is taken, confidential written inquiries are solicited from some, but not necessarily all, of the persons to whom the representative spoke as well as other legal professionals independently selected.
All inquiries seek to elicit recommendations based on personal knowledge of the professional standing of the lawyer under inquiry.
Legal Ability Rating
The Legal Ability Ratings are:
A - Very High to Preminent
B - High to Very High
C - Fair to High
The General Recommendations Rating
General Ethical Standards Ratings cover adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities.
The General Recommendation Rating is:
V - Very High
An attorney will not receive a rating at all unless he or she has first received a "V" or General Recommnedation Rating. Thus, when both categories of ratings are combined, and attorney will receive an "AV", "BV", or "CV" rating.
As a general rule, ratings are transferable within state boundaries. Ratings may also be transferred inter-state with a special symbol indicating rating was obtained in another state or province.
Since ratings reflect the recommendations of the legal communitym we need your continued help to ensure the impartiality of the ratings process. When you receive an inquiry concerning a member of your state's bar, please complete it and return it to us.
By doing so, you are not only providing a valuable service to the legal community as a whole, but are alos providing a measure of quality control to the attorney selection process. We extend our appreciation to every member of the legal profession who participates in this cooperative service to the Bar.