June 20, 2012, ERIE, PA — Yesterday I was advised by Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating service that other Erie attorneys and local judges had sent in ratings sufficient for me to earn an “AV – Preeminent” rating, the highest possible rating for a Pennsylvania injury lawyer available in the Martindale-Hubbell system. I have to admit that yesterday I allowed myself to wallow a bit in the ego boosting affirmation of the rating. After all, it really is a cool thing, especially coming as it does from reviews by other Erie lawyers and judges, and you can bet that we will happily advertise the rating here on our Pennsylvania injury law site and elsewhere.
However, today in the cold light of a new morning and facing a mountain of work, I am reminded that ratings are not the same as results and that they reflect reputation without offering a guarantee of future performance. So, let me take this opportunity to offer this perspective about Pennsylvania injury lawyer ratings to clients who are thinking about choosing an attorney for their accident or injury case.
Certainly, the fact that some rating service has identified a lawyer as the “Best Erie Injury Lawyer” is some indicator of achievement but to understand its value to you it is necessary to dig further into the criteria and methodology of the rating service. Martindale-Hubbell, for example, selects lawyers and judges in the community and asks them to submit confidential ratings of other lawyers.
AVVO.com is another lawyer rating service and depends upon client ratings, peer ratings, published works, and other credentialling criteria identified in their website but the exact formula they employ is confidential. Others use different criteria like the amount of the highest settlement or verdict a lawyer has obtained or, perhaps more problematically, whether the lawyer is willing to pay to be a subscriber or advertiser. Regardless, ratings are only as good as the criteria and methodology employed so look past the shiny rating and ask about how the rating was achieved.
Also, consider that a rating is just one factor to be considered. I don’t care how many “Preeminent” or “Best Lawyer” or “Superb” ratings a lawyer might have, if the lawyer doesn’t have experience with your type of case or if you and your lawyer don’t connect on a personal level at your initial consultation, then the lawyer may not be the best lawyer for you or your case. For more on how to choose the right lawyer for you and your case, ask us to send you our free book on Pennsylvania accident cases where you’ll find a chapter devoted to selecting the right lawyer.
Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. Can Help You Find the Right Lawyer for You and Your Case
If you have a Pennsylvania injury, wrongful death or medical malpractice case, we’ll be glad to give you a free, no-strings attached consult with one of our highly rated Erie injury lawyers. Call us today and we’ll schedule a conference at your convenience. If your injuries keep you from traveling, let us know and we’ll come to you. Call 814-833-7100 or toll free 814-833-7100.