For 130 years,
Martindale-Hubbell has been the most respected source of
authoritative and dependable biographical information about
members of the legal community in the United States, Canada
integral part of this service to the legal community is the
Martindale-Hubbell Rating System. Under this system, Legal
Ability and General Ethical Standards Ratings for individual
attorneys are developed and published in the Law Directory.
The goal of this impartial rating system is the development
of un-biased, fair and accurate ratings for as many lawyers
as possible, including Directory subscribers and
The majority of rating
reviews are initiated by Martindale-Hubbell, typically five
years after an attorney has been admitted to the Bar. In
larger cities, ten years is the norm. An initial review of a
lawyer can also be made at his or her request or at the
request of a partner or colleague. Minimum periods following
admission to practice are not required for any rating.
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
THE RATING INQUIRY
solicits confidential opinions from members of the Bar,
including those who have ratings and those who do not. In
addition, members of the Judiciary are queried.
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.
All inquiries seek to
elicit recommendations based on personal knowledge of the
lawyer under inquiry. Martindale-Hubbell does not undertake
to make an evaluation of a lawyer's scholastic background,
types of clients represented, the number and kinds of cases
handled or participation in professional or community
activities. The rating process is recognized as a
cooperative service to the Bar; participants are not
compensated in any way.
SCOPE OF THE RATINGS
Ratings fall into two
categories: Legal Ability and General Ethical Standards.
Unless a rating is established in both categories, no rating
The Legal Ability
Ratings take into consideration the standard of ability for
the area where the lawyer practices, the attorney's
expertise, nature of practice and qualifications relevant to
the profession. Where a lawyer's practice is limited or
specialized, rating opinions are made on the basis of
performance in those specific fields of law.
Standards Ratings cover adherence to professional standards
of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other
criteria relevant to the discharge of professional
An attorney will not
receive a Legal Ability Rating unless he or she has been
endorsed for a "V".
To maintain a high
level of accuracy and dependability, Martindale-Hubbell
conducts regular re-examinations of all ratings. If the
result does not support the published rating, it is
advanced, lowered or withdrawn.
Martindale-Hubbell's policy to treat all phases of its
impartial rating process as confidential. Sources contacted
participate with that understanding. Under no circumstances
are any ratings review materials released.
A COOPERATIVE SERVICE TO
respects the confidence the legal community has placed in
its rating system. Considered an important tool used in the
practice of law, the ratings are an invaluable resource for
researching opposing counsel or engaging the services of an
attorney. They represent a widely regarded measure of esteem
that attorneys strive to earn.
MARTINDALE-HUBBELL®, A member of the Reed Elsevier plc
"Martindale-Hubbell" is a registered trademark of Reed
Elsevier Properties Inc.