Avvo Inc. ignited a firestorm of controversy within the legal community when it launched its free Web site with ratings of attorneys in June 2007. The site uses information from state bar associations, courts and lawyer Web sites to compile a numerical rating. It also includes client ratings and peer endorsements.
Nine days after the site was launched, two lawyers unhappy with their ratings filed a lawsuit in Avvo's hometown of Seattle, claiming that avvo.com is deceptive and violates consumer-protection laws. In December a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, agreeing with Avvo that the Web site content is protected by the First Amendment.