Highest Rating Available for Legal Ability and
The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli has received an "AV" rating from the Martindale-Hubbell rating system, an independent service which has rated attorneys nationwide for more than a century. An "AV" rating is the highest available, meaning that the lawyer is recognized by his peers as having achieved very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical conduct relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Only about 20% of all lawyers who have been rated have achieved an "AV" rating.
The Process of the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Service
The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings service, which evaluates lawyers and law firms in the United States and Canada, is based on the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary, including both those who are rated and those who are not.
Martindale-Hubbell representatives conduct personal interviews to discuss lawyers under review with other members of the Bar. A compilation of these opinions from various sources is necessary to form a consensus, and lawyers under review are sometimes asked to provide professional references to assist with the process.
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are reviewed in stages over the course of a lawyer's career. The first review - to establish a rating - usually occurs five years after first admission to the Bar. Established Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are reviewed every five to eight years thereafter - or earlier if Martindale-Hubbell receives information indicating that a lawyer's ethics or abilities are under question. Bar admitting authorities continuously supply Martindale-Hubbell with disciplinary information.
An Explanation of the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Categories
There are two components to each Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating:
1. Legal Ability Ratings - Legal Ability Ratings take into consideration the standard of professional ability in the area where the lawyer practices, the lawyer's expertise, and other professional qualifications. If a lawyer's practice is limited or specialized, Peer Review Ratings are based on performance in those specific fields of law.
Legal Ability Ratings are:
C - Good to High
B - High to Very High
A - Very High to Preeminent
2. General Ethical Standards Rating - The General Ethical Standards Rating denotes 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. A lawyer will not receive a Legal Ability Rating unless he or she has been endorsed for a "V."
When both categories of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are confirmed, a lawyer receives an CV, BV or AV Rating.
CV Peer Review Rating - The CV certification is a good first rating for lawyers and a definitive statement of their above-average ability and unquestionable ethics. This is the maximum rating a lawyer can receive who has been admitted to the bar from 3-4 years.
BV Peer Review Rating - The BV certification is an excellent rating for a lawyer with more experience. This is the maximum rating a lawyer can receive who has been admitted to the Bar from 5-9 years.
AV Peer Review Rating - An AV certification is a significant rating accomplishment, and a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. The AV rating shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. A lawyer must be admitted to the Bar for 10 years or more to receive an AV rating.
For additional information regarding Mr. Vanarelli's Ratings for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards, call us at 908-232-7400 or click here to contact us online.