Between 1988-2017, Martindale-Hubbell has certified Mr. Aarons as “AV,” its highest rating, based on annual surveys by judges and other lawyers.
The process of the Peer Review Ratings system
The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system 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.
In addition, confidential questionnaires are sent to lawyers and judges in the same geographic location and/or area of practice as the lawyer being rated. Members of the Bar are instructed to assess their colleague’s legal ability and general ethical standards.
If reports indicate that the lawyer in question does not meet the highest ethical standards, further explanations are requested.
Regular Peer Review Ratings reviews – Peer Review Ratings are reviewed in stages over the course of a lawyer’s career. The first review usually occurs five years after first admission to the Bar; established Peer Review Ratings are reviewed every five to eight years thereafter – or earlier if we receive information indicating that a lawyer’s ethics or abilities are under question. Disbarred or suspended lawyers automatically have their Peer Review Ratings removed. Bar admitting authorities continuously supply Martindale-Hubbell with disciplinary information.
Important notes about Peer Review Ratings – All Peer Review Rating review materials are strictly confidential, enabling participants to provide completely candid assessments of their colleagues. Under no circumstances are any Peer Review Ratings review materials released. It is also important to note that, since Martindale-Hubbell does not undertake to develop Peer Review Ratings for all lawyers, the fact that a lawyer is not rated should not be construed unfavorably
An Explanation of the Peer Review Ratings Categories – There are two components to each Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating:
* 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
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 Peer Review Ratings are confirmed, a lawyer receives an CV, BV or AV Rating.
– indicates the rating was established in an admitting jurisdiction other than where the attorney is currently listed.
Peer Review Ratings reflect career development
A lawyer’s Peer Review Rating will generally improve over time. But Peer Review Ratings can be revised downward, or even removed if a decline is noted in ability or ethical standards.
CV Peer Review Rating