What does this mean to you?
AttorneyGuide.com™ is an independent organization that reviews information from the Nevada State Bar, local bar associations and many other resources to provide you an exclusive directory of attorneys with outstanding moral character. All attorneys listed on our site must go through a screening process and have a proven history of integrity.
Who certifies the attorneys?
Most people don’t realize that attorneys are governed by strict ethical rules. Each state has a State Bar Association, which is charged with enforcing those ethical rules. When a member of the public files a complaint against an attorney, that complaint is reviewed by the appropriate State Bar Association.
If the State Bar Association determines that the complaint is valid, then the attorney is appropriately disciplined. For more minor offenses, the attorney may simply be reprimanded. For more serious offenses, the attorney is normally either suspended from practicing law for a period of time or the attorney is disbarred – meaning his or her license to practice law is revoked.
AttorneyGuide reviews the records of the appropriate State Bar Association(s) for each attorney listed on our site as Certified Ethical™. Even a single instance of public disciplinary action completely disqualifies an attorney from achieving a Certified Ethical™ rating — regardless of how long they have been practicing law. In other words, AttorneyGuide.com™ does the research to help you avoid unscrupulous attorneys, and to ensure that the attorney you hire is a Certified Ethical™ attorney.
For example, each attorney must meet the following specific criteria to be certified as ethical:
- In good standing with the Nevada State Bar
- A clean public record of no ethical rule violations
- Positive client feedback
- Licensed at least one (1) year
- Strict compliance with Nevada State Bar Rule RPC 7 governing truthful advertising
AttorneyGuide.com™ conducts thorough research to ensure the ongoing integrity of our attorneys. Though they must pay a nominal amount for this research, attorneys cannot buy an ethical rating — they must earn it. The certification is continual so long as the attorney meets and maintains AttorneyGuide’s specific criteria. In addition, AttorneyGuide regularly scrutinizes each attorney’s public record, no less than every sixty (60) days, for any violation that would immediately result in decertification.
Why do I need a Certified Ethical™ Attorney?
Unfortunately, every year many attorneys are disciplined for ethical violations. Those violations can be very serious, such as criminal acts, deceit, fraud, misrepresentation, malpractice or even stealing client funds. In addition, many other attorneys do not follow the specific rules created by the Nevada State Bar to ensure that their advertising is accurate and does not mislead the public. AttorneyGuide.com™ does the research for you to ensure that these important standards of right and wrong are followed, and to provide you with qualified attorneys who have been prescreened and certified as ethical.
Despite what some attorneys may claim, win/loss ratios cannot be accurately measured. For instance, a football team has a very definite ratio with respect to wins and losses. In every single game, one team wins and one team loses – it is black and white. With respect to an attorney’s win/loss ratio, however, the measurement is much more difficult, if not impossible. For example, if an injured plaintiff wins at trial but receives less than the defendant offered to pay before the trial, then did the plaintiff win or lose? The attorney won the case, but the client received less than if they had settled before trial.
In another example, the charges in a criminal case are reduced in exchange for a plea bargain, and the client is sentenced to one year in a county jail instead of five to ten years in a state prison. Is that counted as a win or a loss? The attorney won the case as the charge was reduced to a lesser offense and the sentence decreased dramatically. However, the attorney also lost the case because the client was still convicted of a crime and incarcerated for a significant period of time.
As you can see, an attorney’s accurate win-loss record is very subjective. Consumers should be extremely cautious when hiring an attorney who claims a high win-loss ratio; instead, seek to hire an attorney who is honest and trustworty and can be certified as ethical.
Claims Of “Top 5%”
Some websites claim to only list the top 5% of lawyers in the profession — that is not possible. There is no official ranking of attorneys, nor is there any objective way to rank them. An attorney may be excellent for one client, but not for another. Thus, claims of being “the best” or in the top “5%” are entirely subjective and misleading. Similarly, claims of high “peer review” rankings are likewise subjective.
Conversely, AttorneyGuide.com™ reviews objective criteria before awarding its coveted Certified Ethical™ rating. This provides you with peace of mind knowing that the attorney you are hiring has an outstanding ethical history and proven moral character.