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Super Lawyers dispute begun when lawyer hit for ad money

September 16, 2006

A lawyer told he was a ‘super lawyer’ by the Super Lawyers Directory and then hit for money to buy an ad in the New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine reported Super Lawyers to New Jersey lawyer’s ethics authorities.

This from the New York Times:

In a letter to the ethics committee, Lloyd Levenson, who was selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in 2005, wrote that he was offended when the company told him of his selection and then informed him he could buy a full-page ad for up to $15,000.

‘What the general public takes from that,’ Mr. Levenson said in an interview, ‘is that the people who have paid grand sums of money to buy full pages are somehow better than those who are named in the back pages who refused to shell out the dough. And furthermore, if you don’t make the small print, you are not worth hiring at all.

An ethics committee appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court found the Super Lawyers Directory violated rules of professional conduct. The focus of the opinion was an insert to the New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine, which listed the top 5 percent of the state’s lawyers and then offered an opportunity to advertise.

The committee questioned the process used to compile the list as well as misleading the public by the designation of someone as a ‘super lawyer.’

These self-aggrandizing titles have the potential to lead an unwary consumer to believe that the lawyers so described are, by virtue of the manufactured title, superior to their colleagues who practice in the same area of law,” the committee wrote of New Jersey Super Lawyers.

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