Philadelphia 2011 Martindale AV Judicial

Many people have asked me what the “AV” (AV® Preeminent™ (5.0) Peer Review Rating) represents.

In December, 2010, I was extremely fortunate to be able to celebrate both my 20th Anniversary of being an attorney and my 5th Anniversary of achieving an AV® Preeminent™ Rating.


In addition to the “AV” rating, “Fortunata” has also blessed me with recognitions from Suburban Life Magazine and opportunities to speak and be published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (to name a few).

However, if I had to choose (which, luckily, I do not), the “AV” rating lies closest to my heart as, by the explanation below, I truly had no say in the matter.


The following is an explanation from the Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings website regarding the Peer Review Rating System.

The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

After a lawyer’s General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Ratings are confirmed, his/her ratings are aggregated to create an overall numeric rating for each rated Area of Practice. The numeric rating determines the Peer Review Rating, which includes a rating term and may include a Certification Mark:

AV® Preeminent™ (4.5 – 5.0) – An AV® certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.

BV® Distinguished™ (3.0 – 4.4) – The BV® certification mark is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. A widely respected mark of achievement, it differentiates a lawyer from his or her competition.

Rated (1.0 – 2.9) – The Peer Review Rated designation demonstrates that the lawyer has met the very high criteria of General Ethical Standing.

The Reviewers and Anonymity

The reviewers are members of the Bar and Judiciary (lawyers and judges) across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations and are listed on martindale.com. They are from similar areas of practice and/or industry as the lawyer being rated, who know or have worked with the lawyer under review and are able to rate them on their professional ethical standards and legal ability.

All Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings review materials are treated as anonymous. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell takes steps to protect your anonymity (e.g., not associating reviewer names with their responses and aggregating their responses with responses from other reviewers before sharing or publishing them).


Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of any review responses displayed in whole or in part by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell may use your responses in whole or in part in accordance with the Terms and Conditions, but it is not required to do so. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right, in its sole, unrestricted discretion, not to publish or otherwise use all or any portion of any responses or submissions it may receive.

No subscription or listing on martindale.com or lawyers.com is ever solicited or accepted on the promise of publication of a particular Peer Review Rating. No preferential consideration is ever given to any lawyer or law firm. There is never any payment made to lawyers and judges who participate in rating reviews. The process is a cooperative service with the Bar and the Judiciary.

It is LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell policy to conduct regular random periodic reviews of all Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings to insure their accuracy. Where supporting opinions dictate, appropriate action (such as deleting, raising or lowering a rating) is taken.

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