I have written before about Avvo and how frustrating it can be to be reviewed on Avvo. Often the reviews are baseless angry rants. Indeed, one of the reviews on my own Avvo profile is by a person who never engaged me (and I believe never spoke to me). My advice to lawyers who received a negative Avvo review is this: “Suck it up and deal with it.” The reason for my advice is that the lawyer is bound to hold client confidences confidential and therefore cannot really respond to an Avvo review. If you reveal a confidence, you can expect a disciplinary complaint.
It turns out that my advice was probably correct.
The case is captioned John Vyrdolyak v. Avvo, Inc., 16 C 2833. Judge Robert Gettleman has dismissed Vyrdolyak’s complaint alleging that Avvo was wrongfully “using plaintiff’s identity for commercial purposes without plaintiff’s consent” in violation of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act (IRPA), 765 ILCS 1075/1 et seq. Vyrdolyak also objected that Avvo would place ads on his profile page and profit from them. Vyrdolyak compared his situation to that of former Bulls star, Michael Jordan, who successfully stated a claim that Jewel was seeking to profit from his name. Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 515 (7th Cir. 2014).