The following information comes from the Martindale-Hubbell website and can be found here.
Martindale-Hubbell facilitates secure online peer review surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations. Reviewers are asked to assess their colleagues' general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. A confidential threshold number of qualified responses is required to achieve a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM appear in all formats of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, in the online listings on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM, on the Martindale-Hubbell services, and on Martindale-Hubbell mobile `apps.
Peer Review Practice Areas
Martindale-Hubbell uses a specific practice area list in the review process to help ensure that all lawyers are reviewed using equivalent practice areas, regardless of how individual lawyers choose to articulate their area of expertise. This allows users of peer reviews to compare and contrast lawyers with a specific area of practice. The Martindale-Hubbell area of practice list is based on user behavior, research on emerging areas of law, and other forms of legal research. Martindale-Hubbell updates the list regularly to reflect the changing needs of the legal industry.
For Martindale-Hubbell to facilitate a peer review, a lawyer must provide his or her college, law school and year/state of first admission as part of having a profile on www.martindale.com. To take advantage of the online review process, a lawyer must provide a valid email address. To be reviewed themselves, lawyers must also be willing to participate in the process of reviewing other members of the bar.
References and Reviewers
An attorney may submit as many or a few references as they choose for a peer review rating process to be initiated. To ensure a credible process, Martindale-Hubbell will include reviewers in the same geographic area with similar listed areas of practice along with the submitted peer references.
All Martindale-Hubbell peer review materials are treated as anonymous. Martindale-Hubbell takes steps to protect anonymity (e.g., not associating reviewer names with their responses and aggregating their responses with responses from other reviewers before sharing or publishing them), but it is possible that responses may contain sufficient information to allow the rated lawyer to ascertain the identity of the reviewer.
Although Martindale-Hubbell peer reviews are anonymous and reviewers' identities are not published, in an effort to provide more details to the users of Martindale-Hubbell peer reviews, Martindale-Hubbell will aggregate reviewers' basic demographics, including general position and general geographic location. Demographics are collected as part of the review for informational purposes to the lawyer. Examples of basic demographics are "private practice lawyer, senior partner, New York, USA."
Martindale-Hubbell peer reviews allow reviewers to provide feedback on the lawyer under review. Feedback is displayed anonymously in conjunction with the review results. Lawyers are allowed to place a one-time comment next to any of the feedback. Martindale-Hubbell subscribers are able to highlight two peer feedback comments and position them at the top of their peer review display.
Peer review feedback/comments are published for all attorneys who are listed in the Martindale-Hubbell database. Martindale-Hubbell publishes lawyer rating information it has gathered about lawyers and provides a forum for other third parties to share information about any particular lawyer(s) on our websites, martindale.com® and Lawyers.comSM. Each lawyer/law firm must decide for itself how it wishes to use any Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM information and, as stated in the Use Guidelines, each lawyer/law firm is wholly responsible for ensuring that any use it makes of Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM or of ratings data is compliant with the ethics rules affecting that lawyer/law firm.
Prior results described by a peer do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Martindale-Hubbell accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of any comments or responses displayed by Martindale-Hubbell. Martindale-Hubbell may use comments/responses in accordance with the Terms and Conditions, but is not required to do so. Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right, in its sole, unrestricted discretion, not to publish or otherwise use any submission it receives.
No subscription or listing on martindale.com or Lawyers.com is ever solicited or accepted on the promise of publication of a particular Martindale-Hubbell® 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 peer reviews. The process is a cooperative service with the bar and the judiciary.
If a firm/lawyer chooses not to display their peer reviews, all numeric ratings and feedback will be removed from display and language will appear that states "This Lawyer has chosen not to display the review(s) provided by his or her peers." All removal requests must be received by sending an email or by contacting our Customer Support department at 800-526-4902. While there is no guarantee on timing, peer review displays generally will be removed from Lawyers.com and martindale.com promptly after we receive the request.
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ for any disbarred or suspended lawyers are automatically removed as soon as Martindale-Hubbell is notified by a state bar. Other types of lawyer disciplinary actions administered by the appropriate bar or judicial authorities may also be grounds to remove a rating. While bar-admitting authorities supply Martindale-Hubbell with disciplinary information, Martindale-Hubbell also reserves the right to investigate information from the bar or the judiciary regarding rated lawyers that may impact the ethical standards of a rated lawyer.