Send letters by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; by fax to (512) 427-4107; by first-class mail to Managing Editor, Texas Bar Journal, P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487; or by overnight mail to Managing Editor, Texas Bar Journal, 1414 Colorado, Austin, TX 78701-1627. Letters addressed to the Texas Bar Journal become the property of the magazine, and it owns all rights to their use. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. HONORING SACRIFICES I have just finished reading the May 2014 issue of the Texas Bar Journal, and I wanted to first compliment you on another job well done. I always look forward to your magazine, and I always take comfort in not seeing my name listed among either the Memorials or the Disciplinary Actions. That being said, I did want to express my disappointment in the failure of the TBJ to mention the dedication of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin on March 29, 2014. Quite a number of lawyers are Vietnam War veterans, and most of us are proud of having performed our duty in an honorable manner. Many of us (including myself) went to law school on the GI Bill after leaving the service and had to endure a culture that looked down upon Vietnam veterans. The times have changed, fortunately, and it appears that our nation now is honoring its veterans for their service. Many of us were proud to see this monument erected and dedicated. The day of the dedication has been one of the highlights of my life, and it was indeed an honor to be there. I hope that many members of the State Bar will take time to visit the monument and reflect upon the sacrifices made by so many Texans and so many Americans during that war. Kerwin B. Stone Beaumont DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE A troubling professional situation has developed for members of the State Bar of Texas. Avvo Inc. is developing a legal directory that uses a proprietary process to create a profit-making listing and evaluation of Texas attorneys, which includes self-styled Avvo “Ratings.” At Avvo (the company was mentioned in “The Digital Detractor,” which appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Texas Bar Journal), the process relies on publicly available information that is often incomplete and inaccurate. If the attorney cooperates with Avvo and provides additional information, the attorney rating generally improves, but if the attorney responds that he or she does not want to be included in the directory, Avvo refuses to delete the attorney and continues to publish the low rating. When I requested that Avvo delete me from its directory, because my profile is both inaccurate and incomplete, Avvo stated that it would not. I told Avvo that continued publication of my profile is knowingly and intentionally harmful to me and professionally disparaging, because the rating is improperly low. This practice by Avvo is coercive, because Avvo wants to motivate attorneys to participate in its directory. Avvo continues to refuse to delete me, claiming that its right to publish the information is protected speech. Not only do these actions by Avvo denigrate Texas attorneys, but they also cause disruption and confusion for the citizens of Texas who use the directory. I believe Avvo is knowingly and intentionally disparaging Texas attorneys for its own commercial gain. My recommendation is for concerned members of the State Bar to petition the president and chair of the bar to take appropriate action to stop the unfair business practices by Avvo or to take other appropriate action. Robert Murrill Richardson
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