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Avvo's Lawyer Ratings Protected by the First Amendment, Judge Rules in False-Advertising Suit
In what may yet turn out to be a case with a controversial decision, U.S. District Judge Koeltl ruled that Avvo's lawyer ratings are statements of opinion and are protected by the First Amendment and the New York Constitution. This case, however, may head to an appeal as the First Amendment only offers protection from government censorship and Avvo is not the government. Per Wikipedia: "The First Amendment's constitutional right of free speech, is applicable to state and local governments under the incorporation doctrine and it only prevents government restrictions on speech, not restrictions imposed by private individuals or businesses unless they are acting on behalf of the government." The foundation of what was originally intended to be a class-action lawsuit, filed by New York attorney Kevin Davis, was the allegation that Avvo gave better ratings and promotional benefits to lawyers who paid for ads. Davis furthermore alleged Avvo's practices violated false