Avvo is supposed to be a place where we get 'free legal advice'. Most of the attorneys who use the forum are unable to perform that basic function - provide free legal advice. Avvo is a place for pretend legal advice, this is particularly true when pro se litigants post questions seeking legal advice. A vast majority of lawyers on Avvo are not doing what the site claims they are supposed to do, they only thing they are really doing is advertising their lawyer services. Their function is to provide pretend legal advice.
In the last year I have been posting a variety of legal questions. I can honestly say that the number of lawyers who actually posted informative comments are less than ten percent (10%). In many instances, if you reply to their comment, simply explaining that they completely neglected to answer the question posed, they respond with some sarcastic remark.
Not only are they providing 'fake' legal advice, but they are rude to suffering people at the same time.
I am all for using social networks to advertise. That is not what these people are doing. Avvo claims to offer actual free legal advice, when in truth, most of the lawyers posting comments are not there to help anyone but themselves.
Avvo is the guilty agent. They should not be promoting this website with 'free legal advice' when 9 out of 10 lawyers are not doing that. It is completely dishonest.
I have the distinct impression that avoo-advertising lawyers believe they belong to a coveted club. Obtaining legal knowledge from them is as easy as solving the riddle of the Sphinx. In fact, most pro se litigants will have better luck pulling out one of their own permanent teeth with a rusty pair of pliers than getting an actual legal question answered.
The best analogy that I can give for this scenario comes from the cartoon, The Incredibles. Remember when that little old lady on a fixed income tried to make an insurance claim, and Mr. Incredible gave her "secret" inside advice? When I post questions on Avvo, I am hoping that I might find a Mr. Incredible who will answer the question - and not the horrible Gilbert Godfrey manager that tries to keep knowledge secret.
I left a comment, in jest, offering some of my free soaps and lotions. Personally, after a year of posting questions I just thought it would be cute. But that is not the first time some lawyer was calling me names, or imposing a rude attitude because I want to be pro se.
If I had a dime for every time some lawyer posted one of their pretend free legal advices, saying "hire a lawyer"....whilst completely ignoring the question that I asked...I would probably have enough money to hire a lawyer.
I am so sick of hearing the same thing..."hire a lawyer ...hire a lawyer....hire a lawyer....hire a lawyer....hire a lawyer....hire a lawyer...." I am sick to death of repeating over and over and over again that I cannot hire a lawyer. Now, lets get back to the issue, which is the actual question that I asked. (this is so frustrating!)
If I could hire a fantastic lawyer in my case, I would do it. My case involves a lot of work and lawyers will not be getting the payout that they deserve. THAT is why I cannot hire a lawyer. I must proceed pro se in my case.
Now: check out this typical AVVO lawyer comment:
I believe in taking a position of generosity first. That being said, there are of course several problems with these legal forum websites that visitors like myself must take into consideration. First, lawyers cannot create any attorney-client relationship. They cannot advise litigants based upon the little information provided. They do not want to be sued by anybody either. It is a balancing act between honestly answering questions without running the risk of giving someone bad advice. That being said: it does not excuse the pretend answers that they give. It would be better if they just did not bother responding at all.
Notice how the comment reads: "pro se litigants have no reasonable ability to get out of a traffic ticket let alone subpoenas and depositions." Wow - talk about condescending. Personally, I know a couple people who did prevail as a pro se litigant. So what happened there? How is it they manage to succeed, but not me? Why is it the avvo lawyers think that I am a complete, feeble minded moron? Anyone ever hear of the term ' necessity is the mother of invention'
Okay, got it... now is there anybody...anybody in the Avvo universe capable of answering a question on a forum that is supposed to be about answering questions?
It is like these people think we are a bunch of moron that cannot learn how to do something for ourselves. They like to use the analogy, "would you perform an operation on yourself? no, whelp, for the same reason you should hire a lawyer." Yeah, you know, so far I have been prevailing WITHOUT a lawyer. I managed to do it - and I managed to save myself thousands of dollars doing it myself. And - I also saved my children's college fund. But I cannot get into those conversation on a useless Avvo forum. I feel like anonymous man (王維林) in Tianamen Square standing in front Red Army tanks waiting just to plow me down. I step into the path of a tank in a show of nonviolent action. I am going up against a sleeping giant, trying to weave my way through an impossible situation without the financial resources to hire an American lawyer. Everytime I try to solve my own problems, and seek out information - avoo lawyers are there to constantly remind me that like 王維林 , my efforts are in vain, my efforts have no value, I will not prevail and I had just better lay down on the ground and give up.
The comment above is the typical response that I get on this forum. That seems to be under the impression that I have never considered, "golly gee, maybe I ought to hire a lawyer." Of course I thought about that.
Once I had a legal aide lawyer. She represented me in the same matter which I am trying to resolve now. She earned her law degree in the Caribbean. She was so stupid, she was unaware that she was not suppose to ask her own witnesses leading questions. She met my witnesses for the first time, fifteen minutes before we went to trial. The woman made Dum and Dummer look like a documentary. The judge was constantly screaming at my lawyer, and who could blame her - she was absolutely right!
Here is the 411 on legal aide: they are the bottom of the barrel. I recently consulted a legal aide lawyer in my home city. What happened? Well - she just agreed with everything that I was arguing with regards to that particular motion in question.
When I post comments on legal forums, or ask for Free Legal Advice, which is what this forum is supposed to be about - I am doing it because I actually want to LEARN something new. I love learning new things, I love it when a lawyer will say - "okay, you need real legal advice...read this book (Book ID number please so I know where to get it), read from this page to this page." When I ask for legal advice, you know...the stuff we are suppose to get on AVVO...I want to speak with a lawyer who has the balls to speak to me like an intelligent adult, and say, "listen Naomi, if you want to get from point A to point B by yourself, and you must rely on yourself - follow these steps, read this, and do this." I am confident my readers understand what I am talking about. You have been reading my blogs, you know my background and education. I look for real knowledge I am willing to do the work. It is not too much to ask that somebody tell me where to look or what to read.
Avvo lawyers, like the one seen above care more about their time and energy than anyone eases The time and energy I put into posting questions also matters. So, how about growing a set of balls, be a man and try posting a real answer to a real question. If you do not have the answer, then keep your hands off the keyboard and move on.