John Phillips – One of the Highest Rated Lawyers in Florida

In addition to being voted “Best” of northeast Florida by readers of the Folio weekly(2011, 2012 & 2013), selected as a “Top Lawyer by 904 / Jacksonville Magazine (2012 & 2013), chosen as a “who’s who in law” by the Ponte Vedra Recorder (2012 &2013), receiving the title of Jacksonville’s Boldest Business (2011) and given an award by the Mayor, John enjoys some of the top ratings a lawyer can have.

How are lawyers rated and how do I know if I have a “good one”?

Several sources “rate” lawyers.  They are not a sole determinative factor of how to pick a lawyer, but serve as one method to compare two lawyers side-by side.  John has obtained the HIGHEST POSSIBLE rating by all known rating services.


Martindale-Hubbell Ratings were created in 1887 as an objective tool that would attest to a lawyer’s ability and professional ethics, based on the confidential opinions of other lawyers and judges who have worked with the lawyer they were evaluating. The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings have remained the most prestigious and widely respected lawyer rating system in the world for the past 119 years.

It is the “gold standard” of lawyer ratings because it is based on peer ratings and not only requires a lawyer to be respected by his peers because of his abilities, but also because of the way he or she acts day-in and day-out.  According to, “The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. Lawyer Ratings serve as an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability and are used by buyers of legal services to justify their hiring decisions.

Per Martindale, a lawyer can be rated as AV, BV or unrated. CV was formerly available, but isn’t any longer. Per “An AV certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.”

John M. Phillips is one of a small percentage of lawyers that has the highest- AV-Preeminent Rating (2011-2013) and is very proud his peers have honored him with such a rating. This is the highest rating available.

The Avvo Rating system provides more thorough information. Its rating is “calculated using a mathematical model that considers the information shown in a lawyer’s profile, including a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.”  They also publish any disciplinary history, which obviously is an important factor.

What are the levels on the numerical Avvo Rating?

  • 9.0-10.0 Superb
  • 8.0-8.9 Excellent
  • 7.0-7.9 Very good
  • 6.0-6.9 Good
  • 5.0-5.9 Average
  • 4.0-4.9 Concern
  • 3.0-3.9 Caution
  • 2.0-2.9 Strong caution
  • 1.0-1.9 Extreme caution

John is pleased to be rated a PERFECT 10/10 and has been for several consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013).  This is obviously the highest rating available.

“Super Lawyer”/”Rising Star”

According to Bar Associations, Courts and Special Masters who have reviewed the “Super Lawyer” rating system, “[The Super Lawyers selection process] is a comprehensive, good-faith and detailed attempt to produce a list of lawyers that have attained high peer recognition, (met) ethical standards, and have demonstrated some degree of achievement in their field.” Some have critiqued its selection process because it is largely private and some critique the term “Super Lawyer” simply because of its pretentiousness.  However, it has been further said, “Suffice to say, the selection procedures employed by [Super Lawyers] are very sophisticated, comprehensive and complex.”

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using “a rigorous, multiphase rating process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis.”

There are two distinctions- “Super Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer Rising Star”.  Rising Stars undergo a more selective process. While up to five percent of the lawyers in the state are named as “Super Lawyers,” no more than 2.5 percent are named to the “Super Lawyer Rising Stars’” list. A candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for ten years or less to be a “Super Lawyer Rising Stars.”

John has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer Rising Star” THREE times (2009, 2010 & 2013).

National Trial Lawyers “Top 100”

The National Trial Lawyers is a national organization composed of The Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and profile as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers. It is the mission of The National Trial Lawyers to promote excellence in the legal profession through practical educational programs, networking opportunities, and legal publications that deal with current issues facing The Trial Lawyer.

John has been selected as one of the top one hundred lawyers in the State of Florida for 2012 and 2013.