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The Illinois Supreme Court denied a request from an online attorney ratings directory company, Avvo Corp., for release of an electronic copy of the state court’s information on attorneys authorized to practice law in the state. “It is ordered that the application for a copy of the information maintained on the master roll of attorneys is denied,” the high court said in an order issued on July 15. Avvo last month petitioned the Supreme Court for access to the information on about 85,000 Illinois lawyers and for subsequent updates after the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, an agency of the high court, rejected the request in April. The commission, in fighting the lawsuit, said that fulfilling the Avvo request would fly in the face of longstanding policy not to provide such information for commercial purposes. “Consumers are the real losers here,” Avvo general counsel Josh King said in an e-mailed statement. “The Supreme Court’s action means consumers will be less informed when making critical life decisions that involve hiring lawyers.” While Avvo has already listed information for what it expects are the majority of Illinois attorneys, the Seattle-based company sought the electronic list because it said the commission¹s Web site set-up made it difficult to access all the information. Avvo’s Web site, which designed its system to give consumers education, career, ratings and other information about lawyers, currently has attorney listings for 19 states and is seeking to have information on about 80 percent of U.S. lawyers by year end.

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