July 23, 2009 could have been a very good day for Houston lawyer Andy Nolen.

On that day, one of his clients, “jerry k.”, decided to give him a token of appreciation, a review on Yahoo local of all Nolen had done for him:

THIS GUY IS GREAT. Got to court early and stayed like 3 hours with my family.

Not the greatest thing you could ever say about a lawyer, that he actually managed to show up, and then bothered to spend a modicum of time with the client and his family; but since showing up in the first place is not Nolen’s strong suit, hey, every little bit helps, right?

Unfortunately for Andy, that’s not where the story ends.

(What would that story be anyway? One client out of who knows how many hundreds total that isn’t pissed off that you didn’t even bother to show up? Not statistically impressive – several standard deviations below the mean.)

The plot twist in this sordid tale is that anonymous internet commenter “jerry k.” just couldn’t leave well enough alone. He went on to leave reviews for many other criminal defense lawyers in Houston, and guess what? Instead of the 5 out of 5 stars Andy got for (a) showing up and (b) being off of disciplinary probation from the State Bar, every other lawyer received negative one star reviews.

All on July 23, 2009 at that. Why is this bad news for Andy Nolen, Esq? Well for starters, it’s reasonable to assume that “jerry k.” didn’t actually hire and fire many lawyers and complain about all of them on the same day; it’s more likely that some scoundrel was trying to make Nolen look good and everyone else bad.

I’m actually getting to the blogswarm late, and have noticed that two days after everyone else wrote about this, jerry k.’s profile on yahoo has mysteriously been all but deleted.

Hmmmmm. I’m sure Nolen knew about all the bad press he’s been getting the last few days – the Avvo blog for example, and the news even reached Miami, Florida.  But it’s amazing that jerry k. learned about it so quickly.  Nolen didn’t have primary access to jerry k.’s account, did he?
 

  • The possibility of some anonymous person going on to Avvo and ruining my reputation is something that has long worried me. So I appreciate you and other people calling this particular person out on it.

    I was initially concerned that you and others might be maligning Nolen without any proof. But you in particular make a pretty good case that it must have been he.

    Clearly, this is an issue that Avvo needs to work out, although I am told that Avvo is pretty reasonable if you ever call up and complain about a questionable comment.

  • Frank