The General Survey
We mailed more than 65,000 ballots to lawyers across Los Angeles and Orange County. We asked attorneys to vote for the best lawyers they have personally observed in action - whether as opposing counsel, as co-counsel, from first-person observation in the courtroom, etc. Our intent was to discourage lawyers from voting for others based purely on reputation.
Each ballot had the name of the addressee-attorney on it. Only ballots properly verified by that attorney (with signature and attorney registration number filled in) were counted.
We received more than 20,000 nominating votes. Each lawyer was given a score based on the number of votes he or she received and where these votes came from. Votes received from lawyers in other firms were awarded significantly more points than votes received from lawyers in the same firm.
The Screening Process
Lawyers who received only same-firm votes were eliminated from the list of candidates. In other words, in order to be considered for inclusion, a lawyer had to have received votes from lawyers outside his or her firm or organization.
We also kept track of who voted for whom. We did this to watch for what we call "back-scratch voting;" that is, two lawyers voting for each other. If we noticed a disproportionate number of back-scratch votes, we eliminated that lawyer from our list of candidates.
Our staff also conducted research on each nominee (whose vote total exceeded a particular threshold level) to ensure that the lawyer is properly licensed, is in good standing with the Bar, and has no history of disciplinary actions that would warrant his or her removal from the list.
The Blue Ribbon Panel Review
The lawyers who remained on the list were then divided according to their areas of practice. A blue ribbon panel consisting of the top vote-getters from our general survey was assembled for each area of practice. We also asked managing partners of law firms to nominate members of their firms to serve on the panel. Those who met a minimum point threshold were also added to the panel. These panels reviewed the list of nominees in their areas of practice. The blue ribbon review process yielded a positive or negative point total for each nominee. This point total was then added to the lawyers' scores.
The Final Selection Process
We ranked lawyers according to their final scores. We cut off the list so that no more than 5 percent of the total Southern California Bar would be included.
You can see see all Southern California Super Lawyers listed in three ways: alphabetically by last name, sorted by geographic location, or by up to five areas of practice per lawyer.