Any contact initiated through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The materials on this website are published by the law firm of Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. to inform readers of relevant legal information. This material is not intended nor should it be used as a substitute for legal advice or opinion. The materials on this website have been compiled in good faith; however, no representation is made as to the completeness or accuracy of the information it contains. In particular, you should be aware that this information may be incomplete, may contain errors or may have become out of date. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update this material. These materials are made available with the understanding that the authors are not rendering legal, tax or other professional advice for any particular legal problem, and the readers should not rely upon these materials as a substitute for independent legal or professional consultation.

All rights reserved. Copies of information in this document or posted on www.BWWLAW.com may be printed for personal use only. None of this information may be reproduced or reused for any other purpose without prior written permission of Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.


Caution is advised when sending us electronic mail. Unless you are a documented client of the firm, your electronic mail will not be privileged or confidential and may be disclosed to other persons. By submitting information by email to Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. or any of our attorneys you agree that the communication does not alone create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any material to us without speaking with one of our attorneys first to make certain no conflict of interest exists and we have agreed to undertake the representation. Please note, we may not respond or contact you if you leave comments.

CONFIDENTIALITY – Email, and any attachments, are intended only for use by the named addressee(s) and may contain legally privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of any email, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this email and/or of any attachments hereto is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please delete the original, any copy of this email or attachment, and any printout thereof and notify the sender immediately.

NOT INTENDED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR A WRITING Notwithstanding the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act or the applicability of any other law of similar substance or effect, absent an express statement to the contrary hereinabove, this email message, its contents, and any attachments hereto are not intended to represent an offer or acceptance to enter into a contract and are not otherwise intended to bind the sender, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., any of its clients, or any other person or entity.



The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. The first review to establish a lawyer’s rating usually occurs three years after his/her first admission to the bar.

Martindale-Hubbell facilitates secure online Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are asked to assess their colleagues’ general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. The ratings appear in all formats of the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory, in the online listings on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM, on the Martindale-Hubbell services, on Martindale-Hubbell mobile apps.

The Ratings Explanation

Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. A threshold number of responses is required to achieve a rating.

The General Ethical Standards rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Those lawyers who meet the “Very High” criteria of General Ethical Standards can proceed to the next step in the ratings process – Legal Ability.

Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). These areas are:

  • Legal Knowledge – Lawyer’s familiarity with the laws governing his/her specific area of practice(s)
  • Analytical Capabilities – Lawyer’s creativity in analyzing legal issues and applying technical knowledge
  • Judgment – Lawyer’s demonstration of the salient factors that drive the outcome of a given case or issue
  • Communication Ability – Lawyer’s capability to communicate persuasively and credibly
  • Legal Experience – Lawyer’s degree of experience in his/her specific area of practice(s)

The numeric ratings range may coincide with the appropriate Certification Mark:

  • AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0) – AV Preeminent® 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.
  • BV Distinguished® (3.0-4.4) – BV Distinguished® is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. A widely respected mark of achievement, it differentiates a lawyer from his or her competition.
  • Rated (1.0-2.9) – The Peer Review Rated designation demonstrates that the lawyer has met the very high criteria of General Ethical Standing.

Photos and video by Sam Hall.