Do legal consumers use Yelp, the consumer review website best known for reviewing restaurants, to help them choose an attorney?
A San Diego law firm apparently seems to think so. Enough so that it allegedly used its staff and five fellow attorneys to write fake, beaming reviews of its bankruptcy practice. Yelp has sued the McMillan Law Group for violating Yelp's terms of service and eroding its value to consumers in a damning complaint (attached below).
The company's complaint states that a series of favorable reviews of the firm were written by McMillan employees -- sometimes from the office itself. Yelp further alleges that five San Diego lawyers also wrote glowing, quid pro quo reviews for the firm.
"The McMillan Law Group's efforts to mislead consumers are particularly brazen and disappointing given they have targeted some of the most vulnerable consumers of all -- individuals who may be facing bankruptcy," claims the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court.
Firm owner Julian McMillan, meanwhile, says Yelp is actually after revenge. She claims Yelp's lawsuit is in response to her firm winning a small claims court case against the website last year.
"I'm the only business that ever sued them and won," McMillan told The Recorder. "And now, I'm the only business they've ever counter-sued."