Login | June 03, 2020

Repsight coordinates online reviews but may bring ethical questions

Technology for Lawyers

Published: September 13, 2019

Repsight (https://repsight.com/) is a paid online service that works to generate positive Google, Avvo and other online reviews.

It works by sending out requests for reviews to a client list, and then curating those requests and posting the positive ones. Five- and four-star reviews are automatically posted on the firm site, while anything less than that is communicated directly to the attorney.

This method not only makes the reviews look good online but also acts to proactively limit negative reviews.

Repsight contains a bot that automatically posts these positive reviews to wherever the attorney wants. Available options include Google, Facebook, Yelp, Avvo, Yellow Pages, BBB, Attornify (a lawyer referral web page-- check them out if unfamiliar: https://www.attornify.com/), FindLaw, Lawyers.com and Martindale.com. There are also numerous other review sites that Repsight can post to.

Repsight’s prices vary from $50 to $500 a month depending on how many reviews you want, and there is a 7-day free trial available.

But wait, you ask. The headline said that there may be some ethical issues with Repsight. Well, yes there may be.

The South Carolina bar took a look at Repsight last year and came away with a cautionary tale and some guidelines. The SC bar pointed out some wrinkles in this service that may butt up against ethical considerations.

For one, there may be no safeguards against the exposure of client confidential information. If the client is providing the reviews, and a bot is posting them, there may be no way to filter out potentially confidential information that a client could post without even knowing it. Since it is a review of the attorney, in which the lawyer owns the data, that could be problematic.

It could also be problematic if the unbalanced nature of Repsight’s choice of which reviews to post goes without disclosure.

So the bar suggests that the lawyer posts that the firm is using Repsight and be transparent in how that works, including that only good reviews get posted. It may be OK to contact a client who gave a bad review and try to get it changed, and it seems to be OK (in NY) to pay them a small sum for the change.

I would also suggest that the attorney closely comb through the reviews to make sure that no client information that should be confidential is inadvertently disclosed.

But, if you think this service would be useful, go take a look.