Prominent Fla. Lawyer Faces Bar Case in Settlement 'Scheme to Defraud'
A proposed class action settlement characterized by a state appeals court as “a scheme to defraud” has put a prominent Miami lawyer in hot water with the Florida Bar, along with his opposing counsel in the case.
In a disciplinary filing, the lawyer regulatory agency contends that founding partner Hank Adorno of Adorno & Yoss violated nine legal ethics rules. The case concerns his role in negotiating a $7 million class action settlement that left out thousands of taxpayers who sought reimbursement for an unconstitutional fire fee but provided for $2 million in legal fees, reports the Daily Business Review in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).
Adorno’s opposing counsel in the negotiations, Charles Mays, who was then an assistant Miami city attorney, was accused in the disciplinary complaint of violating five legal ethics rules.
The managing partner of Adorno & Yoss said Adorno did nothing wrong, and his lawyer says he intends to defend vigorously.
Attorney George Knox Jr., who represents Mays, says his client is “just waiting for an opportunity for the referee to hear the case.”