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Disgraced Miami attorney asks Florida Supreme Court to reinstate him as a lawyer


Not long ago, Henry "Hank" Adorno swaggered in Miami's legal and political circles.

Then his career crashed because of pure greed. Three years ago, the Florida Supreme Court suspended Adorno after he pocketed excessive legal fees in a multimillion-dollar case against the city of Miami.

This past week, the disgraced Adorno asked the high court to reinstate him as a lawyer in Florida. Among the legal heavyweights filing sworn statements with his petition: Former Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero (who had been a partner in Adorno's now-defunct law firm); Cesar L. Alvarez, CEO of the Greenberg Traurig law firm; and Dean Colson, partner with Colson Hicks Eidson.

In October 2010, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that cited "reprehensible" behavior by Adorno for collecting huge legal fees while excluding almost all Miami property owners from a $7 million class-action settlement against the city over illegally imposed fire fees.

The seven justices -- Cantero was no longer on the high court -- unanimously threw out an earlier, more lenient punishment, a public reprimand, recommended by a judge acting as a referee in the Florida Bar's malpractice case against Adorno.

The Bar recommended a six-month suspension for the two ethics violations found earlier in 2010 by the referee, Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter.

Adorno, once the chief assistant to then-State Attorney Janet Reno and former partner with attorney George Yoss, had run one of Miami's most recognizable law firms. The firm was politically connected, gaining a lot of government work and representing high-profile figures over the years. 

After the scandal, his firm, Adorno & Yoss, broke up and gave back $1.6 million in fees that Adorno had collected in the settlement -- but kept about $400,000.