James H. Burnett III, Miami Herald, March 15, 2011
The firm once known as Adorno & Yoss issued a statement Monday confirming that it “will continue to provide legal services to its clients and will continue to conduct its regular business through March 31, 2011,” in its Miami and Fort Lauderdale offices, but after that would go out of business permanently.
Then known as Adorno & Yoss, the firm made national headlines in the early 2000s, when it was revealed that it stood to collect a $2 million fee for representing the so-called “Lucky Seven” residents who had successfully sued the city of Miami over $90 million in illegal fire fees.
While the fees were determined to be illegal for upwards of 80,000 people, only the seven represented by Adorno & Yoss shared in the $7 million the firm negotiated with the city.
The Lucky Seven had collectively paid less than $100,000 in illegal fire fees.
Driven by public outrage, the city sued Adorno & Yoss and recovered the money awarded to the Lucky Seven. In 2008, Adorno & Yoss agreed to pay $1.6 million, as part of a $17.1 million settlement with taxpayers in Miami, to put the matter to rest. When the dust settled, the law firm was awarded $400,000 in fees.
Last October, the Florida Supreme Court suspended the firm’s co-founder and former namesake Henry “Hank” Adorno for orchestrating the lopsided fire fee payouts to the Lucky Seven and the law firm.
The largest minority-owned law firm in the United States will dissolve at the end of the month.
After Adorno’s suspension, the firm dropped his name from their title, but the firm has been hit with partner departures and layoffs ever since. Since then, they’ve lost nearly 75 lawyers.