Ad or No Order
I hope everyone had a chance to canoodle at length by the fire this weekend, and it looks like we may even have a few more days of cold weather before this ends.
Meanwhile, the case of Hank Adorno and his $2 million fee for an "individual" class action settlement continues:
Adorno & Yoss founding partner Henry Adorno violated professional rules by orchestrating a $7 million class action settlement that benefited only seven people rather than all Miami taxpayers, a judge ruled Friday in a disciplinary case brought by The Florida Bar.Curse you oh wretched burden of proof:
Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter, as referee in the ethics case, ruled Adorno breached his duty to the proposed class and accepted an excessive attorney fee of $2 million for his work on the settlement, which was thrown out when its limitations were uncovered.
Tuter sided with Adorno on another count, ruling he could not conclude from a brief transcript that the attorney intentionally misled Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Lopez into approving the settlement in a suit challenging an unconstitutional city fire fee.
The disputed settlement with payments to only seven people “under the facts of this case was prejudicial, illogical and unexplainable,” the judge wrote in his 11-page summary judgment order. “Can the referee say with ‘precise explicit, lacking in confusion and of such weight that it produces a firm belief or conviction, without hesitation about the matter’ that respondent Adorno misled Judge Lopez and was less than forthright in the hearing? The answer is no.”In other words, a full vindication!
You know, that would look great on a bumper sticker.
UPDATE: A kind, technologically-savvy reader has sent the order, which I put up above.
Does the referee sure like to ask himself a lot of questions? Yes. Does he then immediately answer them? Indeed he does. Is this an annoying way to write an order? You be the judge:
Judge Lopez in a written order found both Respondents were less than "forthright" about the type of settlement reached by the parties. The transcript of the May 2004 hearing is only three pages. The Referee has struggled to decipher the meaning of the few words on those pages. Could and should more have been said? Yes. Could what was said be subject to misinterpretation? Perhaps. Was what was said misleading? Equivocal.